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Thread: 60 minutes story on Sunday- unschooling

  1. #37

    Default Re: 60 minutes story on Sunday- unschooling

    One of DD1s favourite places is the botanical gardens just down from our house and that has lead us all sorts of places. There is a plant there that was used to make wreaths like in Ancient Greece which lead us to talking about that and then mythology which lead to discovering constellations which then led to space. And it just so happens the botanical gardens has a planetarium so that's a very full circle example lol. There are connections everywhere when you start looking!


  2. #38

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    Default Re: 60 minutes story on Sunday- unschooling

    What will happen when the hormones kick in and she is not so keen to learn? Not so interested in the world around her? How long do you plan to unschool for?

  3. #39

    Default Re: 60 minutes story on Sunday- unschooling

    Quote Originally Posted by Ginger View Post
    What will happen when the hormones kick in and she is not so keen to learn? Not so interested in the world around her? How long do you plan to unschool for?
    I don't know what will happen in the future - does anyone? What would happen if that were the case in school? I mean in the end nobody can force anybody to learn even if they try to. School is not a guarantee that somebody will understand or retain any specific information either. I'm not aware that hormones and desire to learn are related or that interest in the world suddenly diminishes? Is there information about that somewhere that you've read? I'm personally somebody who still asks why and how and is interested in the world hence stumbling upon information about the tallest waterfall and I would think all adults continue to learn everyday - I mean there are people reading this thread learning right now; about unschooling. Learning is a continual life long process!

    We plan to continue unschooling for as long as it suits our family.

  4. #40

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    Default Re: 60 minutes story on Sunday- unschooling

    This is all really interesting to read about. Thanks for sharing JF.
    I'm curious what age you or other families plan to unschool to? Will they attend high school or will you introduce home schooling for those teenage years? How will these kids be prepared for Uni/tafe for example if/when they want to go? Would they be in a position to apply without on paper education iykwim?

  5. #41

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    Default Re: 60 minutes story on Sunday- unschooling

    I am an educator and have done very similar things in unusual classroom settings over the years. I have taught many who are disconnected with school and applying this style of learning has been very successful. When working in youth detention I got very good at getting projects to meet yr 10 standards so young people could achieve a leaving cert. !!!

    It also sounds to me very similar to Montessori style teaching. When I first began teaching we ran "whole language" classrooms that incorporated everything into themes.
    This meant all subjects were covered within discovery of a particular idea.
    I think the tricky part is keeping up with the learners and stretching them enough.
    As for further education I think it will become quite obvious what is required when if you do this style of education well.

  6. #42

    Default Re: 60 minutes story on Sunday- unschooling

    Quote Originally Posted by Peace View Post
    This is all really interesting to read about. Thanks for sharing JF.
    I'm curious what age you or other families plan to unschool to? Will they attend high school or will you introduce home schooling for those teenage years? How will these kids be prepared for Uni/tafe for example if/when they want to go? Would they be in a position to apply without on paper schooling iykwim?
    Alright this is a big question people ask! So yes, unschooled children can attend university or TAFE, in theory anyone can - they can enter similarly to a mature age student by way of exams to demonstrate knowledge, they can attend bridging courses or classes, they can have portfolios made by them and their parents and interviews - it depends on the age they want to start, the course they want to take and who they are and what they've done before that point. Universities love motivated self directed learners and all the unschoolers I know of that have wanted to attend university have been able to make that happen. Because an unschooler has been encouraged to pursue their passions they will usually start to realise their aspirations and interests earlier than the traditional age one leaves high school so they can begin to specialise and steer their learning in that direction. In the end, who knows how things will look in the future for unschoolers trying to enter further education, my eldest is only just 5 so she has at least 10yrs before that is something to consider, maybe there will have been an educational revolution by then (one can dream haha).

    Unschooling doesn't have a graduation date and no, we don't intend to ever move back to home educating or the traditional schooling system (never say never). You don't need to. If at some stage a child says to you, I really want to learn trigonometry or I need to know this because I would like to become an engineer or you explain that to them when they say they would like to be an engineer that they might need to understand trigonometry then you find a way that will help your child learn that - so yeah like an online course (there are so many free courses out there if you want to learn things) or a text book or a class or a tutor or an app or possibly some sort of hands on exploration if they are a kinetic learner (maybe start designing and building simpler things and increasing difficulty). So you help them find whatever it is they need to reach their goal and support them in that. If either child tells me they would like to try school then we would first try to understand what it is they feel they need or want from it and make that happen in our home but if we couldn't we would support them in going to school and they could choose to come back to home educating and unschooling at any point. I mean really, for the rest of their lives I will be here to help guide, support and encourage whether they want to learn something at 5 or 25 or 50.

    There is something written somewhere that I will try to find that outlines some of the things some grown unschoolers have pursued but it explains that unschoolers seem to do well in university (or college) because they are there in the pursuit of interest and knowledge rather than a piece of paper and shows the diverse things they do end up doing. It comes down to the fact that they want to be there, so they will do what they need to do to make it happen and benefit from the experience.

  7. #43

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    Default Re: 60 minutes story on Sunday- unschooling

    Thanks for sharing JF, you are doing some fantastic things with your children.

    I love the pictures you posted, it looks like you have an awesome set up too.

    I will continue to read with interest!

  8. #44

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    Default Re: 60 minutes story on Sunday- unschooling

    What happens if they want to learn physics or advanced maths? don't you think that they should learn this from someone with a qualification in that area?
    What about having friends/a social life/people to talk to/connect with?

  9. #45

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    Default Re: 60 minutes story on Sunday- unschooling

    Quote Originally Posted by Jellyfish View Post
    I'm not sure what you have read about unschooling to give you that impression but from my reading unschooling is very well defined no matter who is speaking or writing about it (there is actually an unschooling conference on in Australia at the moment which is pretty exciting - ALLive). At its core, it is a form of home education, if you are not home educating than you can't be unschooling. It would be like somebody who isn't a parent saying they gentle parent - some of the principles may guide some of their decisions but without the parenting part then it isn't the same thing.

    You can call what you do unschooling, you don't need my approval to use the word obviously, I just disagree that it applies. And I think there would be more helpful descriptions; possibly something like "children as people parenting" or "respect based parenting" or "partnership parenting" - if you just want to say you follow their curiosities outside of school and think that is an important part of education then I do think that is just being an active and involved parent and that is the really shallow depths of unschooling, it is much more than that (yes it is a spectrum but one that begins at rejecting school).

    I won't keep rehashing though, my position on the matter has been communicated and what you take from that is up to you, I hope it is something helpful even if you still disagree
    I don't think I ever said I wanted to call anything I did unschooling - just that the principles behind it can be implemented even if your child goes to school - the idea that humans are born learners and that they learn best if given the freedom to learn what and how they want whenever they feel it is appropriate.

    I don't think that any of the material around "children as people parenting" or "respect based parenting" or "partnership parenting" really looks at the learning aspects (particularly once get to school age - as it seems to assume that the main point of learning then becomes the school rather than the family), but 'unschooling' and 'natural learning' literature do have a reasonable focus on the learning aspects, that is where my interest lies, not really in the parenting part, some parenting methods fit more naturally with unschooling than others but the only parenting method I really hold to is the "wysiwyg" method :-)

    The way JF does things, are all things that parents can do even if they go to school/daycare/kinder etc (with my DD is Romans) - it is how my life was outside of school, a project on Australia (at 6 years old - was probably a big contributing factor to why I have ended up living here), an obsession with Castles, collecting barcodes from serial packets and trying to work out the code (barcoding is part of my job now :-)). Everything was a learning experience - school was not thought of as any more important than anything else.

    I think personally think that 'unschooling' can work whatever the age of the child, and I would think it would lead to some exceptionally employable people, the high school years wouldn't worry me anymore than other ages if I was to unschool. I also think that 'school' does not always 'break' the innate interest in learning - especially if home life does all it can to foster it and is not driven too much by standard schooling models.

    Really my only concern with 'unschooling' is the fact that there appears to be an assumption around on lots of the web sites around that if you send your child to school, you can't possibly understand the concept properly. Also that some of the great ideas about learning, and the way people learn, that exist in the 'unschooling' world don't get transported back into more mainstream education because there is so little crossover - and it is only certain segments of society that can do 'unschooling'. It is interesting you mention an educational revolution JF, because that is kind of what I am getting at, unschooling is so separate from school and in some places so disdainful about people who choose/have to use school - what is going to drive the educational revolution?

    Word of warning though, what has been seen cannot be unseen. Choose wisely whether this is a rabbit hole you want to explore (you totally do).
    I am not sure it is a rabbit hole, and I think there is plenty to be taken from it whether or not you would ever 'unschool'.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ginger View Post
    What happens if they want to learn physics or advanced maths? don't you think that they should learn this from someone with a qualification in that area?
    What about having friends/a social life/people to talk to/connect with?
    (I am not 'unschooling', but have read lots around the subject and below is my opinion)

    They can talk, learn from someone with a qualification and experience in that area, just the same as if a school attending child/young adult is interested in something that is not covered at school you might find some other avenue for them to explore that interest.
    As for friends/social life/etc. people who attend school are not usually limited to those they go to school with, so I don't really see it as any different myself, I don't see it 'unschooling' as an isolating way of life at all.

  10. #46

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    Default Re: 60 minutes story on Sunday- unschooling

    Quote Originally Posted by Ginger View Post
    What will happen when the hormones kick in and she is not so keen to learn? Not so interested in the world around her? How long do you plan to unschool for?
    I think one factor is that unschoolers don't generally lose their love of learning and interest in the world in the same way that a child who doesn't fit into the school system and dislikes school might.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ginger View Post
    What happens if they want to learn physics or advanced maths? don't you think that they should learn this from someone with a qualification in that area?
    Unschoolers usually find ways to meet those needs as they arise. They may join some classes in an academic setting based on their interests in those areas or they intern somewhere they can learn it. It's a more flexible approach to education, but I think at the older levels some structured learning settings may come in based upon the individual.

  11. #47

    Default Re: 60 minutes story on Sunday- unschooling

    Quote Originally Posted by wysiwyg View Post
    I don't think I ever said I wanted to call anything I did unschooling - just that the principles behind it can be implemented even if your child goes to school - the idea that humans are born learners and that they learn best if given the freedom to learn what and how they want whenever they feel it is appropriate.

    I don't think that any of the material around "children as people parenting" or "respect based parenting" or "partnership parenting" really looks at the learning aspects (particularly once get to school age - as it seems to assume that the main point of learning then becomes the school rather than the family), but 'unschooling' and 'natural learning' literature do have a reasonable focus on the learning aspects, that is where my interest lies, not really in the parenting part, some parenting methods fit more naturally with unschooling than others but the only parenting method I really hold to is the "wysiwyg" method :-)

    The way JF does things, are all things that parents can do even if they go to school/daycare/kinder etc (with my DD is Romans) - it is how my life was outside of school, a project on Australia (at 6 years old - was probably a big contributing factor to why I have ended up living here), an obsession with Castles, collecting barcodes from serial packets and trying to work out the code (barcoding is part of my job now :-)). Everything was a learning experience - school was not thought of as any more important than anything else.

    I think personally think that 'unschooling' can work whatever the age of the child, and I would think it would lead to some exceptionally employable people, the high school years wouldn't worry me anymore than other ages if I was to unschool. I also think that 'school' does not always 'break' the innate interest in learning - especially if home life does all it can to foster it and is not driven too much by standard schooling models.

    Really my only concern with 'unschooling' is the fact that there appears to be an assumption around on lots of the web sites around that if you send your child to school, you can't possibly understand the concept properly. Also that some of the great ideas about learning, and the way people learn, that exist in the 'unschooling' world don't get transported back into more mainstream education because there is so little crossover - and it is only certain segments of society that can do 'unschooling'. It is interesting you mention an educational revolution JF, because that is kind of what I am getting at, unschooling is so separate from school and in some places so disdainful about people who choose/have to use school - what is going to drive the educational revolution?

    I am not sure it is a rabbit hole, and I think there is plenty to be taken from it whether or not you would ever 'unschool'.
    It doesn't sound like we disagree, the concepts and ideas behind it can be applied if a child attends school and I've said that many times (including mentioning that this is where we were at previously as a family). I was merely correcting Ginger's statement that she unschools out of school hours. I don't think it is impossible to understand from outside of it, I do think it is more difficult to; that is just my experience from last year to this year, it has been a big shift in our family from knowing to doing.

    I found it like a rabbit hole, especially from unschooling to radical unschooling, that's all any of this is; just sharing my experience.

  12. #48

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    Default Re: 60 minutes story on Sunday- unschooling

    One question for you JF (if you don't mind), it may have been asked and I've missed it, if one of your children wanted to go to school, would you be happy for them to give it a go?

  13. #49

    Default Re: 60 minutes story on Sunday- unschooling

    Quote Originally Posted by Ginger View Post
    What happens if they want to learn physics or advanced maths? don't you think that they should learn this from someone with a qualification in that area?
    What about having friends/a social life/people to talk to/connect with?
    Experts can be found in far more places than school. But no, I don't think they should learn in any particular way, that's kind of the point.

    As for the last question; those are not concerns we have had to face. We are part of a home education co-op that involves 22 families (each with between 1 and 4 children) and weekly themed gatherings. Yesterday we went on a nature walk where they ran around and climbed trees, one became the headquarters for fairy adventures. There are also weekly park dates open to all home educators in the area or we have friends over or go to their house or go somewhere together. There are organised excursions, we went to the fire station a few weeks back and there is a farm experience coming up soon. There are camps and conferences, I've mentioned ALLive is currently in Australia. There is also another co-op beginning near my area starting in a few weeks that we might check out and another a bit further out where we know some people. There is a Facebook group and email list that informs home educators of classes, events, themed days and excursions within their area that we subscribe to. We attend what interests us.

    Just earlier this week Heaven's DDs and mine were exchanging video messages because they wouldn't be seeing each other this week (we usually see them most weeks as they are part of our co-op). Last week they were at our house creating this beautiful piece of art (totally just wanted to share that because I think it turned out stunning haha).

    ETA: and there is also all the other sorts of things schooled children attend such as sport or art or music or dance. And the internet!! I know a lot of home educating children connect with others via skype and online gaming as teens.

  14. #50

    Default Re: 60 minutes story on Sunday- unschooling

    Quote Originally Posted by sahbear View Post
    One question for you JF (if you don't mind), it may have been asked and I've missed it, if one of your children wanted to go to school, would you be happy for them to give it a go?
    I don't think anyone specifically asked but I did answer it up above: If either child tells me they would like to try school then we would first try to understand what it is they feel they need or want from it and make that happen in our home but if we couldn't we would support them in going to school and they could choose to come back to home educating and unschooling at any point. I mean really, for the rest of their lives I will be here to help guide, support and encourage whether they want to learn something at 5 or 25 or 50.

  15. #51

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    Default 60 minutes story on Sunday- unschooling

    That's a great attitude to have about it!

  16. #52

    Default Re: 60 minutes story on Sunday- unschooling

    Quote Originally Posted by Ginger View Post
    What will happen when the hormones kick in and she is not so keen to learn? Not so interested in the world around her? How long do you plan to unschool for?
    That doesn't always happen. Didn't for me - but I self-taught myself a lot in those years. As a teacher, I see children keen to learn. And those turned off by the school process, but still learn outside of school (like me). Or those so turned off by school they will never choose to learn again because of the negative connatations. Not to do with hormones. Who honestly is disinterested in life? Rather than defeated by the system.

    At leadt with unschooling, you get positive feelings, so lifelong learning is encouraged even if there is a blip.

  17. #53

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    Default Re: 60 minutes story on Sunday- unschooling

    I can see that you think that you're doing the best thing for them. I still strongly disagree.
    Can I ask you what your dh thinks about it all? Does this mean that you are planning to not have paid employment for the next few years?

  18. #54

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    Default Re: 60 minutes story on Sunday- unschooling

    Ginger, can I ask why you strongly disagree with unschooling? Do you also disagree with home schooling that follows a structure? What research have you done that supports your stance on education? (Not trying to cause trouble, as a parent who hasn't yet had children start in school I am genuinely curious).

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