Homeschooling Moms

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celtic77dragon
UNSCHOOLERS -- EDITED!!
January 22 at 9:08 AM

I do not have a problem with everyone discussing unschooling in general. However, I did want to point out (because I wasn't specific enough in the original post) that I was trying to discuss what is within these quotes. 


Do you think that it is important and necessary to know about "the great works" and significant information about your country (people, events, documents, and laws that had a significant impact on the country and way of life)?

Do you value this knowledge? Do you feel like you value it any less than?  -- I ask this because I feel like she is giving the impression that her family or other unschoolers sometimes value 'typical academics' (I am using that term loosely) less than others. 

In DM's statement, she mentions forgetting this information that she was exposed to. I am assuming that the arguement there was that if we forget the information anyways, how important was it to begin with - what was the worth in covering it. So would you agree with that? 




The quotes that I am interested in are at two times in the video:

1:12

Interviewer: "Doesn't the child need to know who George Washington, FDR, and JFK are?"

D.M: "Well, I don't know. Do you think that they do? Do you think that is necessary?"

7:23

Interviewer: "What about when the learning gets more sophisticated? How do you expose them to Shakesphere or Twain or Henry James. How do you teach them the great works and the great historians if you can't get them to sit down and learn?"

D.M: "Well, I think some people might value that more than others. I honestly don't remember - yes although I know their names - I don't remember the details that I learned in school - about the historians for example."

  

Important Note: Dayna Martin is a radical unschooler. I do not know if Dayna Martin is the best example. I just know that her face is very front and center. She has a ton of youtube videos, been on wife swap as well as Dr Phil, she has done number interviews, she has written a few books, spoke at a number of conferences, etc. She ALSO has come under fire (maybe that was just bound to happen with all of the exposure). 

However, this does NOT deter me from wanting to know how unschoolers feel about her specific statements/questions in the above quotes.


Quote Source: Dayna Martin interview w/ ABC news: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuhfhRLwTB0 

The actual video was removed because I felt that it confused and distracted from the questions that I am trying to ask. I just wanted to have a source for where my quotes came from. 

Replies

  • KickButtMama
    January 22 at 10:29 AM

    First it's important to point out that she is a Radical Unschoolers, which is a fairly small population. Secondly, just because I don't have a curriculum for the presidents, let's say, doesn't mean my kids won't learn about them. My job as facilitator is to have learning materials available for my kids. For instance, when unpacking yesterday, they found a placemat with images of the presidents on it. This sparked a 2 hour discussion/investigation into who was the best president. This involved a poll of all the parents, looking online and even in an encyclopedia. None of it was sparked by me, none came from me parroting presidential facts and dates to them. Yet they learned. 

    I think this mom was trying to maybe get that across. That learning can be done if we surround the kids with educational things. Furthermore, kids who are not routinely tested do not see the point in answering quizzing questions. For a time I was so frustrated that we would do a lesson then I'd ask my child questions about what we learned. When they never answered correctly, I was convinced they hadn't learned anything....when in frustration I asked why they do that they said, "well, we know you already know the answers, so found it funny that 10 minutes after explaining you had already forgotten the info" they didn't see the point in answering correctly. *eyeroll* 

    but I know I remember less than 1/4 of what I learned at public school. I never was very good at wrote memorization. The things I remember were when I was allowed to explore and follow my interests. That's the main idea behind Unschooling. Letting the kids interest spark.

    we are technically unschoolers, though I prefer the term child-led learners. I've tried schooling in a variety of ways - from super strict textbook based, to radical Unschooling. What works for me is a melding of the two - I'm a textbook person myself so had a super hard time w/ radical Unschooling. So instead the kids give me things they are interested and I find tons of resources that kids can pick and choose from. But I'm fully aware the kids might change to a new interest at anytime which would mean more work for me. Loll

  • jen2150
    by jen2150
    January 22 at 10:55 AM
    We are unschoolers. My kids love sitting at the table and learning, using workbooks, laying on the bed reading, researching different topics, completing projects. Just the other day we were talking about Abraham Lincoln while reading the life of fred. I have no problem getting them to sit down and learn. They are currently working on roblox on the computer. Every 5 minutes they come in asking about the spelling of a new word. They learn in a variety of ways. We use a living book approach to history. There are a ton of great biographies. Also it seems like the interviewer and the person being interviewed don't really understand unschooling. Who in their right mind would not understand the importance of knowing who our presidents were and what they stood for?
  • paganbaby
    January 22 at 11:18 AM

    I'm with Dayna Martin. While it's nice to know about our presidents and great works, I don't feel that it's absolutely necessary, especially if a child has no interest.

    That being said, there are numerous ways to cultivate a love of learning in almost any subject for a child. As a unschooler, I find myself being a tad more manipulative than I normally would be,lol. For example, money is a great way to spark an interest in presidents, many historic works can be found rewritten for kids or made into movies and history came alive for us thanks to the videos, Horrible histories and the book, Disgusting History.

    In the end, if you expose your child to a variety of topics and ideas, they will learn.

  • Chasing3
    January 22 at 11:26 AM

    well, I think the point can be made that there are tons of successful people in the world who don't know those names - because they grew up in Asia, EUrope, South America, Africa or wherever... I mean, they might know some of them vaguely. But we probably don't know ANY of their historical and political figures or authors or cultural icons - especially since we are so western and eurocentric in our culture in the US.

    But I think there is value in having some basic recognition of those names and simialr ones in history, science, literature, politics, etc that are important in your own culture, ya know? 

  • jen2150
    by jen2150
    January 22 at 11:52 AM
    I also wanted to add as unschoolers how important for us to be models for our children. We need to reawaken our thirst for knowledge. We also need to learn why history is important. If you don't understand why knowing about the presidents is important then you first need to discover why it is important. I find myself cringing every time an unschooler says something is not important for kids to know. I recognize there is a right time for everything. All information is important. It just might not be the right time. There is not a subject we have learned about that does not have a very good reason for learning the material. It is not what schools are teaching that I have a problem with but how they are teaching it.(as l0ng as it is accurate)
  • celtic77dragon
    January 22 at 12:10 PM

    I know that I posted the video (I did so as a source for where I got the quotes) AND I love a good broad discussion on a topic. However, I REALLY want to know if those quotes - her reply to that specific aspect of the topic is a good representation of how MOST unschoolers think.

    So your example was how your kids found that placemat and went off to learn more. However, what if your kids did NOT want to learn about the presidents - ever. Would you have the same philosophy that Dayna Martin does in that interview? 

    If you are an unschooler - Do you think it is necessary for your kids to learn some of the more common things that are taught (like the presidents)? Do you value this knowledge and how much so - enough to see that it was covered on some level? Do you think that there is some value to a child being exposed to something before them deciding beforehand that they do not like it? I am trying to ask some of the questions that Dayna Martin herself asked the interviewer and what the interviewer was asking her. 

     


    I was poorly taught in the public school system. I was considered too learning disabled to be in regular classes and was never exposed to MANY things that are commonly taught in the public schools. When I was a kid, I was a screw off in my classes (because I knew all of the material - we had to work at the average grade level of everyone in the resource room). I had to sneak INTO regular classes, I stole textbooks, I had to "run away" to the nearest library and bookstore, and I just would read everything I could get my hands on.  

    So when I first heard of unschoolers, I thought, "I can relate!" Then I heard and saw more... and went "oh, wait, no... that isn't really what I expected at all." I can't quite get a handle of what the philosophy is. It sounded like, by Dayna Martins above quotes, that she values them learning whatever it is that they want to learn even if that means that they never want to learn typical things that are taught in a "school".  

    I agree with you, I do not remember everything I read. I get annoyed by it! You spent all that time reading a resource and studying a topic - and it becomes some faded broke up memory. So I actually have composition books that I started YEARS ago that have the notes of each book that I have read - or on topics that I research. ((I know, I am unusual. lol.)) I have my kids create binders where they are in essence doing the same thing. They can flip through and have highlights of what we have learned, and it refreshes their memories. Another that I personally do, is make sure that some things I re-read up on. I figure that it is my duty to keep myself education. I tell my kids all the time"We can learn all of this, but it won't be worth a damn if you do not do the upkeep on it."

    I am constantly having to restrain myself from the urge to ping pong all over the place (I have a very ADHD type nature). I end up needing to step back and have a plan - an outline of sorts. Like right now I am learning about small engine repairs because of my dads business (he wants me to take it over at some point). I gravitate to certain aspects of it and end up kind of lost or messing something up. My exhusband who is a certified mechanic has to remind me sometimes, "You need to learn this in a certain order for a reason. You can't just go at it half cocked." It is the same reason that my kids have to cover certain subjects in stages that build on top of other concepts. So I have always wondered how unschoolers are handling this. 


    Sorry, I kind of wrote this as I had time, between doing other things. I hope it isn't too all over the place. It is hard to maintain my point and keep it concise when I am juggling other things. Plus, I am tired and about to go to bed (I work 3rd shift incase you are wondering why I am about to nap at noon, lol). 

    I hope all of this came off respectfully. It was indeed my intent here. 

    Quoting KickButtMama:



  • celtic77dragon
    January 22 at 12:19 PM

    I meant to address this in my LONG reply there (btw, sorry that you got slammed with that while you are already busy with moving). 

    I know there is a difference with unschoolers and radical unschoolers. I can't for the life of me figure out what it is though. I believe it is this video that says that unschooling is just regards to education and radical unschooling carries over into the parenting style. HOWEVER, when I googled this to make sure, I found that Sandra Dodd has a webpage full of quotes explaining the differences and the destinction between the two became blurry again.  

    So I decided to direct this post towards ALL unschoolers

    Quoting KickButtMama:

    First it's important to point out that she is a Radical Unschoolers, which is a fairly small population. 


  • paganbaby
    January 22 at 12:24 PM

    Well said!

    Quoting Chasing3:

    well, I think the point can be made that there are tons of successful people in the world who don't know those names - because they grew up in Asia, EUrope, South America, Africa or wherever... I mean, they might know some of them vaguely. But we probably don't know ANY of their historical and political figures or authors or cultural icons - especially since we are so western and eurocentric in our culture in the US.

    But I think there is value in having some basic recognition of those names and simialr ones in history, science, literature, politics, etc that are important in your own culture, ya know? 


  • paganbaby
    January 22 at 12:28 PM
    Quoting jen2150: I also wanted to add as unschoolers how important for us to be models for our children. We need to reawaken our thirst for knowledge. We also need to learn why history is important. If you don't understand why knowing about the presidents is important then you first need to discover why it is important. I find myself cringing every time an unschooler says something is not important for kids to know. I recognize there is a right time for everything. All information is important. It just might not be the right time. There is not a subject we have learned about that does not have a very good reason for learning the material. It is not what schools are teaching that I have a problem with but how they are teaching it.(as l0ng as it is accurate)

    There's a lot of information out there. What do you feel is absolutely necessary for kids to know?

  • usmom3
    by usmom3
    BJ
    January 22 at 12:30 PM

     Dana Martin is a very poor example of unschoolers!

     1 Because she is a radical unschooler!

     2 Because it has come to light in the past few years that she is a charlatan!

    Knowing who the past presidents are & the other people in the questions will be learned when the information is important to the child to know.

    My younger children (age 10 & 8) know who George Washington, William Shakespeare & Mark Twain are. They know who they are because they have been introduced to them through things like the Magic Tree House books & it made them curious to know more about them. They know more historically famous people then they do pop culture famous people!

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