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Showing posts with label unschooling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label unschooling. Show all posts

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Homeschool Blogging A-Z:U is for unschooling

I have always been intrigued by unschooling though I have never embraced it.  I have admired it, and have also feared it.  I have found it intriguing and misguided all at once.

My personal fears towards unschooling are my own.  I come from a highly motivated background where measurements and getting into college are of utmost importance... never mind if college is the child's actual goal... that is the benchmark as to whether I have done a good job or not.  Reasonable or unreasonable as it may seem, I have never felt that unschooling was a good road to my intended goal.

Still, I have admired the freedom from stress, from the measurements, from society's guidelines that occur with unschooling.  In many cases, unschooling has led to success beyond what can be achieved with rules and restrictions.  Other times, it can go no-where... that is my fear.  I fear that if I were to allow unschooling (past elementary years), that some serious slug-ness would occur.

That is probably my greatest fear.  

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Truth be told, I envy unschoolers. But... (UPDATE)

Yesterday's post stuck with me all  day, so I wanted to clarify a few things.

1.  I really do admire unschooling... to a certain degree.
2.  I was mostly referring to the type of unschooling/ unparenting described on Good Morning America
3.  I think I had a bigger problem with the unparenting that the unschooling.

With that said, I still feel that for my family, unschooling and many others, it is not a good idea.  I think that it takes a special kind of faith to unschool completely.

I need to make sure my kids understand alot of the basic things in life so that I am not putting ignorant, naive,  and/or  unprepared people out in the world.


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Monday, April 19, 2010

Truth be told, I envy unschoolers. But...

If you don't know what unschooling is, check out this Good Morning America story from this morning. 

 Imagine... no expensive textbooks, no prodding and pleading to get chores done, no constant harassing for that essay you asked them to write over a week ago.  Oh, the dreams of a homeschooling mother.  But at what cost?

The Biegler children have the freedom of unschooling, and allow their children to do as they please without putting rules on restrictions on their lives... this includes not learning if they don't wish to learn.  Believe it or not, I do see some value in it.

For example, my son is quite knowledgeable about internet design.  My husband is an IT exec, and so this may have spurred his interest in computers in general.  I have had to write in CSS Style pages and HTML for a few writing assignments, and he asked me to teach it to him.  That is the only formal instruction he has had in web design. He learned Javascript and the other things that I can't even begin to understand on his own, by surfing the internet and reading web design manuals.  He did this in his spare time and on his own, and he is quite good at it.

My son also has a friend who didn't like writing or grammar until he started blogging.  I look over his blogs from time to time to give him grammar tips, and look for errors.  For the last month or so, I have found no problems at all with his blog.  How did he get so good at writing?  Probably because he did it because he wanted to and no one made him.

Truth be told, if I had to do it over again, I probably would have unschooled largely through the 4th grade or so. 

So I get and truly support this type of homeschooling in many ways.  There is so much value to seeing a kid learn and produce on his own.  But..... BBUUTTTTTT......

I fear for the extra work that  long term unschooling places on the parents.  I have teens.  I know what they do.  They will let dirty laundry and funky smells fester until you have to call the Calvary.  They will eat everything in the house, and leave the evidence piled on the table... and the floor... and the ceiling.  They will call a filthy room clean, just because there are no clothes on the floor.  They don't see dirt... and they don't like responsiblity.  OH, and they can sleep for days on end if you don't drag them out of their beds. 

So my fear is that in such an unschooling situation, the kids to what they please, and mom get the word MAID stamped on her forehead.  Because with no chores, then who's going to cook... every meal?  Whose going to set the table?  Who's going to wash the dishes?  Who's going to clean the kitchen? Who's going to take out the garbage?  Who's going to walk the dogs that they begged for?  Who's going to clean the cat litter?  Who's going to vacuum.  Who's going to ash and fold the laundry?  MOM... that's who.  Oh, and DAD.... you're going to have to cut the grass.  I am not saying that this is what kids are for... to do the household chores... but if they are eating the food, and messing the kitchen, and missing the toilet... well, then, they need to help clean it up.

I can guarantee that if there are two people in the home doing as they please and not cleaning up behind themselves, and one person out working, then there is another person at home feeling abused and disrespected.

So as much as I love the idea of unschooling, I am going to have to relegate that type of parenting to only a few hours a day when the children can be creative, without interruption.  I am very respectful of my kids free time, and they really do make the most of it... but at the same time, I demand they be respectful of our home, which means participating in doing the work it takes to keep the home up, and also being respectful of the people who brought them into this world, by doing chores and following household rules.

And then there's the rest of the academics.  I have no comment on how unschoolers educate... I have seen it work for many children... but I don't feel comfortable leaving college entry to chance.  In my home it is a standard that must be met.  They are going for at least 1 year and if at that point they don't want to continue.. fine, but don't expect to come back to my house and keep living like a teenager.  When you are an adult... you are on your own.

I don't believe in unschooler bashing, so I don't hope to open up my comments section for an unschooling bash... so be nice.  But for my house, we will continue to be eclectic homeschooling, which means a little classical, a bit of arts, and some time to grow on their own.


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Thursday, March 25, 2010

If I could start over again... I may have unschooled

I had a convesation today with another mom whose kid was a little stressed due to all of the activities (read socialization), plus academic homeschooling.  The child is in a play along with one of mine, and I suggested that they take a break of teaching until the play was over... the thought of this stressed the mom out, but she did see how taking a short break would cause more peace.

This is why we homeschool isn't it?  We want to provude more opportunities for our kids as well as allow them to learn at their own pace. 

In our desire to do it all, and do it all right, we tend to get a little carried away.  There is a time to work and a time to play and a time for enrichment.  We don't need to do them all at the same time.

What does this have to do with unschooling?  Unschoolers seem to handle letting education follow the rhythm of life than us Academically focussed homeschoolers.  They don't worry about checking off everything from a list to make sure the child is balanced in academics and socialization all all that jazz... still somehow it happens. 

I think we can all learn alot from unschoolers.

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