Erin - posted on 06/19/2011
Loureen you may be right about the creative vs analytical brain. I don't have a creative bone in my body. I also had no problems excelling in a mainstream learning environment (I went to a Gifted & Talented school). I'm sure those two factors play a big role in why unschooling seems unrealistic to me.
Oh and when I talk about unschooling, I am more specifically referring to older children (say primary aged - 8ish+). I agree it's a good way to introduce new concepts to small kids. I don't believe in structured learning for little ones (under shool aged).
Charlie - posted on 06/19/2011
Every single one of you who take an active part in providing opportunities for your toddler or infant to learn through play are unschooling ...That is another thing , it starts at birth.
The ones who would appeal more to this type of learning would be the creative types although an analytical mind would also do very well , it is much more than just child lead learning it is instigation , inspiration and responsibility upon the parent to provide a variety of learning opportunities to make sure all areas are covered through the interest of the child , nearly every lesson can be incorporated into life experience or play and almsot every subject can be used as an inspiration for that learning.
Erin - posted on 06/19/2011
When I look at my opinions on all things parenting, I fall into the moderately crunchy category (not that it's necessary to categorise of course). But I can't wrap my head around unschooling. Homeschooling with child-led learning? Awesome. But I understand unschooling to take that a step further, where the child has total control over what they learn.
I just can't see how that is preparing them for the realities of either university or employment. It's one thing to focus on a child's interests, and use that to their advantage in teaching an array of subjects. It's quite another to ignore a subject completely because they don't like it or don't get it.
I actually had an argument once with Woman Uncensored (some of you may read her) after she posted the testimony of an adult who had been unschooled. This guy was the most self-entitled, irresponsible, immature asswipe I'd ever seen, and far from what I would want for the poster child of a cause/ideology I was pushing. I realise he was only one person, but it absolutely turned me off.
Charlie - posted on 06/18/2011
Unschooling is great for the right individual with a parent who knows how to do it correctly .
The big difference between formal education and unschooling is that formal education tends to be result driven where as unschooling focuses on the process of learning .
It may seem like doing nothing but there ( is meant to be ) method to it , I could call what I do with my two boys unschooling , it is essentially child lead learning , I give them opportunity to learn through play everyday , we cook and they learn maths , measurement , sensory development amongst other things , they paint when I leave paints and leaves out in the playroom and they enhance theri creativity , we read every night and they learn literacy, we do puzzles and they are enhancing their cognitive development
*some* people learn best through hands on experiences , through life and all kids learn through play
I strongly believe in the philosophy behind it however there are SOME people who sould NOT be allowed to unschool or homeschool for that matter ...those are the ones that use it to push their agenda but when done properly .........it is beautiful in fact Reggio , Italy has a whole early learning system in schools based on this very idea .
There is a misunderstanding surrounding unschooling based on how the media portrays it by using the most contraversial types but really it is a flexible , children , it keeps the childs interest by not being so bland ...... when done right it is a rich source of education.
Education isnt a one size fits all and that is one thing I dont like about the overly structured set up of formal schooling and while I know this type of schooling is suitable for some children it really isnt for all children. As long as all of those responsible for teaching the child or is responsible for enriching their childs education take it seriously and keep in mind it is about the childs education then things should work out no matter what style you choose .
Lady Heather - posted on 06/18/2011
I think if you don't sit down and study algebra, you are going to have a hard time being super choosey with your career selection. I am all for quite a bit more flexibility and exploration when it comes to the more social sciences and history and stuff because if you are missing one piece, you can still learn. But if you are missing one piece of math, you are going to have a really hard time filling in later. My husband is an engineer. No way in hell would he have got in to his university program without really sound knowledge of math. And forget actually doing the coursework. While one might argue that a kid who chooses that career in the end is going to show interest as a child too, that isn't always the case. I certainly didn't end up doing what I had planned. I changed my mind between 18 and 19 years old. Thank goodness I had knowledge of basic language, math and science so that I was able to have my choice of post-secondary study.
I might add, subtract, multiple, divide and work with fractions and percentages and such in my daily life. I don't do calculus. It's hard to work that stuff in to the everyday. That's my fear - that un-schooling in every subject would be limiting later on. I know this is kind of unrelated, but a couple years back I believe it was, Alberta decided that their students were going to be allowed to opt out of learning about evolution for religious reasons. And all I could think was "ummm...what if the kid wants a career in biology?". Catching up later on will be that much more difficult and confusing. Take it from the girl who didn't do physics in high school and needed it later. If I hadn't taken the other maths and sciences it might have been too much for me or I might have had to re-take it at the very least. I don't know. I don't like educational limits. Trusting a child to figure out what they need to know is pretty risky.
Becky - posted on 06/18/2011
I don't know a whole lot about it. I have a few friends who do it -although the one I have who is most into it, her kids are still very young. Only one of them is school-aged even. They travel all over the place. It does sound like they have a lot of fun! My concern though is, if you don't follow any formal curriculum, then, if your child should want to pursue a university education, will they meet the admission standards? That is what I would worry about. I know university isn't the be all and end all, but if you want to become a doctor or lawyer or something like that, you kinda need it!
Not sure how this will go thru as I just deactivated my account. This is Becky. None of my children have gone on to college however 2 are giving it some thought. All 4 have responsible jobs, 2 are in retail management. They have no problems in social settings. They also continue to learn on their own, which I believe is the most important thing.
Becky, do you mind me asking what your children are doing now? Are they receiving a post secondary education? Do they have successful careers? Just really curious to know how things turned out and what you mean when you suggest that your learning style was a huge success.
Hope you don't mind me picking your brain.
When I home schooled my kids I guess you might say I came down in the middle between home schooling and "un-schooling". My kids had to learn the basic "3 R's", "readin' ritin' and 'rithmatic", however when it came to subjects such as history or science I was a bit freer with how we learned. Lots of nature walks, fun experiments, playacting, museum visits, the list could go on. We had lots of fun visuals in our school room and tons of books on every subject you can imagine. I wanted to make learning fun and create life-long learners. My kids are now all in their 20's and I believe our learning style was a huge success.
Lady Heather - posted on 06/18/2011
I think unschooling would have worked for me but I was pretty much the weirdest kid ever. I actually wanted to learn about sentence structure and fractions. If you had tried to unschool my little brother though...he'd be an illiterate expert of WWF (I think it's WWE now?) moves.
Yeah, letting the kids choose what they do or don't want to learn/do is more what I was thinking by lack of structure.... Granted, that CAN work to a point, but what if the kid flat out doesn't want to do math (as an example)... ever.
Admittedly I've never researched unschooling, so my opinion of it may be off.
It's not so much the lack of structure that bothers me. I'm cool with mixing up the day and going with the flow. My issue is the lack of education. The examples that I've seen on tv show parents allowing their children to chose tv over reading and not teaching algebra to their teens because the teens don't feel they need it. But I also realize that tv tends to sensationalize things...so...
From what I've seen of un-schooling on the news, I don't like it. I'm sure those are extreme cases though. I'd love to see effective un-schooling in action. I'm sure it could be a wonderful thing. So I'm kind of on the fence but leaning more towards 'no'.
Krista - posted on 06/18/2011
Personally, I have no issue with home-schooling or un-schooling, or whatever kind of schooling....
AS LONG AS the parents ensure that their children are prepared to function in the society in which they live, and that they have the skills and knowledge to qualify for post-secondary education, if that is the route they choose to take.
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