Wednesday, August 30, 2006

UNSCHOOLING

Huh?

I, up until yesterday, had never heard of the concept.

An acquaintance of mine and I were talking about schooling. She homeschools her four kids ages 4-12. I asked her how she does it, what was involved and what particular curriculum she used.

"Unschooling" she said. I thought she misspoke. I said, "What kind of schooling?" She repeated, "Oh, I used to sit down with the kids and tutor them in math, spelling and the like, but now I just unschool."

I was too embarrased to ask her what it was. So, being the excellent topic shifter that I am....I shifted. Thank goodness for the internet. After completing our telephone conversation, I immediately googled "unschooling" and holy Jesus! I had know idea.

Apparently, that is exactly what it is. You let the child be free as a bird. They immediately feel the pressure of schooling vanish and then you teach them when they want to know something. One family had an 8 year old that wasn't interested in reading yet so they didn't push it. They left books around the house and if he wanted to read...he will read. From osmosis maybe?

I'm not saying this approach doesn't work. I just have no idea how it could. Is this a new concept? Has unschooling been around forever or is this a new idea? Are there any adults out there reading this blog that were unschooled as kids?

All I know is that if I unschooled my kids, I am rather confident that they would never.......ever.......leave the Game Cube, computer or television again except to go to the bathroom or to the fridge. Would unschooling work with your kids?

6 comments:

MomSquared said...

It probably would have worked for me as a kid, but that's because I loved learning.

I bet it wouldn't have worked for my brother!

I'm Just a Girl said...

I have a feeling that's how my niece and nephews are being schooled. My BIL is a stay-at-home Dad and has been "homeschooling" them. Nephew1 is 9 and Niece is 5. I don't know if they can read. I don't know if they can spell. I don't know what their math skills are. I don't want to ask what books to get either of them for birthdays b/c I don't want to insult them by assuming incorrectly. BIL says they do activities with a local homeschooling group, but I have yet to see any academic type of books lying around their house or any real evidence that they are in fact, "schooled." My guess is that because of how BIL and his wife are, they are probably being "unschooled." Personally I think it's ridiculous but I also say, "It's not my kid." So it's not my concern.

Lynn said...

We do unschool three months out of the year, but we call it summer vacation. Left to their own devices my kids watch t.v., play ball, play video games, swim,and search the internet. When school starts up again their reading level has dropped. They read more for pleasure during the school year too. My kids are too much like me, they need the pressure to ever get anything done. I try not to be judgemental who knows this may work wonderfully for some kids. My question is how will they survive in a society full of pressure if they never experience it as children.

Shoshana said...

My daughter would read and draw and watch Grey's Anatomy and House all day (she's nine).

My 7years old would be burried under cars and video games.

My 4 years old would probably take down all the books on my shelf and make a dwelling out of them.

The others, they'll make sure I entertain them all the time.

Anonymous said...

I'M FROM "OLD SCHOOL". GO TO SCHOOL, DO HOMEWORK IMMEDIATELY AFTERWARD (INCLUDING FRIDAYS SO THE KIDS DON'T MOAN ABOUT IT ON SUNDAY EVENING.) THEY DON'T LIKE TEACHERS? TOUGH!!THEY WILL PROBABLY HAVE SUPERIORS THEY DON'T LIKE. DON'T LIKE SCHOOL? AMOTHER TOUGH. TEACHERS ARE TAUGHT TO TEACH; MOMS AND DADS GIVE LOVE, ATTENTION AND GUIDANCE. LIVE WITH IT!!! THEY'LL PROBABLY END UP
BEING WELL-ADJUSTED INTELLIGENT HUMAN BEINGS. MY OPINION ON "UNSCHOOLED" RIDICULOUS !!!

Jennboree said...

No way would it work for Bella. She loves schedule and routine. I've heard of unschooling before, I think on a news program.

To me, it wouldn't work for most kids because it would seemingly give them "uneven" education. It would teach them that structure isn't a part of life and that's just not true! What if they go to college and quit because THEY don't like being told what to do and when to do it? Well, unless they are going to be their own boss right out of the chute, that just won't work in the real world.

Toddlers are basically unschooled in that we allow them to learn as they go. But a growing, developing older child needs some kind of guidance, I believe.