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Old 02-28-2012, 06:51 AM   #21
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We were unschoolers for a couple years and received some interesting comments. I've always felt it was more of a discipleship schooling and have called it such. I am not sitting back eating Bon bons while my kids watch television!

Now our method has some structure but is a good mix. We typically have one week of structured schooling (although I'm sure my definition of structure is different from some) and a week of little structure. I have found the kids have a great time applying what they learned during the structured week when they are in the unstructured week. We do have a daily structure to our lives as far as having a bit of a routine for eating, cleaning, etc so I feel they aren't living loosey goosey.

It was really amazing for me to watch them these last few days as they applied math, science, etc while doing things outside. Then last night, they climbed in our bed and read about animals and wanted to do some math out of a dollar tree workbook.... at 10pm!!

When kids enjoy learning, there is no stopping them! But most people don't grow up enjoying learning as a whole. It's what they do at school, in their minds, not a way of life.

In my view, we are always learning and my job is to disciple my children. This means having them help me in daily things as we discuss why and how. We are always having conversations about things and if they express an interest in something, we research it.

We've told our children that, once they can read, they can learn anything through books, and that really spurred them forward. The oldest two struggled with reading but now do great!

Also, with math, I recommend the math u see manipulatives. That really helped my kids and they get them out and "do math" all the time. Helped them transition into other things as well!

Oh! And on the creative front, I am pretty artsy and so is my daughter. I found that it really helped to apply math in a creative way. I don't have a specific method, but like you mentioned, baking works well with fractions. Sometimes we would do math with markers or crayons or m&ms.... Just to give her a good colorful visual.

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Last edited by McMandy; 02-28-2012 at 06:56 AM.
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Old 02-29-2012, 12:19 PM   #22
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Re: Fellow unschoolers, please reassure me!

Mama, if you feel like your family needs a break, a chance to live and enjoy life and learn how to do it with just you and the girls, then I say that should be enough of a reason for her to back off a little. I totally understand and appreciate concern, especially from people who love me and my kids, but in this situation, you should be able to tell her that you and your kids just need some time to sort things out. IMO.

I also think that, while you should be proud of the direction your family is going, it may just be easier to tell people you are homeschooling. Since unschooling is not a common form of education, and most people are not going to put in the time needed in reading about it to understand what it's really about, it may just be adding stress to you to voice that part of your choice right now.

<<<<HUGS>>>> to you. I think your girls will be fine. With everything you've gone through in the last year they probably are not in the best place to be receiving the standard structured learning. I really think taking things slow and learning at your own pace is healthy for children and allows their mind and creative energy to go in their own direction, but even more so when they have suffered through hardship and stress. The relaxed approach to living life is healing.

Last edited by threelittlehoneys; 02-29-2012 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 03-02-2012, 12:08 AM   #23
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Re: Fellow unschoolers, please reassure me!

*hugs*

We get some interesting comments too. I just tell them that I am testing out the waters and if I find that my methods aren't working, I'll adjust as I see fit. Obviously, if your DD is behind on math, the traditional methods weren't 'working' either. It didn't happen instantly when you started unschooling. Children learn at their own pace and have different abilities in different subjects. Education and learning are not one-size-fits-all.

IMO, you should thank her for her concern, but tell her that you've done your research and aren't walking into it blindly and politely suggest that she butt the heck out because they are your children and you are doing what YOU feel is best for them. I think you all deserve some time to decompress.
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