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    Joined: Mar 2013
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    Originally Posted by HowlerKarma
    That said, I tend to think rather strongly that there are some foundation skills that don't seem all that useful in and of themselves, and which few children are intrinsically motivated to master... but which make higher learning later pretty easy by comparison with those who DID NOT master them.

    Could you elaborate on what skills you mean? I *want* to be an unschooler, but I do "push" (as in "require DS to work on") reading, math and Japanese (his father's language). I think that other things like history or art and so on can be more unschooled rather than the basics. But our core group of friends are primarily unschoolers, so I always feel like such a brute.

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    And to answer the question...

    For us, we have a few things that we ask DS5 to do, like practice writing, or read or do some math. Then I try to stay pretty active, as he learns best interacting with others and being out in the world (since he's not really a reader yet). It's exhausting.

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    Is there a term for un-after-schooling? Cos I think that's what we're doing smile

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    I'd make sure that your kid has deadlines at least for some things before he/she starts college classes. I work at a small college and many of the faculty roll their eyes when they hear about a home-schooled kid because there is a good chance that the student will be unable to follow instructions for assignments that are listed in the syllabus and/or turn things in on time. As your child approaches readiness for college, I would advise creating specific assignments with deadlines, including some that your child will learn from but would not have chosen independently.

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    Some may say this book is the ultimate unschooling guide: http://www.amazon.com/The-Teenage-Liberation-Handbook-Education/dp/0962959170, by Grace Llewellyn. Other resources include http://www.freechild.org/unschooling.htm

    Parents choosing an unschooled approach to their child's education may wish to keep accurate records of lessons and activities, extracurriculars and roles (especially active participant and leadership roles). A supporting portfolio may also be helpful.

    When considering application to high schools or colleges, there are books such as http://www.amazon.com/What-Schools-Other-Parents-toKnow/dp/0452289521, and http://www.amazon.com/What-Colleges-Dont-Other-Parents/dp/0452288541 offering advice on essays and "packaging".

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    Originally Posted by lilmisssunshine
    Originally Posted by HowlerKarma
    That said, I tend to think rather strongly that there are some foundation skills that don't seem all that useful in and of themselves, and which few children are intrinsically motivated to master... but which make higher learning later pretty easy by comparison with those who DID NOT master them.

    Could you elaborate on what skills you mean? I *want* to be an unschooler, but I do "push" (as in "require DS to work on") reading, math and Japanese (his father's language). I think that other things like history or art and so on can be more unschooled rather than the basics. But our core group of friends are primarily unschoolers, so I always feel like such a brute.

    I think it strongly depends upon the kid, honestly-- at least in the specifics, it does.

    What I saw most pointedly when we homeschooled in much the way that Madoosa describes is that my DD (headstrong is an understatement) figured out that she could simply REFUSE to do anything that wasn't easy and pleasant and already at "expert" level. If she wasn't instantly "good at" whatever it was-- she refused to try it ever thereafter, using every passive resistance trick in the book.

    That's okay when they are 3-7yo, but as another poster noted, being entirely autonomous and refusing to, say... learn any new math concepts, or practice written expression... well, that's not so cool.

    Unfortunately, HG+ kids are highly inventive in using their astonishing academic STRENGTHS to mitigate and skirt those areas which are not such extreme strengths.

    This is precisely what my DD did when we homeschooled. Not having anyone but me telling her "you need to learn how to do this thing" was simply not motivation enough to even TRY. We were pretty inventive about finding ways to make learning interesting and fun, btw-- it wasn't that we weren't providing the right kinds of challenges or opportunities, so much as that she so strongly preferred to TALK and to READ that she simply turned her nose up at anything else. In fact, she was quite defiant about the fact that she simply wasn't going to do those things. At all.



    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.
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    I haven't seen any studies on children who were raised with un-schooling and their success in the "real world".

    If someone can point to a study showing that this method is NOT detrimental to future success, I may consider it a legitimate course of study. But my gut reaction is one of, "This is semi-neglectful."

    Would you consider un-schooling your child from K-12? Really?? What if you are not highly educated and able to identify any "gaps"?

    What of social issues, especially in the teen years?

    Where are the testimonials of wholly un-schooled children who have made a success of themselves (able to self-sustain)?

    This is interesting:
    Astra Taylor on the Unschooling Life


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    I'm not closed to the idea of uncschooling, but am near to it. I see the value in children learning to take responsibility for their own learning. However, I strongly suspect that children aren't generally up to the task, for the simple reason that a child, no matter how gifted, lacks experience and can't see the big picture(s) that an adult can see. Picking a class? Great. An entire curriculum? I'm not so sure about that.

    Part of the big picture of a good education involves going into depth in areas that the student doesn't necessarily want to learn about (as HK noted about her daughter). Sometimes learning isn't easy, takes a lot of work and sustained focus, and requires the assistance of a knowledgable teacher. Some less-than-glamorous work is essential for important skills that are developed later. Will an unschooled child pick the essential drudgery? I don't know. Some might, but if suspect that the vast majority won't.

    Overall, my concern about uncschooling is that it can become an exercise in meandering, rather than a focused and guided approach to learning. If a child is allowed to pick and choose for too long, bad habits may form because the student has never really learned to do things --- over the long term --- that are "boring," like learning grammar and how to write well.

    Don't think I'm advocating for mediocre brick and mortar or online schools here. Both types of school have significant problems, too. And yes, parents can raise their kids mostly as they see fit. I'm really trying to point out some possible unforeseen outcomes of uncschooling.

    Last edited by Val; 05/25/14 05:15 PM.
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    I can see a lot of merit in it, done right. I'm sure as with anything there are many shades of grey - children in the education system could potentially be more 'neglected' than a motivated unschooler with an enthusiastic parent. I also think formal education is much more competitive in the US as compared with a lot of other countries.

    Originally Posted by Ametrine
    What of social issues, especially in the teen years?

    Where are the testimonials of wholly un-schooled children who have made a success of themselves (able to self-sustain)?


    Here's an unschooler with a PhD in IT who works at Google: http://www.ivillage.com.au/unschooling-sounds-great-except-one-thing/

    I would think the social issues would be the same as home-schooling

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    Originally Posted by HowlerKarma
    my DD (headstrong is an understatement) figured out that she could simply REFUSE to do anything that wasn't easy and pleasant and already at "expert" level.
    What did you do?

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