Hats off to anyone who does homeschooling, would be hard work I know I could never do it. I don't know a lot about unschooling but legally you have to have your child enrolled in some sort of schooling program as far as I'm aware.
Can anyone go into more detail about what unschooling is? ( just curious)
Children learn naturally instead of being forced. There's no worksheets or text books (unless they want) they learn via their interests and through playing. Nobody forces lessons upon them.
There's also radical unschooling which goes beyond just education or learning. On a scale of 1-10 (10 being completely radical lol), we would be about 8.
Unschooling looks pretty much like weekends or school holidays.
How the kids learn maths is through things like pocket money, shopping, saving, budgeting, cooking (measuring), playing games (scoring),
They learn to read and write through games, books they enjoy, magazines, out and about (reading signs), TV, video games, helping to write shopping lists, Xmas lists, writing letters (they have a few pen pals), writing or typing stories or plays, cards and invitations. My son wants to get better at his writing because he thinks it's too messy (I don't think it is) so he traces over letters in a work book we bought at the store.
They learn about science through living, how flowers and plants grow, etc.
Children are naturally curious so when they ask questions "why is the sky blue?" "How come you can't put foil in the microwave?" "How does the remote make the TV work" all those things we look into in depth (if they're really interested) we don't just brush it off and say "don't know".
They might be watching a cartoon and one of the characters says something. One of the kids want to know what that means.
Learning is everywhere and happens all the time. Not just in schools. I've gotten a lot of flack off family and friends for unschooling but I know it's the best for us. My eldest did prep to grade 2. My second eldest did prep. My other two haven't stepped foot in a school. My eldest will be 13 next year and wants to do high school one day a week, it will mean doing actual school work at home (rather than unschooling) but if it's what she wants I'm ok with it too. She wants to try it for a year.
I completely agree with you that learning opportunities are everywhere and it's great that you take advantage of them.
I haven't always unschooled. We started home schooling 3 year ago. Then last year looked more into unschooling and natural learning.
I have friends with teens and know a few unschooled adults who are in careers or studying at tafe and uni.
Even people (like myself) who drop out of school still find ways to get into jobs/careers they like. There are many pathway causes into university's via tafe, work, volunteering, interests.
Many uni's want unschoolers as they're self motivated learners. My kids are only 11, 9, 6 and 2 so we aren't talking about careers yet. My 11 year old loves horses and each fortnight she stays at her friends and they both work at the horse stables near her house. They get paid too (only $30 each for 2 hours but they enjoy it).
A university won't take an unschooler until mature age unless they've got their hsc or similar.
How come day to day life is a good teaching environment until say 18yo then Uni is better?
Im interesting why unschooler would look at getting into uni if they get a just as good education outside of the traditional system?
Personally I don't think I would have learned just as much in maths/science without trained teachers but might be wrong
I think every good parent 'unschools' in that sense though. We read street signs, count traffic lights, learn about swans after seeing them at the park. That doesn't mean it's an adequate substitute for structured home schooling (which I'm still not a fan of) or school.
The problem for me is that unschooling is nice ideologically but not so good in practice. School isn't just about learning algebra, it's about team work with same aged peers, learning to stick to deadlines, sometimes doing/learning about things you really aren't that into for the purpose of teamwork/fulfilling criteria. Hands up who has parts of their job they hate but have to do anyway to get paid?
I believe it does a real disservice to kids on multiple levels and *can* be open to lazy parenting masquerading as new age parent. Unless they as an adult live in a kibbutz, unschooling doesn't work on a real world level.
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Whilst some valid points have been raised not everyone aspires to a conventional/traditional vocation or lifestyle.
If you want a conventional mind give your children a conventional education.
I am not 'unschooling' my children however I am eschewing mainstream education - for exactly the reason in my second paragraph.
Why are we happy (proud even) for children who show genius academically to skip ahead in our school system - but do not allow the child who shows a genius for wood working, cooking, art, music etc... to do the same thing?
Mainstream takes a narrow view of what is an 'education' and it does not suit everyone.
Edit - I accept I'll probably get flamed for this but I feel very passionately that our education system is failing our children.
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