Aug 29, 2011

Unschooling, Homeschooling, Eclectic Homeschooling!

     I have been spending a lot of time learning about unschooling lately. I really like a lot of the philosophy around unschooling. For those of you who don't know to much about it, here is the basics. Unschooling is a type of homeschooling/home education. It is focused around child lead education. Children will learn to love learning more when they are in control of it. No standard curriculum is used and no testing, it is not school! Unschool children choose what they want to learn, not some state, or parents even.

I want to tell you how I feel about unschooling. First a little about our home education. My kids have never been to school or day care. We have been homeschooling through a public home based charter program for many years now and we unschooled prior to that, new born to age 5. We started officially homeschooling with the Charter because we wanted to be a part of a homeschool community and have access to many fun activities with other homeshooled children. Every year we go to the science class once a month at our local natural history museum and the kids enjoy meeting others when we get a chance to attend other activity.

We do use standard curriculum, consisting of workbooks and text books. To be honest we don't spend a whole lot of time on workbooks, but we get done what is appropriate at the time. Learning can consist of many different fun things, with  a fair amount of basic studies and intentional learning.

I like to call our style Eclectic Homeschooling! That is, I  learn about all the different methods of home education and take what I feel will work best for my family and create a unique experience for my children's education. Not something any school can do! When my kids reach the age for high school we will fit more into the standard unschool method. Our Charter goes to 8th grade and we will probably not be using any other programs after that.

With unschooling parents trust that their kids will learn on their own, I think this is great, with a fair amount of intentional time spent on reading, writing, and math. I have been told that, that is not real unschooling, and typically unschoolers do not have intentional learning time unless it is child lead. I feel a concept of unschooling is to do your own thing and not try to fit into someone elses mold? Unschoolers believe in freedom and not doing things the way others want.

My definition of  unschooling is NOT to teach your children, but to provide an environment conducive to learning, and learning with them and on your own, leading by example! Unshcooling will not work for children who have parents that don't like to read or learn, and just wants to watch TV all day! Parents must get kids involved in daily activity and yes, contribute to the House hold in one way or another, family values and team work principles. Children need to be lead to a love of learning by those around them for unschooling or homeschooling to be effective and more!! Kids are a product of their environment and individuals, unschool philosophy gets this!

I do feel however that there is so much room for children to learn what they want, when they want to. I had a private school education and a public school education, until I home schooled my self in high school and graduated one year early! I learned how to read, write do basic math and know basic history stuff. My real education started when I got out of school to home school my self. All the years in school and I hated learning and gave my mom and teachers a hard time! At the age of 16 I started Independent study, went to school one hour a week to turn in sample work. I did use curriculum and didn't mind it, It was about 3 days of work and I would get it done in that time and have the rest of the week to hang out with my friends. Not only did I do my work I started reading books not school related.

I think that to unschool effectively, parents should have lots of educational material around and not only encourage your children to use them but to learn with your children. Parents need to pay attention to their kids, that way when an interest is expressed you are right their to assist them in finding the information they seek. Children are natural learners, but getting into a habit of watching TV all day is not a positive thing. In our home we do not have Television, we do have a TV and the kids use it for movies. We also spend a lot of time watching movies as a family!. 

Unschoolers also don't participate in state standardized testing. This isn't a big deal to me and I don't really see how these tests help kids anyway. I do believe that a basic knowledge is a good and positive thing, but it does not have to come from curriculum. I don't care if my kids learn exactly what the state thinks they should. We learn what we are interested in at the time, but my kids ask some great questions and we find the answers.

We also love video games and my kids have been using some great tools for creating their own games and my son says he like creating his own game better than playing video games. Some days that is all we do, while other days they may do art all day.

Learning about unschooling has helped me relax in our home schooling life, I know more about how children learn and agree with most of it. I don't stress over getting workbooks done, because I see how they are learning anyway. We have a lot of board games and other activities for them to do and we spend time doing out doors activities as family. A Win Win!

I will continue to learn about homeschooling methods like unschooling and keep incorporating what is best for my children and family! 

If you are already an unschooler you may not agree with everything I said or my opinion of what unschooling is to me. I am just stating my opinion of the degree I feel appropriate to take with my own children.

To Your Success!

Eclectic Homeschooling on Facebook

Unschooled Children Learn Because They Love Life And Learning!

Stupid in America

Aug 28, 2011

History of education in America Part 1

This video will start to take you from the beginning of America's free schools and how the education system evolved to socialism where we are at today!

'Learn Free' (an unschooling documentary)

"Learn Free" is a documentary about unschooling which is an educational philosophy that states children learn best by not attending traditional school, but rather through their own interests and by living life.

More videos on education

So You Want to Unschool? 1 of 6

Laurie A. Couture, Author of Instead of Medicating and Punishing, lists five steps to unschooling your child or adolescent. This is video clip 1 of 6. Laurie offers unschooling consultation and coaching for Moms, Dads or single parents who need support unschooling children ages 3-18 years. Visit for more info. (February 25, 2011)

Did You Learn Enough? Unschooling Comedy 2

Unschooling and Attachment Parenting Author Laurie A. Couture and her 17 year old son Brycen do a comedy satire about whether or not Brycen learned enough by hiking in and exploring the woods. Should he be learning irrelevant facts and that life is all about work, work, work... or is there something more important? (April 26, 2011)

Aug 10, 2011

Top 10 reasons to home school

Are you homeschooling or want to be maybe you are on the fence about it. 

My top 10 reasons to home school

1. I get to be with my kids all day and watch them grow!

2. I get to be the one who teaches my kids, I get to see there face light up first hand when they have accomplished some new skill!

3. We get to use the world around us as our classroom and my kids get a real life education.

4. My kids will have supervised socialization and we get to meet new people together.

5. My children and I get to choose what we learn and how we learn it!

6. On average by the 8Th grade home schooled kids are 4 years ahead academically then kids in public schools.

7. Homeschooling provides an environment that is focused family.

8. Education is a part of our life, instead of our life being a part of education.

9. We get to travel on days when other kids are in school that means shorter lines at the museums and amusement parks.

10. It just makes good sense!

What is the best advice you can give to someone who is starting out homeschooling or thinking about homeschooling?

Aug 4, 2011

Eclectic Homeschooling

Eclectic Homeschooling is basically using the best of what ever methods work best with your family. We looks at the different approaches and methods of homeschooling and take from each, forming our own unique philosophy.

We have been homeschooling in CA for 3 years but unschooling my kids their whole life! They have never been to school or day care.We use an Eclectic Homeschooling method, we simply just do what we want and do what works for our family. We don't follow a real strict schedule and let the kids learn on their own much of the time.

We do enjoy workbooks which we get free from our Charter program so that the children can easily learn the basics. We also love to play video games, board games, go to the park and exercise together, as well as visit fun and educational, interesting places..

We take it day by day and just enjoy our time with our children! We use a home based Charter school and enjoy meeting new people. Family is super important to us so we spend lots of time as a family! I consider us a little of both homeschooling and unschooling for the reasons that we do use workbooks and a Charter school program for convenience but use them in our own way and don't spend to much time on schedules and strict routines.

I am really drawn to unschooling and the natural approach to learning, like child lead learning. We also love workbooks because my children are young and do need to learn reading writing and math, sure they learn most of it on their own but workbooks can provide a great way to participate in intentional learning. I would like to go all unschool after the 8th grade when my children would have started high school. I believe that by the 8th grade there is little left to learn from curriculum and more to learn from life and the experiences that my children will have at those ages. Most basic knowledge should be obtained and just getting out there in the world is all that is left.

I don't like to bombard my kids with workbooks and text books and look for curriculum that is to the point and doesn't take up to much of our precious time..You can apply a Eclectic Style of home education by finding out about all of the different learning styles, home education methods and just applying what works for you with your family!

Click the banner for more info on other Home School Methods, you will see this blog there listed under Eclectic Homeschooling.I hope to meet tons of great people on this page, please like and comment. If you can relate or want to learn more about Eclectic Homeschooling then please like the page.. : )

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