So I was hoping some unschooling mamas would tell me about their experience.
My children are DS 19 (he has Autism & chronic heart disease) we are taking his transition to adult life very slowly because of both of those things, DD 9 & DS 7 (this son also has Autism).
We live in Texas & we are not required to do any testing at all, it is up to us to decide when our children are ready to graduate.
how old are your kids? does your state make all students in that state do state testing? here they do, whether its public, private, or homeschool.
I can tell you what unschooling is for our family, it is different for every family that dose it just like homeschooling is different for every family.
For us unschooling is having the confidence in our children that they will learn the things they need to know when they need to know them. Our goal in unschooling is for them to learn how to learn so that no matter what they do in life they will have the basic tools to learn how to do it. My husband & I set the exsample ourselves by expanding our knowledge on a daily bases, our children see us constantly learning & researching things that interest us. We are never satisfied with what we know we are always looking for more up to date information. I spend a lot of my time looking for things that my kids might find useful & interesting to help them expand their minds & knowledge, we use everything that the modern world offers as tools to learn & help them learn, nothing is restricted in use because we believe that everything has educational value to it.
I hope this has helped if you want more information please ask more specific questions so that I may be more helpful.
in a nut shell, what is unschooling? i have heard about it but dont really understand it. can you tell me about it?
There are some newer post on unschooling if you want to read them & see if that gives you a little incite.
We unschool ask all the questions you need I will try to answer them the best that I can.
I don't use the word Unschooler with most people. I just use it to find like minded folk online. I say we are always learning about whatever they are interested in. We don't have a "school time" we just do what we got to do when we have time. I also have a baby and we have to be flexible. I tell them how we are regulars at the library and use all sorts of materials. Any and all materials we can get our hands on. I might tell them something that we have done lately that covers the area they are asking about.
If they ask about reading, I would say, "We just finished reading Secrete Garden." At which point my daughter would probably try talking some Yorkshire to them because she loves it and has been looking up videos of people speaking it and trying to imitate them. She also will tell them her plans for having her own garden this spring. By this time they are often side tracked enough not to ask curriculumn questions. She's picked up on reading so if they ask about her reading she would probably tell them about a book she recently read because she often reads in bed until late at night.
If they ask about math I will tell them I just recently found this new website called mathplayground.com or and it's really fun and then the kids will pipe in with their favorite games on that site and again we are off the curriculum. I also learned some fun math card games that we enjoy so I might tell them about that.
What about social studies? Well my step dad has been on this buying only American Made Clothing kick and we've been talking to him about it and reading bits of the articles he posts on facebook outloud. My daughter pulled out her clothes and starting looking at all the tags and making a list of where her clothes come from and we've been finding the places on the map. This leads into a very different much more interesting conversation with the person than a curriculum conversation.
I have discussed unschooling with my mom. I sent her some links and she read them. She finds it very interesting. We discuss it. It's very different than my childhood experiance but she didn't know another way and her way worked just fine by me. She's all for what I am doing with my kids. When I have doubts she reassures me how awesome my kids are so that's been great. I've never had anyone give me any grief about it but maybe that's because my kids are so awesome in their own way ;)
What do people say when you tell them your unschoolers? How did your family react?
I usually use the term child led learning. Sometimes I even call myself eclectic. I also use curriculum and make my own but only what my children enjoy. I give complete choice in how they are learning. For example for math I always have multiple ways to learn everything. I give suggestions and then they choose what sounds best to them. For example for spelling they pick out their own words and choose to learn them any way they wish. My oldest is writing them down using stencils and my youngest is writing them using legos. If they don't want to learn something they just tell me and then we talk about what they would rather do. Some people wouldn't call us unschoolers but there is really nothing else that really describes us.