My husband is unsure about unschooling...

Rhoda - posted on 01/29/2009 ( 6 moms have responded )




My husband is unsure about unschooling. He thinks that we don't do anything at all...and that our kids need more structure in order to survive in this world. I lost my confidence for awhile because of his complaints and tried to develop a more structured, curriculum based 'learning' time. My kids thought it was great fun at first, but then soon lost interest and I found myself yelling at them to get them to do 'school'. I have since chucked the whole idea of structured homeschooling (although, I must say it works fine for some least on the surface). I find that we have much more fun together as a family, my kids learn more, and are more interested in learning the unschooled way. How many mothers can say thier kids wake them up in the morning in order to learn more math...and the mother has to make sure they've made their beds first and their room is clean? However, I am struggling to return to the interest level that they had BEFORE we went structured. It seems, even though it was just a few months of it, they were deeply affected by the demands of a curriculum. I was discouraged as well and I am just wondering if there are other mothers out there whose husbands disagree with thier homeschooling method... My children's education has not suffered 1st and 2nd graders are reading at almost a 5th grade level and beginning 3rd grade math. My preschoolers are starting to read and write words (other than their name). How can I convince him that this method is going to work?


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[deleted account]

My husband is less skeptical a year later now but still not sure about it. His biggest concerns when we finally sat down and talked about them were reading, writing (spelling) and arithmatic. In an effort to address his concerns while not "schooling" my kids I dug into my creative mind and came up with some pretty useful ideas. I started asking the kids if they wanted to chat with our friends and family online...they LOVE this. I bought a spongebob typing game...another opportunity to read, spell and type...I LOVE this game. I found some math games for the computer that they love. I started asking them to help me more...I have not had any problem with this approach...the love to help with just about anything. Things like making a list to go to the store, helping me see how much money I have in my purse, how much we have to get at the store and what things will have to take priority. I pick things up and read anything that is written on it out loud. At first it was just me but eventually the kids started doing it as like with most kids they learn most freely when they are just given the opportunity to mimic the things they see most. Like walking and learning to talk...No one had to tell them to learn those things...they wanted to do them naturally because everyone around them was doing them on a day to day, moment to moment basis. My son has recently started asking me to drill him on multiplication...I had asked him to do some math sheets the one day just cuz I was curious where he was at, he said sure, did them and then a few days later asked me while we were in the grocery store to do some multiplication drilling. We did and now it has turned into a game. Sometimes he will just all the sudden tell me "multiply time" and then we do mulitplication drills. All the kids get into it cuz they get so excited cuz he gets into it with such enthusiasm. It is fun to see my 3 and 4 year old get so excited about does NOT matter that the reality is that what they are really excited about it repeating the right answer after theeir brother does so they can jump up and down and feel awesome cuz they got it right. Eventually that will happen enough times they will actually "know" the answer because they have heard it so many times. And sooo many other ways that can't possibly be listed here.

Anyway...don't give up, keep asking him how he feels and exactly what he is concerned about and then get creative!!

Good luck to you and your family!!

[deleted account]

try promising when they fall to 'average' education levels you will look into stepping up the pace. After all it is hard to argue with results..and if your kids are passing the tests and showing him amazing knowledge than he really can't complain too much can he?

If he still fights try writing what you did after the fact, rather than before, at the end of the week he may be surprised at how much learning you got through without having to make a lesson plan.

You also might find out just what he wants them to learn? he prolly doesn't know, but if he does come up with something a compromise (with the children's knowledge, though do support your husband - we feel you need to know this now) of going over that particular topic might help.

[deleted account]

talking with your husband about your education philosophy and goals is a great way to get his imput regarding your child's education. Don't forget to include your kids in these discussions...they may have goals and interests that are not your own or maybe haven't even thought of...i believe we as unschooling parents need to also lower our expectations about what our children "should" be doing or learning.

When a husband or partners philosophy does not quite mesh with ours, an open ecletic approach can usually be found.

[deleted account]

I found it very helpful when my skeptical husband questioned about homeschooling to first,  show respect for his concerns, and then take time to discuss what our mutual goals are for our kids' education. 

We, for example, agreed that we want our children to learn what they need so they want to serve the Lord in whatever capacity God has them.  Now, when the inevitable "why doesn't the 9 year old have her times-tables memorized" conversations come up, we go back to those goals, and realize that as long as their hearts are toward learning and serving, they are on the right track.

Tammy - posted on 02/15/2009




When I quit "structured" schooling and went more "unschooling" I learned I had to give my kids a good down time for a few weeks. Literally just let them play and get everything out of their system, it's like they had been sick and needed to get well.

And my husband used to be very leary of unschooling also. I kept a journal of everything each child learned everyday without "doing" school. It helped him see that they really were picking up a lot! I also make sure to keep lots of school like workbooks around the house for the kids to use at their own leisure. My husband likes that they have them available, but I don't push them being used. It keeps us both happy. :)

[deleted account]

Take a look at this link and try to get your husband to read some too.

You may never convince may be best to talk with him about what his concerns and anxieties are and to try to find consensual agreements. Remember that men just think and learn differently from us moms...Structure and routine seem to be the one thing that trips people up regarding unschooling...actually if you think about it your family has established a more natural and unique structure and routine that may or may not resemble another family. And if it doesn't resemble school routines...well then that is a good thing right?

About finding your child's level of interest again...depending on how structured and strict you got in your "curriculum" period...your children are more than likely going through a deschooling time.

Give them space and time and all the tools and resources you can find to follow their interests.

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