Homeschooling/Unschooling

Mother - posted on 02/28/2012 ( 283 moms have responded )

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We've been homeschooling for about 4 years now. We love it. Does anyone else do this?? What are your opinions of unschooling?? Do any of you unschool??

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Merry - posted on 03/02/2012

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I feel there's. Big difference between a 5-9 yr old and a 15-18 yr old. My kids will have plenty of outside exoeriences even as little ones but until they're older they don't need to struggle with people degrading them daily or ruining their self image as little ones.

There's plenty of time to be picked on and learn how to survive. They don't need it perminently affecting them which is what I worry could happen when young kids are ridiculed or degraded.

The things Matt went through altered his outlook on life and not in a good way. I can't speak for others but in this one case it happened so it's valid in my thoughts.

Jodi - posted on 03/02/2012

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Well, teachers can be a positive role model in a student's life. It is important for children to have a variety of role models. As your children's mother, you shouldn't be striving to be their only role model. That isn't healthy.



Also, children need to learn life skills of dealing with people they don't particularly like or get along with. You shouldn't shelter them from that. I am not suggesting that you have to send them to school, but the same applies in any situation. You can't just keep them away from situations where there may be bad influences, or someone who hurts them or they don't like, because that isn't teaching them about real life at all.

Merry - posted on 03/02/2012

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I'm sorry Jodi, I always hear how much influence teachers can have, how much good they can do for kids, how they can be a positive role model and even change their students lives for the better.

Now I'm sure this is all true and I'm sure teachers can be really good influences to kids.

But if they can do all this then a bad one can also do a lot.

I hear from my husband the damage mean teachers did to him. And it may be the wrong word to say 'raise'

But my point was the teachers affect how the kids grow up, positively or negatively they have weight to pull and it could affect the child the rest of their lives.

That's too much influence for my personal comfort. You don't have to agree, but it's just how I think.

Odds are most teachers fall in the positive influence or neutral influence but there are kids who are damaged by a bad teacher and so that is ONE of my considerations.

It's not a diss on good parents who raise their kids well and will be able to help their kid overcome even a crappy teacher, I assume the kids who are most damaged are ones who have overworked parents or one parent who doesn't have the time to see the impact of a bad kid or bad teacher. And obviously if I sent my kids to school I'd be involved and watching their lives to help them overcome stuff but since I'm already planning on homeschooling I feel this is one of the perks.

There's less unknowns for the mom. I'll be with my kids more and not have as much time for them to hide pain.



I doubt I worded this well, so sorry in advance.

Jodi - posted on 03/02/2012

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"I don't want them spending so much time being raised by various teachers that I don't know well."



Actually, I take offence to this comment. Believe it or not, people who send their children to school are still raising their children. The teachers are NOT raising our children. If you think this, then you have the wrong concept of what school is AND the wrong concept of parenting.

Mrs. - posted on 03/02/2012

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The thought of homeschooling makes me have a panic attack while possibly holding back vomit in my mouth. I'm very good at some specific subjects, like say, the history of drama or music....but could barely scrap by with math and science. I actually do teach drama to children and adults, but that is not exactly a well-rounded education.



It scares me just to think about my child eventually asking me for help with math homework. She will probably pass me up in math around second grade. Thank God, my husband is really good at it.



One of my best friends growing up was home-schooled, along with her siblings. I'm not sure if her mother even graduated from high school. They were super religious and pulled their kids out because they felt the devil's influence was too strong at public school. In the summer and after school, when I was still fairly young, I would be at their house in a daycare like setting. I would sometimes listen to their lessons and do some of the activities. The lessons were generally bible lessons and the activities were teaching the girls how to iron, sew and other "women's work". That was my exposure to homeschooling.



It wasn't until I came on this site a couple years back that I realized that homeschooling was not like that for everyone. I was happy to hear that is the case, but I still feel it is not for me - ever.



I do think though, that there are probably still people out there who are like my childhood friend's mother. I know that they make the legitimate people look bad, but I think it is important to recognize that they are out there.

Merry - posted on 03/02/2012

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Phew ok I'm done! Lol. So, I feel half betwee homeschooling and unschooling as like I said I will have curriculum available.

Meme, this is all my personal belief, but if your daughter hadn't been forced into learning she likely would love it.

That's one of the things I hope to avoid, the hate or disinterest in learning. I think when it's all forced and determined by a curriculum and kids have no leeway at all to choose what they learn they feel so controlled that they hate it, or stop caring.

This is something I see here in Wisconsin public and private schools.

I want them to love learning and enjoy their lives, not feel like school is some evil place they're trapped in x amount of hours a day. Not like we force them to learn and punish them if they don't.

I want them empowered to expand their knowledge and I want to have all the tools ready for when they want them, herse some curriculum of sorts.

If they want to do history stuff all day fine! Or if they don't like writing and prefer typing then we will do computer skills. Just being flexible and sensitive to their individuality and specific desires.

I do not see this in schools here.

So yes there is an aspect of sheltering to my choice to homeschool.

I think sometimes schools have negative and perminent impact on kids. Turn them into rebellious kids, or introduce them to negative or violent things. I think kids aren't ment to be grouped in classes with kids all their own ages. This breeds tension and I don't think that's a good environment to learn in.

There's also a religious aspect to my choice to homeschool. I am all for teaching my kids about everyone else's beliefs, including evolution. But I don't want them being told that one set of beliefs is fact. They will learn about all cultures and beliefs.

If they express interest in a career that needs essays and college and tests then they wil learn how to do what they need to do to succeed in their chosen field.

But if they wish to be a chef like Tara mentioned, they don't need to know how to formulate a multiple choice test.

:)

I want to encourage them to broaden their interests too, not just help them focus on one interest to their own demise.

You can bet my kid won't be playing video games all day because he only likes that :)



Eric's not even 3 so I'm not into this just yet but I'm trying to get my thoughts formulated early so I'm ready.





Oh and I have absolutely no desire to be apart from my kids for 7 hours a day 5 days a week for most of the year. I don't want them spending so much time being raised by various teachers that I don't know well. Protective? Paranoid? Maybe a hit. But my kids are not going to be hindered by being taught at home, there's no reason they have to be taught by so many other adults.

I think one adult doing the teaching is really an advantage. I will know them better then anyone else could and if I'm teaching them all day there's no way some teacher who gets them 45min a day 5 days a week for one school year is going to be better at helping my kid learn then I am.



And no I don't have a degree in teaching. I don't need to know how to manage a class, I'm just helping my kids learn.

Merry - posted on 03/02/2012

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We will be homeschooling!

I never really considered sending my kids to school, we will be sort of unschooling, depending on how you define it.

No forced learning, no grading, no tests, we will have curriculum available and will encourage our kids to explore and learn and grow but we won't be forcing them to memorize and regurgitate facts.



Now I'll go read the 125 posts and post again later :)

Tracey - posted on 03/01/2012

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One thing I hear a lot from mentoring new homeschoolers myself: you *don't have to know everything to homeschool!* Teachers in schools do not just pull everything out of their heads! There are teacher's guides for a reason.



There are literally hundreds of curricula out there written just for the challenges of homeschooling, where classroom control isn't an issue (no busywork needed) but working one on one is. There are online classes, both free and paid; there are online schools which will do all the teaching for you; there are local co-ops all over the place. So it's NOT just you and your child at the kitchen table, and you desperately trying to remember what you know about decimals, gerunds, and the Spanish-American War. Not at all! There are plenty of online forums (http://thehomeschoollibrary.com is one really good one) and e-lists. *You will not be isolated unless that's what you really want*, and in that case you probably shouldn't homeschool, LOL!



In fact, there have now been several studies that have shown there is no difference in homeschooling outcomes when you look at the educational level the parent has achieved. We're all smart enough as adults to seek help when we don't know what we're doing, and these results reflect that.



Hope that helps!

Tracey - posted on 03/01/2012

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Kelly, I had an older unschooler whose kids are about 8 or so years older than mine who gave me a lot to think about.



We have tons of fun books and educational toys (not ones that play for the child {electronics} but ones that give the imagination space or let the child experiment. Most of our rooms are floor to ceiling books! I subscribe to a number of e-lists for homeschoolers, and sometimes online resources are shared, like one is a hands-on thing that lets kids play around with principles of physcis, but it's like a fun game and even preschoolers enjoy it.



But we do have rules: I still have to bring up my kids to be decent human beings. So they know proper manners and to shake hands upon being introduced (and boy, that one thing right there will make older people in particular just rave over your kids); they have chores they must do; they have time limits on computer and TV access.



We do lots of activities and field trips. I've exposed them to all kinds of things and people from the time they were born, really. If they show a fascination with something, I feed it. My son loves logic, Latin and German, for example, so we have Dr. Seuss books in Latin (as well as three different Latin courses); we have all kinds of books in German and two audio courses and a computer course; and we have several books on logic. When he was into pre-historic life, I bought as many books and toys as I could on things like mammoths and saber-tooth tigers.



I'm more of a facilitator than a teacher. And I'm still their mom, so they're going to hear about it if they go to bed with out doing the dishes, or picking up their clothes or whatever it is. And they're not allowed to sit all day on the couch watching TV, unless what they're watching is Jane Austen or National Geographic.



My mentor-friend's kids are now 1)employed college grad at age 21; 2)in college at age 16; and 3)taking high school classes through a co-op at age 14 (since age 13). She'd be the first to say they're not anything other than bright; not geniuses. She just didn't stand in the way of their learning.

Tracey - posted on 03/01/2012

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April, you might check into teaching at a co-op. Where my son is taking chemistry, I pay $80 per quarter directly to his teacher. There was a $65 fee for co-op expenses and building rental at the start of the year (it meets in a church) and a $10 lab fee then, too.



There are 17 kids in his class. She teaches 4 classes total, all with 17 kids in them. So she's making a nice little sum of money for teaching these kids one day a week!



My 12-year-old is a social butterfly. For several years she had daily ballet, and then this past year she had 5 months of cheerleading (can't afford pre-pro ballet at the moment and she'd always wanted to cheer) and that was 4-5 days/week. The thing is, in a formal classroom, what are the teachers always saying? "You can socialize on your own time!" "We're not here to socialize, people!" There really isn't a lot of socializing going on, except possibly in the lunchroom--if your child is even allowed to talk in the lunchroom. Some schools are going to silent lunches.



And in a formal school, your child can't really pick her friends. They're just thrown together. My kids have started a literature club and a teen club, and have made friends in sports and other activities. Because they're not forced together with these people, they've had good luck finding really good friends. It doesn't matter if you have 60 "friends" if 10% of them are trying to give you a swirly, 10% of them are trying to avoid swirlies by helping, and the other 80% are looking the other way. My kids, in contrast, have a number of friends where they all get along well (dozens in different activities), and each has a handful of really, really good friends, what you'd call "best friends", maybe 5 or so each.



It's too bad you're in one of the states that treats homeschoolers like criminals. Homeschoolers in some states have recently had good luck in getting those bad laws overturned. It can be done.

Mother - posted on 03/01/2012

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Kudos to you Tracey. I am in awe. And this all just happened naturally?? Did you use resources?? Man I'd love to hang out with you for a few months.

Tracey - posted on 03/01/2012

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We are unschoolish. I'm sharing what I do below not to brag, but to encourage you and provide some light. I know a lot of people who just can't fathom how it works.



My kids happen to like books of all kinds, including workbooks, and will ask for them sometimes! My kids are 15, 12, and 7 and have always been homeschooled. The 15-year-old really loves all academics, including math and science, and he's taking a chemistry class at a co-op this year, his first formal class. He's acing it. In fact, he got 100% on an in-class exam when he forgot his calculator and had to do all the math either in his head or longhand!



When the oldest two were 9 and 7, they went on a museum trip with other homeschoolers, and were divided into groups to play a scavenger hunt game the museum had put together. I'd tried working on handwriting with them when they were younger, but my son has fine motor control issues and it was a disaster--he was maybe a little young for it, too. But he was put in charge of writing for his group. He was embarrassed about his writing, and both of them came home asking for handwriting workbooks. Both worked through several years' worth of books that year. His handwriting his still kind of like a doctor's, but hers is gorgeous. She even started doing calligraphy at age 9.



She also has gotten very interested in medical history. So she can tell you about Hippocrates, and what leaches were used for, and Jonas Salk, and the connection between genes and germs and how viruses self-limit. May I repeat, she's *twelve*.



Both read on a jr. high level by age 8, and on a high school level by 10. My son actually tested beyond high school in reading at 10 1/2. My youngest just turned 7 and reads on a 4th grade level.



I would say go for it. When your kids start following their interests, they pick up all kinds of things they wouldn't otherwise.

Mother - posted on 03/01/2012

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So true Lisa. I worked a full time job and sometimes I took her with me but other times we just did it in the evening.

Minnie - posted on 03/01/2012

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Just to bring up a point someone made about not being able to homeschool due to working full-time- I agree for many it's a huge hurdle, but it's not a complete write-off- I'll be going to school full time starting next week and we have no intentions to stop home schooling.



The beauty of homeschooling is that it's supremely flexible and so much can get done in such a small amount of time.

Mother - posted on 03/01/2012

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What curriculum do you use Renee? Or do you use one? I know many don't. Just curious. I'm happy with our progress but one can never have too much information.

Renee - posted on 03/01/2012

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We've been a homeschool family for ten years and love it. I currently have children Kindergarten through 10th grade. All score well above average on their yearly testing.

April - posted on 03/01/2012

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I am SO on the fence about homeschooling! I know there are homeschool associations that can be joined and clubs (such as 4-H, Ice Skating, Horseback riding), but the actual studying at home with just Mom sounds kind of lonely. I have a teaching degree and I think I'd be good at it, but I worry that what if I am not enough? What if my child needs to be surrounded by 25+ kids everyday?



The other thing is that my State is super super strict about homeschoolers. An actual curriculum has to be turned in and they send someone to check on you at home. There are all kinds of forms that have to be filled out/paperwork/red tape. You must let the school know you will be homeschooling and I believe the school board has to approve of the curriculum. It's crazy!



Another concern is the finanical hardships we would have. If I used my degree to teach other people's kids (oh the irony!), my son and future children would reap the benefits financially aka I would be able to help them pay for college.

Mother - posted on 03/01/2012

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http://everythinghomeschooling.com/



this is a great site for homeschoolers but I think the unschoolers might find interesting stuff here. There is a yearly fee but it is cheapie cheapie. Online field trips...lessons plans for everyday for every grade right up to Grade 12.



A great resource.

Mother - posted on 03/01/2012

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We use this as a Geography project. When we receive a post card from a different Country, we then learn about it. Once people find out we homeschool they usually are very helpful and supply info from their town and Country. Probably better for older kids. ...~kelly



Postcards connecting the world

www.postcrossing.com

Mother - posted on 03/01/2012

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That's awesome Jen. Have you ever heard of Math U See?? We've had great luck with it.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/01/2012

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Rebecca, what I took in High School is so distant I don't know if I could even come close to knowing some of the things I learnt then now. That was 18 years ago.. ;)



Teacher's have to go to University for a reason. So, they can learn the techniques of teaching and get a master's in education.



I agree with Laura. For those that are successful, that's wonderful. I for one could not do it, especially once they were in the high grades. Too much has changed since I was in school.



ETA: And I have lost WAY too many brain cells since then! LOL

Sherri - posted on 03/01/2012

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I struggled in school my 17yrs of school, in virtually most subjects. I got through but had to work ten times as hard just to maintain C's. There is no way I could benefit my kids on any level by homeschooling them and I wouldn't even begin to try. Public school is the best option for them and me. They will get an amazing education and won't be held back because of what I don't know or understand.

Johnny - posted on 03/01/2012

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Being in a home where physics is discussed on a regular basis, it's still hard. It takes a lot for me to understand the concepts that get discussed when one of my husband's co-workers stops by for dinner. I do a lot of smiling and nodding. But perhaps I'm just a total moron ;-P

Isobel - posted on 03/01/2012

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That's kinda my point though...I had trouble figuring out how to help my kids learn to divide...it's just intuitive now, I have no idea how to teach them the process.



For those of you who successfully homeschool, my hat is off to you.

[deleted account]

I think the key for teaching anything is the requirement that you understand what you are teaching. Even if you remember Physics as being hard in high school, you might not find it hard now.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/01/2012

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I took Calculus and that was some scary stuff, scary like HARD! I could not teach anyone that, let alone myself, thank god I had someone that knew what they were talking about. ;)

Johnny - posted on 03/01/2012

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By the time we got to grade 12 physics we were expected to already have a full comprehension of the basics like levers, gravity etc. I didn't take calculus, so Physics 12 was by far my most challenging high school course. I suspect that my husband and I will be supplementing a lot of what my daughter is learning at school, depending on her area of interest. My husband is a physicist and is excellent at explaining and teaching it, along with more complex maths. I am strong at the social sciences and languages. But while I can imagine working to supplement what my child is learning, I just can't see us teaching her at home being the better option.

Isobel - posted on 03/01/2012

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I have to disagree with whoever said physics would be easy...I took grade 12 physics and it was an absolute nightmare...everything is completely counter intuitive, it may be easy to teach levers and pullies but that's grade one and two...understanding how gravity works is some complicated shit

[deleted account]

Thanks, Laura. I know he will need a deep understanding of math at higher levels than I learned to become an architect, and that was one of the reasons we chose not to do straight homeschooling. Even if I did ever decide to pull him from traditional school, he would HAVE to have someone other than me to teach him anything beyond the basic maths. I struggled in maths a lot, and still I get confused with it. Even if I could learn it myself, I doubt I would have enough understanding to teach it to someone else.



Basic physics and geometry, I am okay with, but when it moves on to calculating how much stress you can put on a certain angle, why domes are stronger than flat ceilings, and calculating length of levers in relation to weight, I get confused. I know the theories, and the ratios, but not how to do the calculations....and I never even touched on calculus.

[deleted account]

I think Physics would be one of the easiest subjects to homeschool -- levers, gravity, etc. ---- SO many easy things at home you can do. Calculus would be difficult if you struggled with it.



I hear you on the lack of regs, Laura -- in Michigan, there really are no rules. You don't have to register that you are homeschooling. You don't have to file reports, or test scores, or have home visits. Heck, you don't even have to have a bachelor's degree. It's kind of scary.



However, one nice thing Michigan does have is the partial enrollment. If I end up homeschooling past 5, I will definitely take advantage of it. It allows homeschooled kids to participate in "non-essential" subjects at their local public school (e.g., art, foreign languages, music, gym). So you can do the basics at home, but take them in for the specialty classes, which is nice. You can also have them take the State testing at the school with the rest of the students.

Mother - posted on 03/01/2012

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For the homeschooler and unschoolers: Even tho we follow a curriculum for Math. Kids still get bored to pieces. I found a great video game that quizzes them on math in order for them to advance. It only use to be multiplication but now they have adding, subtraction and division. there is a free full version or you can purchase a version that let's you change the backgrounds and stuff.



http://www.bigbrainz.com/

Jen - posted on 03/01/2012

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@laura they have a great set of math videos called mathtutordvd this guy does videos from everything from algebra to circuit theory. And he's not dry at all. But i agree doing it yourself would be hard for most people.

Isobel - posted on 03/01/2012

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I stand corrected, just one higher math or physics. I always thought architecture was a mostly technical job but I guess it depends what kind.



Still...I couldn't imagine trying to teach calculus OR physics, but that's just me.

Jen - posted on 03/01/2012

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@laura the only math required for those programs is calc 1. And usually it's a more elementary class than the ones math majors get.

Isobel - posted on 03/01/2012

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Kelly, and this is totally coming from a friendly place...if your kid wants to be an architect he's going to have to take LOT of higher maths ;)

[deleted account]

I think homeschooling is a wonderful option if you are prepared and equipped to take it on. We are currently having issues at J's school with the "factory model" of education, which did push us to look at homeschooling, but, like Jenni, I do not feel I am equipped to educate J entirely.



We do sort of a compromise, at the moment.



We are part of our local home school association, and I incorporate a lot of the homeschooling and unschooling methods and ideals into our lives outside of school. I know there are the religious nuts, but in our area, this seems to be a very small minority, in fact, most of the homeschoolers and unschoolers I know are very liberal and very open about learning different religions. There is even a religion "course" going on right now, taught by two of the moms where the kids visit different churches, experience the ceremonies--not just on Sundays, but all through the week-- speak to the leaders, and do activities that teach them the basics of each belief. It's kind of cool.



J is into architecture. He's loved it since he was 3, and has wanted to be an architect since he learned what one was about 4 years ago. Obviously, very little architecture is covered in the public school's First Grade curriculum, so we supplement with trips to famous buildings, we read about different architects, their buildings, their contributions. We visit history museums to look at cultural architecture, etc. etc.



At this time, I don't think being at school is harming him, but I agree wholeheartedly that school alone is insufficient. Also, like MeMe, I need the break from him. I may not work full time, but I do have my own interests and my own life outside of J. Plus, I use the time he is at school to plan the lessons I will do with him outside of school. I am not good at coming up with activities on-the-spot like many of the homeschooling and unschooling moms that I know--I need my planning time, and if J were with me 24/7, I don't know how I would get it.

Jodi - posted on 03/01/2012

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Quoting Rebecca:

"To me, public schools represent what I call the "factory model of education". It treats most kids as being the same, the same facts are thrown at them, they are tested on them, and promptly forgotten."



I can see your point, and this is why what I have seen of the Australian education system may be different to what you are experiencing. Our teachers are taught to teach the child, not the subject. So while we have a curriculum (representing the *what*), we are encourage to become student centred in teaching it (the *how*), ensuring that all (or most) students have their learning styles recognised.



The "factory model" of education you refer to is very much of the Industrial Age, and education her is moving beyond that, to a more individualised approach, and an approach that is not simply about teaching knowledge, but about teaching skills and teaching children HOW to learn, rather than just cramming them full of *stuff*. Yes, they are still assessed, but they are assessed at various levels, not just by an exam at the end to test their knowledge, because ultimately, knowledge is not the primary goal.

Stifler's - posted on 02/29/2012

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Exactly the lack of regulation also. Kids deserve an education I feel for the kids of the crazy people who don't make sure their kids learn anything or just do it to keep them away from society.

Isobel - posted on 02/29/2012

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I don't think it's even the lack of curriculum...I actually think that part is awesome!



My problem comes in with the lack of regulation. As I have said many times, a LOT of you mothers are WONDERFUL educators (far better than I would be) but...as we all know, not all homeschoolers fit into your catagory.



There are also a LOT of crazy nutbar homeschoolers who are abusing the term and ruining it for you, and therefore, somehow we need to make sure that homeschooled children are not just falling off the map.

Stifler's - posted on 02/29/2012

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I'm not against homeschooling most people aren't. It's the unschooling with absolutely no curriculum thing that people are questioning. I don't think that's legal here anyway if you homeschool I think you have to send work away to be graded to make sure your kid is up to scratch with knowledge for their age.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 02/29/2012

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Rebecca, I think it is great if a Mom can do it and do it well. I don't see an issue with it what so ever. I don't agree with it but that's only because I could never do it and I really support our public school system.



However for your question Do you really believe that your kids have to be separated from you for 6 hours a day to learn to read, write and perform math? Yes, I do! ;) It is in their best interest and mine... ;) Or I just might wring their necks! LOL Also, some parents have full time jobs. I know I do. I spent years in a secondary education so that I could have the career I wanted. Keeping my kids home was not a part of that plan.



I see it is for some. Kudo's to each of you!

[deleted account]

Wow -- lots of hostility here. I'm surprised there is so much venom towards moms who are chosing to educate their kids differently. To add to the list of homeschoolers, I will be homeschooling my twins next year. It's not because I don't want them to experience "other" people or because I'm a religious nut -- it's because it is the best (and only) choice for them. I have three college degrees and teach college classes myself - I'm pretty sure I can handle teaching to 4 YOS the kindergarten and first grade curriculum. There is certainly a crazy religious nut aspect to a lot of homeschoolers, but there are also many parents who do it because it is the best choice for their kids.



Historically, all kids were homeschooled -- it's really not that radical of a concept. Do you really believe that your kids have to be separated from you for 6 hours a day to learn to read, write and perform math? I know I don't. To me, public schools represent what I call the "factory model of education". It treats most kids as being the same, the same facts are thrown at them, they are tested on them, and promptly forgotten. I would rather have learning integrated into their daily lives with a depth and texture that makes retaining it simplistic. For example, for math today, we talked about spheres, cones, cylinders, cubes, and rectangular prisms. For lunch, I reinforce those concepts by having them point out the shapes in what we were eating (e.g., the blueberries and grapefruit are spheres). Obviously, if your child is learning-adverse and has no interest in anything, homeschooling and unschooling wouldn't be for them. But my kids are interested in everything!

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 02/29/2012

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I am not trying to diss anyone here, simply because I have yet to really research and get to "know" so to speak unschooling. I can say this though, if it was my kid she would know absolutely nothing right now, at the age of 13.5. If she had the choice she would prefer to NOT learn. I would have to force her and it would be a battle of the wills, one that I honestly cannot say I would win.



Right now from what I do understand, which is public schools. Schools are formed from research. They research what kids "need" to know and by what age is appropriate. My daughter is an A/B student and always has been. I am afraid she would be far lost if it wasn't for a structured schooling system. However, with that said, I am also not one that has the patience either. I HATE homework when it comes home. I definitely help her but the "I don't know how to" or "This stuff SUCKS" attitude really gets my blood going... No way could I do that daily. Maybe it is her ADHD, maybe it is me, maybe it is a mixture. IDK



Oh and on the bullying note. No teacher or kid would bully mine because they know I am CRAZY! LOL



ETA: If you are able to properly teach and guide your child to learn everything they possibly should so that they are prepared for life. So that they have enough knowledge and preparation to suceed in anything at all, whether it move on to University (I don't agree with University per se, anyhow, even though I spent time in one) or College (now your talkin) or whatever they choose. Then I say go for it, just don't do it to segragate them. They NEED life experiences AWAY from home, they NEED tons of friends to figure out who they are and where they sit in life. That is the biggest part to me. That they get to develop inwardly and outwardly as they should... ;)

Tara - posted on 02/29/2012

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Dr. Carlo Ricci, from Nippsing university here in Ontario has a youtube channel on unschooling and is the author of many published papers regarding homeschooling.

Here's a link to his page...

http://jual.nipissingu.ca/index.asp



I think he is one of the most forward thinking, current and informed people I know when it comes to unschooling. Here's his a bit from his biography...



I currently teach in the faculty of education's graduate program at Nipissing University . I try to incorporate the spirit of unschooling, democratic and learner centered principle's in all of my classes. Everything of value that I have learned, I have learned outside of formal schooling. I have never taken a course in school connected to what I now teach and write about. I have taught in elementary and high school. I have also taught in undergraduate, teacher education programs and graduate programs. My personal schooling experience as a student and later as a teacher has inspired me to revolt against institutional schooling. I continue to heal from the wounds inflicted on me by formal schooling.



More specifically, I taught at the University of Toronto and currently teach at Nipissing University in the Faculty of Education.



My research interests has included the following: the erosion of democracy in our education system and advocating for its revitalization, teaching literacy using the spirit of Paulo Freire's pedagogical assumptions, democratic education, critical theory, holistic education, social justice issues, alternative schools, unschooling, assessment and evaluation, the double cohort, and the negative impact of standardized testing.



The areas in which I has written and published include preservice education, the negative impact of standardized testing, democratic education, literacy, teaching English, assessment and evaluation, the turnaround program, unschooling, alternative education, the negative impact of technology in the classroom, and the double cohort.



For more information on me please visit my website at http://www.nipissingu.ca/education/carlo... . Please note that I am in the process of making all of my published writing available for free at this site. As well, I can be contacted at carlor@nipissingu.ca .



Anyone else need any information I am always willing to help out. Remember too, I have been doing this for a long long time. My oldest child is 18, is ready for college but chooses to work in his field of choice rather than pay for an expensive education to do what he loves: Cook!! He is a prep chef working his way up.. he loves his life, he loves that he was unschooled and he loves that he has made the choices he has made and he loves that we gave him all the tools he needs to have in order to learn whatever he chooses to..



:) That is all. Carry on.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 02/29/2012

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***MOD WARNING***



Glad you guys have kissed and made up, but lets cool it with the personal attacks and bickering. Let's keep this thread on track or it will get locked. I have had to delete a comment. Thanks.



~Little Miss~

[deleted account]

Before reading any responses (don't you love it when someone does that?)... I could NEVER homeschool. I love my kids, but I'm good w/ doing the 24/7 thing for about 3 years... then I NEED some time and space... and since I'm a single mom now... my son going to preschool twice a week is the ONLY time I get that time and space away from a kid or three. That being said... I supplemented/supplement my kids schooling at home. Pretty much the only things my girls learned in preschool were to count to 20 (they could already count to 100, but always skipped 14 and 16) and how to write the first letter of their names. ♥ They've always been near the tops (or at the tops) of their classes and I'm very happy w/ their education so far.... and they are their little brother's biggest teachers now. ♥



I do have mixed feelings on homeschooling... you have people like my ex who were 'taught' by someone who is dyslexic and really didn't have the answers to the kids questions. Then there are homeschooled kids like a boy my dad had in his class for a few months who gets straight A's.... Unschooling.... I can see some benefits for the preschool and kindergarten ages, but after that I really think a lot more structure is needed. The world we live in is structured and you have to follow a LOT of it in order to survive this crazy world.

Mother - posted on 02/29/2012

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Ya know what?? I'm sorry too. When you come under constant fire DAILY, sometimes we enter a situation biased. We enter the conversation already on the defense. There are a lot of preconceived notions about our style of learning.....maybe I need to have a rehearsed explanation that is more CLEAR for situations when I get my girdle in a twist and can't speak. That way when I'm pissy....I'm not just delivering unrecognizable verbal diarrhea!!

Isobel - posted on 02/29/2012

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You know what Kelly? I'm going to apologize for getting angry. I truly meant my comments where I said that you would probably be a good teacher. I mistakenly thought you meant you would let your kid skip what they didn't want to learn when you said it wasn't important. I assume now that that isn't the case (at least I hope so).



When people say that they don't think things are important for their child to have to learn, it gets my goat because I have been witness to SO many home schoolers who don't intend to teach their child things that THEY don't think are important...like math or evolution, and that sends me off the deep end because it is severely limiting to the children IMHO.



I do suggest that you look into what kind of tests are required to enter college and make sure that they have all the strategies necessary to pass them. Other than that, whatever way your children learn best is how they learn best.

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