Hello all. My family will be moving to Albuquerque in June or July 2004 and I just wanted to get a jump on the homeschool groups before we came. My children are 5 1/2yesrs, 2 years and 3months old (boy, girl, boy). I am looking forward to meeting fellow homeschoolers in the area. I have a few questions though. I see many mentions to "unschooling" I would really like to know exactally what that is. I have gone to unschool.com and I couldn't quite find the information I was looking for. So if any one can help, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks! See you this summer!
Hello! I have many of the same questions! I am still new to homeschooling and trying to find our path. I am very interested in un-schooling. Mine are young (6,4,10 months) and I would love to have someone to talk to. Please feel free to email me and welcome to New Mexico! firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello, Welcome to New Mexico! I have a son who will be 5 in April and a daughter who is 18 months old. We are looking forward to meeting you. I would hate to really comment much on "unschooling" as I really don't know that much about it and I wouldn't want to steer you wrong. However, my impression is that it encompasses letting a child self-direct themselves to areas that naturally peek their interest while foregoing any "structured" curriculum on a daily basis. I know some of the books I read when I started exploring homeschooling had some good references and authors on the subject so you may want to try the library. I feel that we will take an approach that is somewhere in between classical and unschooling. (i.e., We are taking a somewhat structured approach on curriculum but staying flexible at the same time... for instance, exploring a given topic that interests them while putting others on hold) Everyone says that you adapt your own style once you've homeschooled for awhile so I for one am staying open. Anyway, looking forward to meeting you this summer. Sharon (mother to Dane and Skye)
Hi! I have two kids, ages 18 months and just turning 5 years. We're also leaning towards unschooling in our family, though as Sharon points out, it could all change as we learn more about how our family learns best. Who knows how we'll be approaching it all as the years progress.
I agree with Sharon. I plan to go somewhere in between with our two year old. In order to totally unschool, you have to have children who have strong internal motivation...able to self direct themselves. There is no way I could currently do that with the 8, 10 and 12 year olds we just adopted.
My sister has been homeschooling for eight years now. She has found a pretty good balance between traditional homeschooling and unschooling. The chidren are working in various math and phonics programs, but she adds unschooling activities to that, such as letting them learn about math and science through gardening and creating. The idea is that the kids are increasing their knowledge and learning information they will need for success in college without feeling that they are involved in a structured learning experience. She does let them put other subjects aside at times while they focus on "Research Projects" in an area of interest, such as certain areas in history, science, or the arts.
She supplements their homeschooling with things such as sewing lessons and Karate. The kids, ages 7, 10, 12 and 14, are also very involved with a strong homeschooling theater group. They have done productions such as A Midsummer Night's Dream. She also led a study of theater with about 12 kids from the theater group. They learned everything from costume design to directing, even going to a local theater to learn about costume design and make-up. They learned how to audition for a part, including filling out the applications. Durring the 8 week program, each child re-wrote the ending to a popular fairy tale. The program ended with the group performing the series of re-written fairy tales for an audience.
I guess I am sharing all this just to demonstrate how unlimited homeschooling/unschooling can be. You can combine the two together in any manner you want to create a program that will most benefit the unique traits of your children.
-Kari Mother to Dallin (and now Lizzie, Ashton and Arwen)
Hi, I agree again with the examples given to you by both futurekids and dallion2001. They have given you great information on unschooling. My children take lots of classes outside of the home from sewing and kayaking to tatting and chemistry. There is a ton of info and classes out there.
We use a curriculum for math and language so that I am sure that we cover all the steps, yet the other subjects we cover with the classes, history channel, library, internet, etc. I don't actually let the kids lead me in the direction they want to go, with 6 of them I'd be pulled apart, yet we try to touch on everyting, and use lots of extra's as I mentioned. Welcome to the group, hope to meet you soon.
we've been unschooling for about a year now, after 2 years of what I would call eclectic schooling. What's been described so far, btw, is definitely eclectic schooling and certainly not unschooling. Unschooling is more an all-encompassing lifestyle than it is an alternative education choice.
All kids are truly internally motivated enough to unschool -- it's just natural learning and kids are born wired to learn literally everything. Even kids who've been in school for several years could unschool, tho it would likely require more deschooling and adjustment socially. As a bonus, you'd get no stressing over the basics, since they've likely already tackled what is traditionally expected in a child's education.
For more info, you can check out http://www.unschooling.com or SandraDodd.com -- Sandra's local and has been unschooling for 15+ years. Both sites offer real insight into what unschooling really is and how wonderful it can be.
Just wanted to set the record straight on what unschooling isn't!
I agree with everything said so far about homeschooling, unschooling and Sylvia's description of eclectic homeschooling. Perhaps the greatest advantage of homeschooling at all is the ability to meet the family's needs, interests and values in a way a classroom couldn't possibly compete. For some kids, unschooling definately works. It worked very well for JT, now 17 and homeschooled most of his life. For my 7-year-old, however, it didn't work. She craves structure. She's not the kind of kid who needs to be entertained, but she wants to be challenged. She wants a goal-oriented type of learning, so we do unit-studies. She gets to pick what she studies (horses, for example), and her reading, math, geography, etc. is about horses. If she doesn't get some subject area (history, etc.) with this subject, that's okay because next week she'll drop horses and become fascinated with religion or something. The trick is keeping up with her! hehehe!!