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Monday, December 06, 2010

Structured homeschooling vs. Unschooling

Traditionally schooling families frown down upon homeschoolers, and structured homeschoolers frown upon unschoolers.  Unschoolers probably frown on the traditional students and structured homeschoolers. I guess we all need something to compare our situations to so that we feel better about ourselves.

Omsh at the Poineer woman blog asks Unschooling- Do?  Don't  Why?  

She mentions why she feels unschooling may not work for her thought she is attracted to it and wants to know how others feel.  Most of the comments are from other homeschoolers who seem to be tentatively against homeschooling each supplying anecdotes of failed homeschool situations they witnessed.

I have many of he same reservations against unschooling but I am nervous about writing it out as a whole.  In the 8 or so years we have been homeschooling I have learned 2 things.

1.  That my kids would rather not work if given the option (so unschooling is not for us)
2.  That my kids have learned more from subjects where they were not led by an adult.

So I definitely see the value of unschooling and don't think it has  to be either-or.  I think it can be and.

My kids are college bound and in high school so they have a pretty full day with lots of structure, but in the younger years we included a bit of unschooling into their days.  For example.

Because I knew that a break in math is also a setback in math, I required it every day.  Daily reading was also a must.  They attended classes that taught History through the arts one day a week, and the rest, was as they desired.  There was a curriculum, but I allowed them do it at their own pace.  They excelled.

I am convinced that both too much structure and too little structure can be bad for kids.  That means that neither unschoolers or highly structured homeschoolers have it right. It is those who can strike a healthy balance that will have the greater successes.



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