>Unschooling Updated

  1. Pageant Mom says:

    >My parents threw out the tv lock-stock-and-barrel when I was 13 – literally NO TV until I was in my 20’s when I left home. So now you know how people end up when THAT happens. Oh, and what did I do in my spare time? Graduated HS in 3yrs with top honors,finished 2 college degrees in 5 yrs, amongst other stuff… See you CAN live without TV… as for unschooling, are these people THAT stupid or are they working at it?

  2. >I let my kids watch TV from Friday night to Sunday at 7 pm. Otherwise, they don’t get to watch TV. Even then, I try not to let them watch all day long. Sometimes they read, sometimes they do math worksheets from previous years’ school workbook leftovers, sometimes they annoy the hell out of me. Like you, I might let them for one day pick out things to do and take them places, but TV would be totally off limits for ‘educational purposes’. Unless it’s Discovery Channel.

  3. CrankMama says:

    >Holy Hell!Unschooling sounds like the latest asenine scheme for our generation of parents! Are we really all this lazy? Have we totally forgotten that it is GOOD for kids when parents are in CHARGE?Great post.I’m very scared.-Rachael

  4. Koenix says:

    >I was homeschooled up until age 15 (when I decided to go to college instead of wasting my time with high school), and I’m generally pretty defensive about the whole thing, since it worked out really well for me. But unschooling? I have a few friends who it works well for, but they rarely watch TV or play games (they’re rather obsessed with board games, though), but it’s one of those things that you do have to be supermotivated to do, and if you let your kids watch TV and do puzzles all day, it ain’t gonna work. And if you let your kids do that, you probably shouldn’t even be homeschooling…My parents tried to do unschooling when I was really little, but not even they were motivated enough to make it work. Turned out we just needed more structure.

  5. B.E.C.K. says:

    >Wow. Is this even legal? Somehow I thought homeschoolers had to take state tests periodically. If so, where does that leave unschoolers? (Maybe a home- or unschooler can chime in here and point me to toward some official Web sites on the subject.)

  6. Maya Papaya says:

    >”But unschooling means we believe our children know best what is best for them.”Ok…um…what?!How about we just throw our kids outside once they learn to walk and talk and let them fend for themselves?

  7. Marie says:

    >I went to a college where it was very open — no grades, tests, majors, you could develop your own program and all subjects were taught interdisplinary– (let’s just say there were lots of drum circles and people who called me ‘kind sister’) — anyway – we still had classes, assignments and sometimes just had to sit and listen — what I learned from this is you can really wander around…and not really get good at anything. I was motivated and focused, so I honed in on what I wanted to learn and made it happen – but I saw lots of people wandering around — maybe they turned out ok – but it seemed that they spent a lot time just checking things out. Unschooling seems like a good idea if you have a child who has a really special talent but I think there is something to be said for well-roundedness too. I think that homeschooling gives uneough openness that you could allow your child to explore what they are interested in — but they still have to take time to learn things like fractions….because who will choose to learn grammar or other things that ya’ just need in life.

  8. >I think the testing laws differ from state to state, BECK. All of the major unschooling sites address the issue. And it is an issue for some parents- I read one parent’s comment about how difficult it was to hide her kid during the day from the truant officers roaming the town! Gah!I poke fun at the homeschooling stereotypes in my column, but in all honesty, I don’t have a problem with it if it’s working for the family and have a few friends who do it themselves. Most homeschoolers follow a strict curriculum. I like the IDEA of unschooling too, and see it working for one of those child geniuses you see on TV every now and then- I just suspect that a whole lot of unschoolers are um, lazy or very weird parents. Heh. Because seriously, doing unschooling right would take a LOT of work on the parents’ part and very few parents are actually willing to go there.

  9. Karen Rani says:

    >That article was HILARIOUS Lindsay! It sounds as though these unschooling parents are just major slackers.

  10. >Kids know what’s best for them?Dang, that comment really stood out for me too. Are they raising the same kid that I am, the ones who will eat all of their Halloween candy in one night and make themselves yack. The ones who will refuse to shower for a week, if I will allow it? The stepdaughters who, before I moved in, threw their leftover food behind the sofa in their room until they had a rat infestation?!Wow…I’m just shocked….and a little jealous. I REALLY wish my conscience would let me get away with being this lazy sometimes, lol.Anna J. Evans

  11. Mooselet says:

    >Yeah well, my little girl thinks eating crayons is what’s best for her, my 11 year old thinks all he needs is PS2 and my teenager thinks everything you need to know can be found on MSN and MySpace. If I let them do that all day I think I’d be arrested for neglect. While I can see this unschooling thing working for a very, very small group of highly motivated kids, it seems like a cop out. Kids need structure, they need limits and it’s your job as a parent to provide those things. Putting a different spin on it doesn’t excuse it.

  12. Butrfly4404 says:

    >De-Lurking for 1st time…I think there are some “unschooled” kids at my local Wal-Mart. There was one who repeatedly smacked his mom in the head until she got him the treats he wanted. That has to be the result of “non-schooling,” right?

  13. >Wow…parents that are too lazy to even wake up a little earlier and shuffle their kids off to public school for the day?

  14. Stacy says:

    >You’re right. Most kids, left to their own devices will watch TV or play video games all day long. It’s only when parents limit these activities, kids find more creative and fun things to do and are glad for it in the long run. Most children are not capable of having that kind of foresight or, I should say, “experience.”

  15. bunchkin says:

    >As a homeschooling mom who busts her butt every day making sure that her kids are getting a quality education, it annoys the heck out of me to hear about people who think they can just throw their children in a room with tvs and video games,and expect to have an educated child pop out at the end of high school. If we unschooled, my son would play video games all day, eat candy till he puked, and stay up all night till he was on the verge of a breakdown. Oh, yeah, I see some REAL successful people coming out of this little movement. But please, please, please, do not confuse this small group with the large number of parents who invest alot of time money and energy to giving their children a great homeschooling education.

  16. Wendy says:

    >I think I’ll give thanks for the public school down the street tomorrow.

  17. Jennifer says:

    >Do you think these lazy parents will wish they had done something differently when they have an overweight, unskilled, unsocialized 35 year old TV zombie sponging off them? Kids have no idea what is best for them especially when they are younger(less than 16). Of course there are exceptions but for the most part unschooling seems to be a huge mistake.

  18. Jennifer says:

    >Do you think these lazy parents will wish they had done something differently when they have an overweight, unskilled, unsocialized 35 year old TV zombie sponging off them? Kids have no idea what is best for them especially when they are younger(less than 16). Of course there are exceptions but for the most part unschooling seems to be a huge mistake.

  19. >My sister and best friend both homeschool, and all 6 kids total are very smart, social, well adjusted kids. They also bust their butts to make sure their kids have a good education (my sister is actually a teacher as well).I have one of those gifted, highly motivated kids that unschooling would have worked for and who I wish I had homeschooled when he was younger. Now I can’t keep up with him.The unschooling that you described sounds to me like pure laziness, to be honest. Kids need guidance and structure, and to just let them do whatever they want is plain irresponsible.

  20. demondoll says:

    >We homeschool, but we follow a curriculum that includes standadized tests.I don’t buy into unschooling, personally. It seems lazy and irresponsible.

  21. Vic says:

    >This Unschooling thing seems like one of the most screwed up things I have heard about in a long time.And this – “Parents know best.” – uh yeah, they do! Cause like, they’re the adults, ya know??Edgits.

  22. Kristi says:

    >Homeschooling mom here. We DON’T unschool…but I can see how it could be very effective if the parents push it hard enough. Like if the kids decide they want to study horses and all the subjects, math, writing, history, art, whatever, are tied into that one subject. In a school setting it’s called the ‘project approach.’ It’s not for me, but some parents can make it work.Concerning the forum comments about tv, as a homeschooling mom and a former public school teacher, I can say that my kids get their subjects done in less than half the time it would take in a public school setting. So we have the time to do crazy stuff like Latin and medieval history and geography and tons of subjects the public school kids miss out on because of all the testing. I’m hoping people who let their kids watch tv all day are the exception.My experience with homeschooling has been beyond positive. No, not everyone is on the ball, but neither are the public schools out there. Just ask your teachers how much the high stakes testing atmosphere has affected their classrooms.There is nothing, NOTHING lazy about an effective homeschooling household. Homeschooling moms have to work their butts off to educate their kids AND make sure they get adequate socialization. And as a former school teacher, I have no regrets about my decision to abandon the system.Thanks for the forum to discuss this topic. Sorry if I come off as defensive…I’m just a little bit cookoo for homeschooling.

  23. wordgirl says:

    >I interviewed a woman for an article about homeschooling. This particular woman was an “unschooler”. She told me that kids know best when they’re ready to learn something and, at the time, her 8 year old son didn’t know how to read. She didn’t want him to be ashamed that he didn’t know how, but she wanted to stress to me that, once he let’s her know he’d like to learn, she’ll be more than happy to teach him. Meanwhile, the entire time I was there, he was playing in a treehouse outside. I don’t believe that biology has a damned thing to do with qualifying a person to teach a kid. So the notion that any parent has the wisdom and discernment to homeschool is crazy. In this state (Texas), you can be a trailer-park parent with a 2nd grade education and a 12-pack a day ciggy habit and no one will question your right or ability to prepare a child for college. You can thank the fundamentalists for that.

  24. Anonymous says:

    >To “wordgirl” “You can thank the fundamentalists for that.” Are you serious?Would you rather have the state decide everything for you and your kids? Try not to confuse liberty with anarchy. The “fundamentalists” have nothing to do with these lazy kids and their stupid parents. Many of their kids go to private school (where they are probably getting a better education than yours).To sing the praises of public school vs. unschoolers is a little like being valedectorian of summer school. For a real measure of the worth of your child’s education compare it to real homeschoolers or to private education.You’re welcome.Oh, and “let’s” means “let us” while lets is the present-tense form of the verb “let” you were apparently groping for. Where’d you get your education?Maybe you should change your blog handle, Wordy.

  25. bunchkin says:

    >Wow, it’s getting a little heated around here. ;-)I AM “one of those fundamentalists” as you called them. One of the aspects of living in a free country is the ability to make choices for yourself and your family. Just like you certainly would not want someone with my view point making decisions for your family, other people don’t want you to make decisions for theirs. We all have the right to raise our children and make decisions for our families without intrusion from the government or well meaning people who think they know how to raise our kids better than we do.

  26. Shannon says:

    >I think you are taking unschooling attitudes completely out of context. I’m curious if you actually interviewed several unschoolers or if you just browsed through some recent posts on message boards?Unschooling is child-led learning. It’s a fact that a child will learn at an incredible rate – and retain that knowledge – when they are interested and motivated, NOT when they are forced to memorize something within the time constraints of a bell ringing to signal the next class. Most unschoolers could give you example upon example of the amazing ways their children learn. Unschooling parents do not sit back and ignore their children, letting them fend for themselves. They take painstaking measures to be sure their children are given every opportunity to pursue anything that interests them. While maybe some unschooled and homeschooled children spend a good amount of time with TV and video games, they are simply swapping that for time wasted in public school lining up, roaming the halls, watching other students getting disciplined, or just being bored out of their minds.Lazy parenting is abdicating your responsibilities to the government (the public school system) and then whining and crying when your child graduates high school without being able to read. There is nothing lazy or ridiculous about unschooling.I would encourage you to read this post and especially the comments.

  27. liz says:

    >Heee! My cousin directed the movie 13 wanted to see.I haven’t asked him, but I’m guessing he’d say you made the right decision. 13 is too young.

  28. >Shannon, my column is a humor column, so of course I poked fun at the unschooling philosophy when I used it on the girls. I used the typical home schooling stereotypes, too- but in all seriousness, I have family members and friends who home school and have nothing against it. So don’t take offense- that was totally tongue-in-cheek and the readership of the Scene is smart enough to know that.I don’t even have much of an issue with the unschooling philosophy in theory- The problem is that very few kids and very few parents are actually up for the time and labor involved in making it work. Seriously, I read message after message on several different support forums that made it very clear that a lot of “unschooling” parents out there are using the term to shirk their responsibilities when it comes to educating their kids. Lots of television, lots of running errands with mama (and later mama trying to justify why letting her kid watch her on the treadmill at the gym constituted a “learning experience”) and lots and LOTS of video games. Yuck. Public school has got to be better than that crap.I don’t like public school that much- but I can’t afford private school (and most aren’t much better than public school) and the way our world works, the kids will have more opportunities as adults if they have legitimate high school and college degrees. That’s just the way it is. Fueling their passions, however is up to me, not their teachers, and I take that role very seriously.

  29. >I love you Lindsay! If it weren’t for the fact that I have been reading your blog for some time now I might be offended by your “fightin words”. I’m a homeschooler too and VERY lazy as you might guess! And weird. Don’t forget the weird part. We don’t have TV OR a dishwasher. On purpose. It doesn’t get any weirder than that does it! Very often when I ask my kids to change their clothes or comb their hair before we go somewhere my son will say, “Come on Mom. I’m homeschooled! It doesn’t matter what my hair looks like.” Sometimes I let him get away with it and sometimes I don’t! The funny thing about unschooling is that it really does work! My kids both taught themselves to read when they were three and were reading chapter books by the time they were five. Have you ever heard of the Thomas Jefferson Education method? You can’t force anyone to learn anything they don’t want to learn. Just look at me as a product of public education! I can’t say I learned much more than how to take a test in all my years of schooling yet I graduated with a 3.7 GPA. I think things have gone down hill for the system since then. My Mom was a single, full time teacher when I was growing up, but if I had know about homeschooling back then I think I would have talked her into letting me school myself. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t have turned out any worse than I did!Luckily, contrary to what some people believe, you don’t have to sit behind a desk to learn. I’m learning every day with my kids. Be careful reading those message boards or you might end up as a homeschooler yourself! Anyway. Very funny article! I can’t wait to read more comments.

  30. Renee says:

    >I find it really disheartening when a group of people gets judged by the actions of a few.

  31. Math Teacher says:

    >I teach high school mathematics in a small private school. I get the unschooled kids when their parents finally come to their senses (or no longer want to deal with a teenager all day). Funny how unschooling includes very little study of math. I get kids that are 3 to 4 years below grade level. Kids need to be well-rounded in their education, not just study what they are interested in. I can see them as adults telling the boss that they are just not interested in doing what he has assigned them. Doing some things that you don’t like is just reality, and aren’t we supposed to be bringing up children who will be good, productive citizens?

  32. Shannon says:

    >Lindsay writes: “…the way our world works, the kids will have more opportunities as adults if they have legitimate high school and college degrees.”Really? How so? I completely disagree. A person will have more opportunities as an adult if they are able to think for themselves and they have learned how to determine what skills and information will be important to their success. Schools fail at teaching this, teaching useless information with very little real-world application.I appreciate that your blog and column are humor, but words are still very powerful. Judging from the comments you’ve received, people are taking the stereotypes you perpetuate quite seriously.

  33. Shannon says:

    >Math teacher writes: “Doing some things that you don’t like is just reality, and aren’t we supposed to be bringing up children who will be good, productive citizens?”If the goal for your children is to raise them to be automatons, blindly following the status quo, then yes, send them to school and teach them they simply MUST learn and do things they dislike. Because someone else tells them to.In reality, we sometimes have to do things we dislike, but only to accomplish a desired goal. We may dislike doing laundry, but our desire for clean clothes outweighs the unpleasantness of the task. If you don’t like a task at your job, your desire to be paid outweighs that. And if you REALLY don’t like your job – find a new one. That’s the kind of thinking I want my children to learn.

  34. >Shannon, if you were to read my blog regularly, you’d know that my humor columns are often the jumping off point for healthy debate. And if I make fun of homeschooling stereotypes, I’ve made fun of the stereotypes about myself (a white suburban stay-at-home mom) a thousand times more. If you’re wanting to eliminate all humor regarding stereotypes that happen to be used on you, what a sad, dull world this would be.As I said before, I have no problem with home schooling- I just wouldn’t choose it for my own kids because I want them to learn to use the system to their advantage. As I said before, fueling their passions and making sure they’re getting something out of what they’re learning is my job. But if they hate a subject or hate a teacher, that’s just as important a lesson they’ll need as adults (when they hate an aspect of their job or they hate a boss) and I want them to learn how to handle that as well.Unschooling, too, could work in theory and in a very limited number of cases. I was honestly surprised to see so many parents discussing their own situations, in which it obviously wasn’t working, or was being misused. Anyway, for anyone to get their noses out of joint here is a mistake. Although again, I love a good, respectful debate.

  35. Jodi says:

    >Man, Lindsay, you know how to pick the topics that get people fired up, don’t you? WOW. How do you even hear about this stuff? It must be your training as a reporter, huh?As for the whole debate….the whole unschool thing sounds like a total crock to me and something ANY kid would love. But, would it be good for them? I doubt it. Not for my kids anyway. They need structure. Lots and lots of structure. I have friends who have done the home school route for their chiildren and so far it appears as though it has turned out okay for them. As for me I agree with this statement, “Because seriously, doing unschooling right would take a LOT of work on the parents’ part and very few parents are actually willing to go there”. And I will say that I don’t have the time or patience to homeschool or unschool my children and I know that. They are going to a public school and are getting a GREAT education and for that I am thankful.

  36. John H says:

    >I found this quote when I was working on a post about the un-schooling movement:”The most important reason why I don’t force her, pressure her, or try to influence her to learn particular things at particular times is because of her volition. It is far more important that she learn the lessons of morality (that her values are her own, that her life is her own, that her agenda is her own, that it is her responsibility to exercise volition) than it is for her to learn math, reading, or anything else. When we tell a child that he must learn spelling rather than whatever else he wants to do, we are telling him that our desires for him are more important that his desires for himself.”I’m sorry, but that scared the shit out of me. Talk about your self-absorbed me-first-always attitudes.Attacking the ‘un-schooler’ is NOT the same as attacking the traditional home-schooler. Good piece, Lindsay.

  37. kittenpie says:

    >I have two things to say about this:1) If children knew best, we could throw them out of the house at about five, when they were able to pour themselves a bowl of cereal and get dressed. 2) I think there is room for some flexibility as long as there are clear expectations. I went to an alternative school for junior high that worked this way. We could work at our own pace, we had periods during which to work or not according to that pace, but we had to have completed a certain number of units of work, each with a test at the end, by the close of term. We did have major projects on topics entirely of our choosing, but had to present them at a certain date. And yes, not everyone passed if the expectations were not met. I think this sort of thing does make a nice balance between giving your kid some leeway to make decisions, but also giving them real expectations and consequences.

  38. Anonymous says:

    >To each their own. My oldest loves public school, at 16yoa, she speaks four languages, is taking college courses and has a promising future.My youngest hates school. We tried public, gifted and private. All move too slow for him. We tried an advanced homeschool curriculum, also, too slow. He is now an unschooler and very happy. At age nine he reads at or above a high school level (tested & documented), he is currently learning algebra, and his sister is teaching him German and French.He writes in cursive and print, and has taught himself to type.So should I slam on the brakes and tell him to return to third grade?I think not.I should add that the oldest, did her third year of German, on her own over the summer simply because she wanted to. (Unschooling from a public school student?)The ‘3rd grader’ studies famous generals because he wants to. (School type learning from an unschooler?)I thought the unschooling concept was a bit off, too, at first. Then I watched it in action. It works.

  39. >Anonymous, it seems like you have precisely the type of child for whom unschooling would work- It sounds like he’s motivated to learn and you’re motivated to teach.The problem is that I think too many people are using the term ‘unschooling’ to not teach their kids much of anything. And I think there are plenty of kids who are going to use ‘unschooling’ to watch TV and play video games- if their parents allow it.

  40. Anonymous says:

    >Thanks.Funny part is I don’t “teach”. I provide. I answer their questions, let them pick out any and all books they want, play all the video/computer games they want, watch all the tv they want, get them to activities they want to try, and play lots of games. The youngest has been playing chess since five and riding horses before that. Basically, all I do is just be involved, because that’s what a mom does. Learning happens everywhere. (Note: I’ve only heard of ‘unschooling’ in the last few months.)Giving unlimited computer/video/tv access, may be a problem for some but we have found they use them the same way they read books (a lot!) We also live on a farm and they have many ‘pets’. Much time is spent outside exploring many things.My kids have never lost their natural curiousity. As babies they learned to walk and talk and as young school age children they soaked up all they could about everything. One chooses public school. One chooses unschooling. Both are children to be proud of.

  41. Rebecca says:

    >You share a rather simple-minded view of unschooling here, to the detriment of your readership. Most colleges actively recruit homeschoolers (including unschoolers, who generally provide only portfolios of real-life work for admission). Why do colleges do this? Because they know that homeschoolers tend to be self-driven, self-confident, and successful at higher academic pursuits should they wish to pursue them. But I don’t even care about all that — I unschool because I want my children to develop their own passions, their own motivations, and a sense of self-responsibility. No child *wants* to be a failure, and life itself provides ample motivation to make the “right” choices in pursuit of living successfully (if it didn’t, those choices couldn’t legitimately be said by anyone to be the “right” ones). I don’t want my kids to make the “right choices” because they’re told or forced to; I want them to see the value and consequences of those choices in the real world, and decide accordingly.I realize that your “unschooling day” was meant to be tongue-in-cheek and humorous, but I think it a bit irresponsible of you to suggest to your newspaper readership that there’s nothing more to unschooling than what you describe. Doing so sends a very warped and negative impression to those ignorant of the approach (as is evidenced by some of the comments here). And because states have the power to curb or remove parents’ rights to educate their children in the manner they see fit, I consider your words not only incorrect and misleading, but also potentially dangerous. I could counter your description with my unschooling stories, which would include: far more social time with friends than most schooled kids I know (not just at lunches, recess, and passing in the hall), unlimited time to pursue interests (without the interruption of bells, inflexible curricula, or other disruptive, uninterested kids), hours upon hours of educational field trips (that we often explore at out leisure for hours after the school children we encounter are led through and rushed off onto buses), tons of experiences in the purposeful and real adult world, etc., but this is all just a matter of opinion as to what sorts of experiences offer the best educational benefits. You and I may differ in opinion, and that’s okay; I’m not educating your kids and you’re not educating mine.Frankly, the fact that your daughters chose to spend their “unschooling day” as they did, tells me far more about their regular schooling than it does about unschooling. Needing to decompress from always being told what to do, how to do it, and precisely when and for how long, your daughters obviously let loose when you gave them the day off. In their shoes, I would have too. School has taught them well; they fully believe that “learning” is something chosen by and forced upon you by expert others and that it is generally unpleasant enough that nobody would ever choose to learn on her own. Whether and for how long the choices your daughters made that day would have continued is not known; you gave them just one day, a holiday. However, you seem to think that if left to choose their destinies, your kids would choose to lounge around, sleep all day, play video games, and eventually turn to drugs. That tells me a lot about your view of human nature and/or your opinion of your kids, but it tells me nothing about unschooling. Compared to many kids I know, my unschoolers rarely watch TV, not because they can’t, but because they seem to have realized on their own (as I both believe and model) that it’s generally not as interesting as doing other things, and certainly not as productive.We all make educational choices for our children. My choice is simply based upon a view opposite to yours. To me, it is “traditional schooling” (which, of course, is not really traditional at all — school is a relatively recently developed institution) that is an absurd approach to educating children and the one most likely to be chosen by “lazy parents” who want to wash their hands of all responsibility for educating their kids. After all, after just one day living in the real world with your kids, you couldn’t wait to turn them back over to your school district, where you assumed they would again be corralled and required to learn the pre-determined “right stuff” with the rest of the herd. No, in my experience unschoolers aren’t lazy… not any more than anyone else. I too think it would be easier to send my kids to school all day, only I think schooling is harmful to developing minds and I’m not willing to put my kids through it just to get some free babysitting. To you, the idea of allowing a child to choose the whats, whens, wheres, and hows of his learning is a poor educational choice. To me, taking a child out of the real world and requiring him to do specific learning tasks at specific times (to the tune of bells) in an artificial environment where those tasks hold no meaning save pleasing teacher and getting a good grade is a poor educational choice. I think the former is far more likely to grow self-directed, self-responsible, purposeful, successful-in-the-real-world, and psychologically satisfied adults. I think the latter is more likely to produce wandering, unmotivated, and unsatisfied adults who are ill-equipped to continue life-long learning and to develop and internalize their own passions, values, and morals. After all, whatever the real-world value of any piece of learning, it is decidedly *not* to do well on a school test. School kids are rarely given opportunity to see beyond this. Consider this: after one day home on her own, your daughter couldn’t even conceive how she would learn anything if she didn’t go to school. Yup. Hand that girl a diploma; school has taught her well… that “real learning” means others telling you when, how, and what to know and do and then requiring you to know and do it so you can pass the test. I find your daughter’s comment telling and very, very sad. In contrast, my kids believe that they’re capable of learning on their own, know that valuable learning happens all the time in a variety of ways and places, understand the real-life purpose and value of choosing to learn certain things, and recognize that they are responsible for making those choices for themselves in pursuit of a fulfilling life.So you wanna check back in 10-15 years?

  42. >”If children knew best, we could throw them out of the house at about five, when they were able to pour themselves a bowl of cereal and get dressed.” I was considering this but then where would they get the bowl and the cereal to pour? As soon as they figure that out they are so out of here!Rebecca has made some excellent points. I second them!

  43. >Rebecca, first, I think you need to read what I’ve written in the comments about what I really think of unschooling and homeschooling. I never said I was opposed to homeschooling and I said I think unschooling could work in some cases. I don’t know you- maybe you really are doing a great job of preparing your kids for the real world (although I hope college is not in their futures if you’re a true unschooler). Or maybe you’re letting them veg in front of the TV. It will forever remain a mystery to me and frankly, I like it that way. I am basing a great deal of my perceptions on a whole lot of comments I read from unschooling parents communicating with each other- not defending themselves to me. Second. Dude. You. Must. Chill. It was a humor column. I’m aware that you didn’t find any humor in it, but assuming that the rest of my readership couldn’t tell that it was a humorous piece- and that they probably thought that it was an instructive piece on how to unschool- really isn’t giving them the credit they deserve. Also, using a humor column it to label my stepdaughters’ schooling beliefs and attitudes is just ridiculous. It would be like me assuming that Saturday Night Live is a complete and accurate portrayal of how Americans live, work and think.But from the sound of things, you should actually copy your comment here and send it on to the folks at Dr. Phil… Just an idea.

  44. Shannon says:

    >Lindsay, I just want to point out that if you had truly meant this to be a humor column, you could have simply detailed your unschooling experimental day and left it at that. But you label unschooling a “ridiculous notion.” Then you go as far as updating your post with a quote from someone who wrote a rebuttal to your post and you insult her by writing: “Mkay. Homeschoolers are weirder than I thought.” Well, I think that goes beyond humor.

  45. >I need to point something out to the anonymous commenter with the gifted child.Of course unschooling works for you, and likely would for us too. Gifted children naturally have an intrinsic motivation to learn. In fact, that’s part of the criteria to be diagnosed as intellectually gifted. For gifted kids, learning is like breathing…they don’t ever shut off. My son sounds very similar to yours and in a lot of ways, unschooling would probably work well for him too.However, some kids just don’t have that intrinsic motivation and so unschooling just won’t work for them. While ours are driven to learn why icebergs float so they preform a bunch of scientific experiments, those kids just don’t care to know. God, I wish that I could home/un/school mine. He’s SO unhappy with public school right now.

  46. Anonymous says:

    >Once again, lol, I whole heartedly agree. But see, I don’t see this as a go to school – stay home to school issue. I have met many ‘stupid’ kids both in and out of school types. What it really comes down to is how they are nurtured from the get go. Children are little sponges. They soak it all up.Oprah had a little African girl who had been starved and hit by a car on. The child had lost her arm and leg. The parents who adopted her, let her try anything and everything. She learned a new language, to walk, to play softball and to even swim.When asked how did she learn to swim, she simply said it was boring watching her brothers swim on the swim team. (Yes, I loved how she was completely part of this family) So she decided to do it too!She got in the pool and tried till she succeeded. She joined the team.All kids with nurturing environments, thrive. This is proved time and time again. I have met parents who should most certainly never homeschool but in my opinion, they shouldn’t have bred either. Those kids, hopefully, will find that mentor who will nurture them and help them to grow.Will Smith said something in his recent RD interview. I doubt I have it word for word, but it went something like this.I know I could learn to fly the spaceshuttle. The interveiwer said he himself would have trouble learning something like that. Will said that’s the point. He doesn’t have that doubt. Someone knows how to fly the shuttle and they wrote a book. Give him that book and he’ll read it and learn. He doesn’t need a teacher standing at a blackboard to explain it to him.Children start out with a need to learn. It only stops when they learn no one’s gonna feed their mind. And some kids, refuse to except even that.It doesn’t matter if you homeschool or unschool or send your child to private school or public school.What matters is that you let your child come to you no matter what, and you help them find what they need. My daughter had awesome teachers. My son, one good one and two horrible ones, which he was quickly removed from.All that matters is that as parents, you do the best you can do for each child. Be open and honest with them. And love them for all their worth.The same anonymous from above with two wonderful children who will both go to college because they each have big dreams.

  47. >Shannon, really, if you don’t like what you’re reading then please, by all means click the ‘x’ at the top of your screen. I’m not sure why you keep coming back here to say again and again that you don’t like what I’ve written. If you want to comment about others’ comments, that’s fine, but I think it’s time for you to let go of your issues with me and move on to something more interesting, like snake handling. Or bird flu.

  48. Rebecca says:

    >…”(although I hope college is not in their futures if you’re a true unschooler)”. Okay, I have to laugh that you’re defining a “true unschooler”. My very point: you are uninformed about what people who call themselves unschoolers are actually all about. I don’t care whether my kids go to college or not… it’s their choice. When and if they want to take a class or go for a degree of any kind is up to them. Unschooling isn’t about refusing kids educational choices, only about letting them decide for themselves which educational opportunities to pursue, be they traditional, alternative, or otherwise. As for your readers’ response to your article…”Unschooling sounds like the latest asenine scheme for our generation of parents! Are we really all this lazy? “”Wow. Is this even legal?””Wow…parents that are too lazy to even wake up a little earlier and shuffle their kids off to public school for the day?””It sounds as though these unschooling parents are just major slackers.””I think there are some “unschooled” kids at my local Wal-Mart. There was one who repeatedly smacked his mom in the head until she got him the treats he wanted. That has to be the result of “non-schooling,” right?””Wow…I’m just shocked….and a little jealous. I REALLY wish my conscience would let me get away with being this lazy sometimes, lol.””…the whole unschool thing sounds like a total crock to me and something ANY kid would love. But, would it be good for them? I doubt it.”You write:”…but assuming that the rest of my readership couldn’t tell that it was a humorous piece- and that they probably thought that it was an instructive piece on how to unschool- really isn’t giving them the credit they deserve.” Really? Sounds to me like lots of your readers (many of whom seemed to first hear of the concept in your article) took your description of unschooling as true-to-life and have formed their opinions accordingly. Moreover, although you responded right away to my response, asking me to “chill” and not take your words too seriously, you didn’t seem concerned by the comments above. Nowhere do I see you asking them to “chill”, that it was just a gag, that they shouldn’t take your article as a scholarly or accurate description of the practice of unschooling. I think this is because these readers responded exactly as you intended them to.”I said I think unschooling could work in some cases.” Actually, you said: “Unschooling, too, could work in theory and in a very limited number of cases.” and “I like the IDEA of unschooling too, and see it working for one of those child geniuses you see on TV every now and then- I just suspect that a whole lot of unschoolers are um, lazy or very weird parents.”So you like the IDEA, eh? When somebody tells me they like something in “theory” but not in practice, my eyebrows raise. If it doesn’t work in practice, in what way could the theory be said to be a good one? Okay, so now I have a new theory… you’re just projecting your laziness on the rest of us. I mean, seriously, do you really think the most lazy of parents would choose to keep their kids home with them rather than dump them at a school all day? Believe me, it’s on my laziest of days when I’m feeling least happy about my decision to unschool.”The problem is that very few kids and very few parents are actually up for the time and labor involved in making it work.” Mmm… okay. If you say so. I do dare to assume, however, that I know far more unschoolers intimately and have actually seen them in action far more than you have.”Also, using a humor column it [sic] to label my stepdaughters’ schooling beliefs and attitudes is just ridiculous.” Fair enough. I don’t know your daughters. But you actually quoted your daughter’s words in context, and I found them very disheartening. She wasn’t part of a Saturday Night Live skit; unless you fed her the words for the sake of your column, I can only assume that her words were sincere.Finally, I’d like to point out that the whole of your argument here has been that it’s your impression that lots of unschoolers (apparently ones on whom you’ve only been eavesdropping within a friendly and casual online atmosphere) are lazy. It is erroneous to conclude that unschooling is not a viable or even superior approach from this info alone. I’m pretty sure you’re not arguing that no parents who send their children to school are lazy! (If so, I can provide a laundry list of “lazy school parent” quotes if you’d like!) Of course, some people are lazy regardless of whether or not they send their kids to school. This is not an argument for or against any particular approach.

  49. Rebecca says:

    >Oh and one more thing…You write:”maybe you really are doing a great job of preparing your kids for the real world (although I hope college is not in their futures if you’re a true unschooler). Or maybe you’re letting them veg in front of the TV. It will forever remain a mystery to me and frankly, I like it that way.”Well, I’ve been telling you how it is. If you actually prefer to remain forever ignorant of unschooling and whether or not it could be an appropriate or superior educational choice, then I guess your article was written less out of ignorance and more out of prejudice.I can only hope that your readers will read this comment of yours too, so that they can place your article on unschooling into its proper context and know that you are writing on a topic you’d rather simply prejudge than actually learn anything about.

  50. toyfoto says:

    >I must say that while the term “Unschooling” is hitting a hot button with you and some of your readers who are reacting bitterly, I can say that the Free School system, which turned up in the sixties has had some wonderful successs. My husband and his sister are both products of this form of early education. They attended schools that focused on their interests at their pace. You’d be surprised how many children DO respond to that kind of approach to learning. And it’s not as unstructured as it sounds, either. There is a structure with limits, but not a standardized, cookie cutter approach to learning.Like every school choice available to parents, even standard schooling, there are failures. I’ve seen many-a history class teach by dramatic movies that take ample liberty with facts.My husband and his sister went to college and earned bachelors’ and masters’ degrees. They just believed in themselves and were ready, willing and able to question the status quo. You are right, though. This type of schooling isn’t for everyone. But there are so few single courses of action that work for every soul.

  51. Belinda says:

    >I am amazed at the number of people who don’t recognize a HUMOR piece when they see it. That thought you were ACTUALLY performing some sort of serious, controlled experiment in homeschooling on that single day off from school. Wow. Apparently, being a homeschool teacher does not make you perceptive.(disclaimer: I love the idea of homeschooling, would love to be able to do it, and would myself probably have thrived on it, I truly believe.)And I went and read that “rebuttal” column on the homeschooling blog linked in your earlier post, and what really occurs to me is that, if you’re going to write ABOUT being a good–even superior–educator, you might, well, I dunno…try to make sure you write WELL. Just a few (of many) examples from a few lines of text in that post:”bees-wax” It’s one word: beeswax.”free-reign” It’s actually “free REIN,” (no hyphen) from equestrian lingo, meaning to give a horse its head; to create total slack in the reins so that the horse has complete control of its head and mouth, and as such, can pretty much do as it pleases. Makes sense in the given context of that post, no? What would “free-reign” mean, exactly? I kind of thought that the monarchy already got to do whatever they wanted–that’s kind of the point of being a king or queen, isn’t it?”along side” It’s alongside, one word.”naysayer’s” This was used in her post as a plural, but written as a possessive. The things above, I could have overlooked, much as she did your use of “sucked,” but not this one. THIS one SUCKED. If you don’t know the difference between something as basic as plural vs. possessive, and you are unsure as to when it is appropriate to use an APOSTROPHE, for crying out loud, you should, perhaps, not be writing about educating children. Just a thought.This is why I write drivel. I had a recent post that, upon proofreading after publishing, I discovered a small handful of typos (things liked dropped letters, even a missing word in one case)…and instead of correcting them, just said, “Eh. I’m keeping expectations low.”

  52. Anonymous says:

    >**Unschoolers are even weirder than I thought.**”You have no idea”, she drawls, in her best Jeremy Irons imitation

  53. Homeland Guy says:

    >It’s killing me. For all the anectodal, “I was homeschooled and did great” quotes on this issue, no one talks about the failures. Because no one wants to admit their social experiment with the most important gift they have, (their children), is a dud. My wife’s a teacher and we tried homeschooling with our dyslexic son and twins. We learned that it takes extreme organization, huge amounts of work, and dedicated priorities. After a year we found a good private school program and ditched the homeschooling. It just wasn’t for us. I have nothing but admiration for those you are successful in their homeschool efforts. But there are others who aren’t successful and really aren’t sharp enough to know they’re screwing their kids up for life, and that’s a long time.So let’s see, you’ve stirred up the breast feeders and home schoolers in the last couple weeks. You certainly know how to get the juices and e-mails flowing. What’s next? Taking on the rebel flag or buildings named after confederate generals. (It’s a Nashville thing)

  54. Math Teacher says:

    >Shannon said:”If the goal for your children is to raise them to be automatons, blindly following the status quo, then yes, send them to school and teach them they simply MUST learn and do things they dislike. Because someone else tells them to.”It seems to me that you’re advocating anarchy here. And you’re assuming a school education will create automatons. A good education–whether homeschool, public school, or private school–gives a person more freedom to choose their own path, not less.In order to have a safe, civilized society, we all must do things we dislike. I stop at red lights even when I’m in a hurry, even though I dislike the wait.Your example of doing laundry, a chore that many dislike, because the desire for clean clothes outweighs the distasteful job, would not work in my household. My 11-year-old son does not have a problem with wearing the same clothes for a week. He also would not bathe or brush his teeth if he didn’t have to. I make him do these things because I’m the parent, and I know what’s best for him.

  55. KathyB says:

    >Love it when you start a great debate! You rpovide a wonderful place for everyone to have a say.Where does one learn about humor??? I learn it here. Maybe some of you could as well…

  56. me says:

    >Man! I hope YOU at least watched Harold & Kumar. Even though it is a pothead movie of the lowest kind, I’m secure enough in myself to say that I think it’s one of the funniest movies of all times! Everyone has their own guilty secrets. Mine is evidently finding Doogie Howser saying “pussy” funny. Who’d have thought! Oh, and …..noooo wiRE HANGERS!!!!!!!! The book kicks ass too!

  57. Lisa says:

    >Shannon said:”If the goal for your children is to raise them to be automatons, blindly following the status quo, then yes, send them to school and teach them they simply MUST learn and do things they dislike. Because someone else tells them to.”You don’t like what Lindsay or other commenters have said about this subject…is it ok that I don’t like your comment?My children are thriving at their public school. I understand why people homeschool and applaud their bravery and patience. I am *NOT* a lazy parent by letting them go to public school, nor do I buy into the fact that their school will turn them into an “automaton”. Some schools may stink; but many of us out here in the good ol’ USA are blessed with a school district filled with great teachers and an excellent system. The board and the principals/staff are more than happy to talk with parents about their concerns and if you aren’t happy with a teacher, they’ll move them. Etc, etc. To generalize that all public school students become “automatons” is ridiculous. What will you tell your child if boss after boss fires him/her because your child refused to do something because they “didn’t like it”? I hope your finances can handle them living at your home forever!

  58. Lee says:

    >Holy Cow!I actually commented on the blog you linked to, so it’s only fair to comment here.I think that in home-, un-, and public schooling, what you get out of it is what you put into it. I don’t believe that I know all the things my child needs to know, and I don’t believe that public school should be blindly trusted to do the same. What my wife and I try to do is stay involved in their education, and offer our opinions, values, and perspectives in order to allow them to grow into free-thinking, educated adults.This from a person who the public school system failed.I got a GED, but struggled in high school because of disinterested parents and an educational environment that was too slow for me, which caused me to lose interest. My GED scores were in the 95th to 99th percentile despite a 10th grade formal education and no prep courses.I write very well, thank you, with my tenth grade education, and am borderline psychotic about people who can’t take the time to use proper grammar or spell correctly.I think home- or un- schooling may have worked for me, but not with the parents that I grew up with. Their disinterest had all of us disadvantaged before we started.There isn’t an all inclusive method that works for everyone, people.Great debate, and keep the comments coming!

  59. >Lee, I totally agree with you. It’s up to the parents, no matter where the child is being educated (er, uneducated, if you’re an unschooler?).

  60. Anonymous says:

    >I like you, Lee. You sound just like me! I, also, did the GED thingwith a tenth grade formal education and passed above the 95 percentile.Here’s the kicker. My oldest LOVES public school. My youngest loves unschooling. My middle-step-daughter is about to be pulled from public school, which she loves, because she is choosing to fail.Yes, for her it’s a choice. She’s smart and doesn’t care. She will be homeschooling with her father.Three different paths for three different children in one house! We choose to be involved parents and give each child what they each need.You didn’t by chance go to Suncoast, did you?

  61. >Because seriously, doing unschooling right would take a LOT of work on the parents’ part and very few parents are actually willing to go there.*******************8This is the jist of unschooling that WORKS. Unschooling does work, but to do it right, you have to be on call, and constantly facilitating 24/7. I should know, I’ve unschooled my own kids.

  62. lc says:

    >It’s too easy to generalize. I don’t think “unschooling” parents are lazy as a rule. In fact, it could be argued that by cutting across the grain requires more work. It also could be argued that parents that send their kids to public school are taking the easy way out. Delegate raising the kids to the government (now that’s scary!)As far as the TV and video game playing goes, I don’t believe kids doing “all the time” is good, however, maybe being a video-holic for a couple of months will get it out of the kids system so the kids will appreciate outside time, creative time, etc.Raising kids is not a “one-size-fits-all” process. Parents need to take a participatory role and not just do what all the other suburbanites are doing.It’s easy to mock and criticize those doing things differently. It’s nice to feel good about yourself, especially when it comes to raising your kids. I don’t think you can understand a teaching process by trying to act it out for a day any more than you can understand it by reading articles and especially blogs.Typically, homeschoolers and unschoolers are by nature zealots. They are passionate about what they believe, and sometimes, they’re wrong. Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water. There is a valid issue here being challenged. Parents who have become dissatisfied with the current educational system the US (and for good reasons that can be empiracally measured) are seeking new ways to raise up their kids.The biggest hindrance to real change are the scoffers who sit back and criticize without offering any solutions.

  63. >Actually, I’d say people with no sense of humor are an even bigger hindrance to change- because they spend their lives getting angry at things that really aren’t worth getting angry about.

  64. lc says:

    >Yes, humorless people are difficult, but we’re talking about subjects that should arouse people’s passions. Anger often points to pain. A lot of people on this website and others like it feel they have something to prove . Like their way of raising kids is better than your way of raising their kids. So they say, “Homeschooling is the answer, or, private school is the answer.” It becomes a religion and if you don’t see it their way, they will personally attack you. They haven’t come for discussion, they’ve come to convert you.Unschooling addresses an issue, so we can mock it (most of it sounds extreme so it’s an easy target) or we deal with its central issue, that being, is it true that the standard educational process offered to us by the government and private schools the best we can do for our kids.

  65. Anonymous says:

    >hi, Im 15 and Unschoolde, and I think from reading your exsperience on unschooling that you did it all wrong! Read ‘The Teenage Liberation Handbook’ by Grace Llewlyn. She was actually a englich teacher, and she HATES schools, so she would actually SHOW and TELL you everything about unschooling, and how to do it. just a thought. Just read this book, and have your stepdaugters read it, and maybe you could do what she says and try Unschooling again, GOOD LUCK! Liesl G

  66. Nancy says:

    >Hi Lindsey!Wow, this one is still thriving I see! Gee, I guess I better get out my thesaurus (did I spell that right?) Or my dictionary, or “heck” I better just go back to public school so I can learn how to spell! Oops, sorry! Been there, done that. I guess there is no hope for me.Sorry if I sound a little sarcastic. I did comment at some point and admit that I missed the fact that your column was humorous. It is amazing how a comment or a blog link can brand a person for life! LOL! I just popped back over here to see how the comments were progressing and low and behold, Belinda, God bless her, took the time to proof my blog and found a whole lot of typos and misspellings and other errors! (Pardon my dangling participle,) That was very nice of her. It was also very nice of her to say that I “Suck.” Sorry Belinda, I didn’t realize I had to live up to your expectations! Every now and then I get a nasty comment on my blog, but it kind of surprises me when I find a nasty comment on my blog, on someone elses blog! No reflection on you Lindsey, I enjoy reading your stuff. Oops, did I botch that apostrophe too? Gee whillikers, call out the punctuation police!Homeschooling Mom,Never Claimed to be superior,Public School Graduate :)Nancy

  67. Belinda says:

    >Nancy, I never never never said (nor would I ever say) that YOU “suck.” I said that one single part of your post, the post in which you speak of the superiority of a certain set of teaching skills over another set, “sucked.” Specifically, the use of an apostrophe when the word is simply plural. Again (I’m not a reading comprehension nazi, but I read over my comment and didn’t find it all that confusing, but admittedly, I had the advantage of knowing what I meant before I wrote it): Not YOU. Incorrect use of apostrophes, especially superfluous ones tacked onto plurals, is one of my absolute pet peeves, and for me, that “sucks.” NOT Nancy. Hear me now, everyone: Nancy does not “suck.” Nancy, in fact, seems like a lovely, devoted person, and a dedicated parent. She just pushed several of my “reading pet-peeve hot-buttons” with that post, which was all the more grievous since the post was about how superior the form of teaching she employs is to public education. Punctuation is definitely taught in public schools, and if I was going to post such an entry, I would definitely proof-read it like crazy (as I do not do on my own blog, consequently leaving posts rife with mistakes for all to mock).As for the other things I listed, as I said, those I could easily have passed over without a thought in most posts, but here you were holding yourself out as an example of superior teaching methods. And do I think this is a fault of homeschooling? No way. As I said in my comment, I think homeschooling is an admirable, desirable pursuit, and wish I could afford to do it myself. And I will readily admit this: Most, if not all, of what I learned in my life about language–usage and etymology–I learned on my own, through voraciously READING. No teachers of any kind involved, except the writers of many many great books.I’m more on your side than you might think, and sorry my comment came off harsh and smart-alecky. Because it was smart-alecky, but not intended to be personal.

  68. Scott Hughes says:

    >On average, I find that unschooling parents put more work into their child’s education than others. They teach their children to teach themselves.Thanks,Scott HughesEducation Forums

  69. Anonymous says:

    >If you seriously believe that keeping your kids home from school and letting them decide what to do is “unschooling” you are majorly misinformed.I am an unschooling mom. I provide lots of educational materials to my children, and allow them to explore them at will. They are not boxed into learning whatever some arbitrary system has decided to teach them, but allowed to explore in depth whatever interests them.I guarantee my kids know more than most kids their age.Sometimes the tv is on all day, sometimes we’re at the museum all day. Sometimes, we’re in small sessions at our local university all day that your publicly schooled kids will never be able to participate in because they’re, well, public schooled. And, yes, a class at a college is perfectly in line with unschooling, if the child chooses to attend it.Unschooling doesn’t mean not teaching. It means taking lessons from life and turning them into opportunities for learning. Group learning can never match up to homeschooling in any way. There is no way each child’s individual needs can be met in a group setting. There is no way each child’s voice can be heard, and interests explored fully in a group setting. Unschooled children have the benefit of being heard and their intellect developed fully.

  70. >Um yeah, but see I’ve read your message boards. And your forums. And I’ve seen a hell of a lot of unschoolers writing about how they tried homeschooling curricula and “just couldn’t stick with it.” So they switched to unschooling!Hello!Cop out!I’m sure there are good unschooling parents out there, but I’m just as sure that they are few and far between, just as a child who would do well under the unschooling format is a rare and extremely disciplined child.Too many unschoolers wrote about their day and described kids who were glued to the TV or the playstation. That’s a problem. It just is. So if you’re a good unschooler, then I support you. I really do. And only you know whether you’re doing a good job and your kid is truly thriving. But if you’re letting your kids watch a lot of TV and call it “unschooling” and if there are serious gaps in their education, then you are doing them a serious disservice.

  71. Anonymous says:

    >Interestingly enough, I (as a current homeschooler) found myself joining an unschooling group to see what this is all about. Half of the objectives I found are very useful and pretty natural, like trusting your child to do something like making his/her own sandwich even when it looks like vomit, or letting him/her go outside without a coat for a little while until he/she learns on their own that they are cold… but when it comes to watching TV all day or playing videogames… my child has turned into a whiney monster! After today, when my 3 year old daughter was traumatized by another little “unschooling” girlfriend when this girl decided to tell her she didn’t want to play with her and then kept running away from her when my daughter wanted to clarify why (after they had been playing wonderfully for almost an hour)… I am not interested in unschooling. The girl’s mother who was watching my 3 year cry continuously while she kept saying “my friend hurt my feelings! She doesn’t want to play with me!”, didn’t even intercede a little to ask her daughter why she didn’t want to play… and I am not saying she had to tell her to play with my daughter… but I DO believe my daughter deserved an explanation… which she never got and the mother didn’t say a word the whole time while I was running around the house trying to calm my little girl down. This is why I am awake now at 3:34 in the AM… because my little little girl couldn’t stop talking about how her friend hurt her feelings all freakin’ night long and that mother totally deserves a swift punch in the nose for sitting there, not doing a thing. If it was her daughter, I can promise anyone, given the circumstances that happened, only a mother who was seriously neglectful would ignore their crying, almost 3 year old, daughter. This pissed me off sooooo bad, I could just argue the situation with this woman until we were in a full all out brawl. (and I am FAR from a violent woman normally!) Some unschoolers should re-learn what it means to respect your children! Trust isn’t the word, it should be respect… and that goes for respecting other people as well!!!!! GRRRR…..

  72. Anonymous says:

    >So I read everybodys comments and I put myself in everybodys shoes and I’ve formed an educated opinion on this whole unschooling thing. Let’s start with me, I went to kindergarten in a small town, the teacher told my parents I needed more challenging curriculum, so I went to a french immersion, where you learn everything in french and then have an english class, until grade four. I was active this entire time, leaving the house at 730 on the bus for school and getting home at about 8 every night. I loved it but when I started getting more serious about figure skating I became homeschooled. By this time I was fluent in french. I travelled alot, living in the united states, england, and china, until I was 14, when we came back to canada. Throughout this time I was doing homeschooling but it wasnt for me. I struggled alot but kept at it, or I wouldnt have been skating. I switched to the government curriculum at 15 and it was great for me, I graduated at 17 and did 4 years of university in 3 and went on to get my masters. I kept skating too, I performed on cruise ships for awhile and it was great to travel and keep up with school like that. When I settled down and had kids it suddenly became an option again. Public? Private? Homeschool? Unschool? I have 3 children, all of them are very different, and none of them learn the same the other. My oldest is 15 and is a very social child, she likes school sports and she was too advanced for public school so she is in an advanced program in high school where she will graduate at 16, after that she knows that she can start university right away or travel and start at 18 like most people do. She knows that her father and I will respect her decision if she wants to travel or be the youngest in university. Private school works great with her. My middle child is 12 and is the brainiac of the family. He’s self motivated and he taught himself to read at age 2, actually teaching his older sister to read 3 months later. He went to private school but wanted to learn more so we set it up so that he stays home every weekday except thursday, which is when he goes the school, gets his work for the courses he is taking, takes tests, and gets help if he needs it. He is taking twice the classes a “normal” child takes and half of them are university classes, just ones like photography that he can do for extra credits for when he goes to university, since he wants to double major. He should graduate at 14 and he wants to become a surgeon, cardio, and he can be one by 24, rather than 29 like average. He chose to do it this way, he is self motivated, and I will not hold him back by putting him in a regular school because of his age. My youngest child is 9, she is following in her sisters footsteps, she is taking high school courses and she will graduate when she is 15, she loves literature and when she’s home from school she sits down and reads shakespear on a regular basis. She has many friends who are her age and are at the same level in school, and she has many that are normal. She is socially adept, plays sports, and will just graduate a little sooner than most people. Out of my 3 children only my son could unschool, and I won’t let him, though he doesn’t want to and I am thankful for that. I dont believe I am holding him back. He stays home during the days with me while his sisters do advanced courses in a classroom, but as long as they are learning and not just playing video games, what does it really matter WHERE they are learning? Should I put my 12th grade course taking daughter in grade 10? Should I put my university attending son in grade 8? My 9th grade course taking daughter in grade 3? ow would that benifit them? Or maybe I should have held them back? Never let them get so far ahead in the first place? No. I will not hold my children back, I am not forcing my children to get ahead, they set their own goals, and they reach them most of the time. If I could go back, I would never have taken books away from my son when he was 2, I wouldn’t have told him to stop doing homework and watch television. I will never hold them back. My husband graduated early and did 4, yes 4, majors in university, staying in until he was 28. He and I both agree that our children are learning their own way and we can’t reconstruct how their minds work to learn. We own a wii, we own games for it, but the kids only play it when their friends are around and there is nothing else to do. Other than that, for us, it was a waste of money. My children watch about 5 hours tv during the week and maybe 3 during the weekend. They have normal social lives, my oldest has a job, she bought herself a car recently and is learning more about responsibility. My youngest is in brownies, she sells cookies door to door, my son plays soccer and hockey, they are completely normal socially, they are just also advanced for their age in school. I would be worried about it if they were behind, but seeing as they are ahead, they could stop completetly for 3 years and still graduate early. If they were behind however, or spending all of their time on games and computers, I would take away said games and computers, and we would be having some very serious school related talks, and they would be back on track as quickly as possible. But as long as they are ahead, I am fine with them teaching themselves alot.

  73. Sugar says:

    >This comment is probably just going to go into a big Suburban trash can… still… I thought I’d share.Last week, my daughter completed two units of science based on our observations on our week long field trip. I’d tell you all about it, but if you are curious, I hope you come by and visit:http://livingintheory.blogspot.com/2008/09/unschooling-up-coast.htmlhttp://livingintheory.blogspot.com/2008/09/unschooling-up-coast-part-ii.htmlAnd if you know of anybody (Parenting) that might want to hear about this (Parenting), I wouldn’t mind if you passed it on to someone like, oh say, Parenting…

  74. Shaun says:

    >Wow. You cannot judge every home school child/parent as a lazy unschooler. That is just unfair on your behalf.I did read that you tried unschooling, but only for one day. That is hardly enough time to see results.Not only that, I think you missed the whole point to unschooling. You don’t let the child be completely in control. AND you must explain the 5 W’s and how things work for each question they may have. Especially if they are leaning towards items in life which you find suspect.When your 13 year old wanted to watch a movie about stoner’s, why not explain at the movie rental store that you don’t feel there any lesson to be learned from that movie. And if she persisted, then ask for a report on things she learned after watching it. If you were scared she would pick up a habit with marijuana, ask her to produce her own research on a scheduled date? let her get her own understanding while learning how to research.Please research your opinions before you blurt them out on open blogs. You may find you just might learn something!

  75. >I don’t think you realize this is a humor blog, Shaun. But I love how you’re reading all my old posts and writing rebuttals as thought everything I write is totally serious. You’re giving me a little lift on what would otherwise be a very boring Monday.

  76. Anonymous says:

    >Unschooling has many benefits for children with learning disabilities and other learning issues.It,done in the manner that John Holt suggested has many benefits for the child,and the parent.It,by no means gives any excuse for lazy parenting,or permitting the television to be a baby sitter.This type of schooling came into being long before the television and nintendos became the center of our existence.

  77. Tamraprn says:

    >To The Lazy organizer……It took me awhile to figure out the whole bowl and cereal thing, then I just learned I could throw cereal on the floor and leave:).

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