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Old 11-24-2011, 05:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crisan View Post
Cool thread! What we do at our house is this, if my daughter has to ask if she may do something, we usually say "yes" but many times with "yes, after we, after you..." Sometimes we do ask her what has to be done first. That usually keeps her happy. We make sure that her desires are treated just as important as ours.

Really, the only rule we have is to listen the first time and we make sure she is listening. It only makes sense, we listen to her.

I really don't think there should be a time frame for learning something but because we have friends it is too easy to compare. For example, my daughter still didn't know her colors at 2.5 years.

So when she wants to help, especially with cooking, not only do we teach her vocabulary like yolk and whites but she has to learn the colors before she starts "playing", in this case making deviled eggs.

It took many repetitions, but I would have left it for another time if I felt like it was taking the fun out of the activity. However, she was determined to help so I used that energy to get her to remember her colors. When she finally started getting them right, we would celebrate with "ring-around-the-rosies."

I agree that you cannot separate learning from living. Nor can I separate discipline from living. In order to discipline the way I do now, I had to start learning to socialize and that is still an "a-ha" moment for me. I don't see myself as that parent who says "I am not your friend." No, my friends don't allow me to take advantage of them or treat them poorly.
From my understanding of radical unschooling, that's not really it. Saying "yes, but" would be considered coercive. A radical unschooler would just say "yes".

A radical unschooler would not worry if their child did not know their colors at a certain age. They would trust that their child would learn their colors when they were ready and interested and they would not say or think that their child "has to learn before she can play".

I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with what you are doing but it's not unschooling or radical unschooling.

Last edited by Dorthy; 11-24-2011 at 06:19 AM.. Reason: spelling error
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Old 11-24-2011, 06:10 AM
 
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Here's a link that talks about what unschooling is. There is a distinction between unschooling and radical unschooling as well.
Definitions of Unschooling

Quote:
Unschooling is dropping the conventions of schooling, eliminating such things as required subjects, reading and writing assignments, and tests, and entirely replacing those with the creation of a stimulating, enriched environment and lots and lots of parental support for kids in pursuing their interests and passions.

LOTS of parents create stimulating environments and give lots of support for their kids' interests; this is not unique to unschoolers. What makes it unschooling is that unschoolers give up the rest of the schooling and trust that their kids will learn what they need to learn by being immersed in the rich and stimulating environment and with parental support of kids' interests.

-pam
This is just one person's definition but one that I thought summed up unschooling well.

Here is a link to the difference between unschooling and Radical unschooling. "Radical Unschooler" vs. just an unschooler Sandra Dodd is a Radical Unschooler. I've read one of her books and I personally find her to be quite confrontational. I'm not a fan but she does have an awful lot of information regarding unschooling and particularly radical unschooling on her site.

John Holt coined the term, "unschooling" in 1977. Here is another definition from the Growing Without Schooling site.
Unschooling

Quote:
When pressed, I define unschooling as allowing children as much freedom to learn in the world, as their parents can comfortably bear. <snip> This is the way we learn before going to school and the way we learn when we leave school and enter the world of work. So, for instance, a young child's interest in hot rods can lead him to a study of how the engine works (science), how and when the car was built (history and business), who built and designed the car (biography), etc. Certainly these interests can lead to reading texts, taking courses, or doing projects, but the important difference is that these activities were chosen and engaged in freely by the learner

Last edited by Dorthy; 11-24-2011 at 06:19 AM..
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Old 11-24-2011, 06:23 AM
 
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 34,531,282 times
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I'm still having trouble understanding some of this stuff.

The world we live in as adults, comes with rules and regulations and lots and lots of "do not" and "no" and government-imposed consequences (as opposed to natural consequences). Freedom of speech does not come with it the right to shout "fire" in a crowded theatre (unless there really is a fire there). And if you do shout that, and cause a riot, and the law enforcers discover that you were the direct cause of the riot, then you will be arrested, put in jail, and given a court date. You will be _punished_ for a _crime_ and not merely "experiencing the natural consequences of your behaviors."

When and where to your kids learn this? When do they learn that sometimes, people will say "no" and when they do, "no" means "no" and not "let's discuss this?"

Natural consequences is a great way to teach a kid about not jumping on the furniture. But how do you teach a 5-year-old kid about the natural consequences of crossing the road without looking both ways -or- holding onto mommy's hand? Do you just let them cross the road and let them experience the natural consequences of getting hit by a car?

Or do you say "NO" and mean "NO" and expect your child to accept your authority and you can discuss it AFTER you are safely across the street?

How do you prepare a child for living in a world where most of the people they're with, have NOT learned the way they have, and DO live by rules and regulations and "do not" and "no means no," if you are not teaching them this from the very start?
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Old 11-24-2011, 08:17 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
2,352 posts, read 3,910,844 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnonChick View Post
I'm still having trouble understanding some of this stuff.

The world we live in as adults, comes with rules and regulations and lots and lots of "do not" and "no" and government-imposed consequences (as opposed to natural consequences). Freedom of speech does not come with it the right to shout "fire" in a crowded theatre (unless there really is a fire there). And if you do shout that, and cause a riot, and the law enforcers discover that you were the direct cause of the riot, then you will be arrested, put in jail, and given a court date. You will be _punished_ for a _crime_ and not merely "experiencing the natural consequences of your behaviors."

When and where to your kids learn this? When do they learn that sometimes, people will say "no" and when they do, "no" means "no" and not "let's discuss this?"
They learn that by living in the world! I don't have to make a point of saying "no", for them to learn that no exists, it will come up naturally. There are natural limits in the world, as well as limits created by other people, society, community, etc.

Do you blindly follow rules and regulations? Or do you follow them by choice? I live at choice everywhere I go in life. I choose to follow traffic laws because they keep me and others safe, and keep traffic flowing. And I also choose to, so I won't get a ticket and pay a fine, and have more expensive insurance. Or - in the middle of the night, with no police officers or other cars around, I *might* choose to run that red light that seems to be taking forever to change. It's a choice, having full knowledge (or as much knowledge as we can) about the consequences. Sometimes, punishment is part of those consequences. I don't have to punish for them to know punishment exists in the world.

I don't have to contrive consequences for consequences to exist.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnonChick View Post
Natural consequences is a great way to teach a kid about not jumping on the furniture. But how do you teach a 5-year-old kid about the natural consequences of crossing the road without looking both ways -or- holding onto mommy's hand? Do you just let them cross the road and let them experience the natural consequences of getting hit by a car?

Or do you say "NO" and mean "NO" and expect your child to accept your authority and you can discuss it AFTER you are safely across the street?
I think, at 5, a kid can see well the consequences of crossing a street without looking. Younger kids are with someone when they're that close to a street. It's really that simple - that grow into being able to see how big cars are, and learning that when big things hit small things, they break. You don't have to punish and have a rule. Or - the rule is really for *you*: Be with my kid when they're close to a street. That rule is in place for as long as the kid needs, until they're able to have enough self-control and awareness to not dash into a street.

I also have an issue with what some people call "natural consequences" - i.e., "Johnny left his bike out, and it's raining. Oh, well - the bike will get rusty! Natural consequence!" That would be a natural consequence if the child didn't live with other people who cared for him. I'd either put the bike up, or remind him when I saw it out, before it started raining.

Deep connection and caring is a large part of unschooling - hence, why this thread is in parenting, and not education.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnonChick View Post
How do you prepare a child for living in a world where most of the people they're with, have NOT learned the way they have, and DO live by rules and regulations and "do not" and "no means no," if you are not teaching them this from the very start?
They're IN the world from the start. We live IN the world. I don't have to prepare them for it, they're living it. They understand that there are places with more rules, and they make a choice of whether to go to those places or not. If there's really not a choice about going, they know this is just how it is, and they make the most of it. Their home doesn't have to look like the rest of the world, for them to learn what the world is like.
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Old 11-24-2011, 09:18 AM
 
11,613 posts, read 19,680,144 times
Reputation: 12043
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnonChick View Post
I'm still having trouble understanding some of this stuff.

The world we live in as adults, comes with rules and regulations and lots and lots of "do not" and "no" and government-imposed consequences (as opposed to natural consequences). Freedom of speech does not come with it the right to shout "fire" in a crowded theatre (unless there really is a fire there). And if you do shout that, and cause a riot, and the law enforcers discover that you were the direct cause of the riot, then you will be arrested, put in jail, and given a court date. You will be _punished_ for a _crime_ and not merely "experiencing the natural consequences of your behaviors."

When and where to your kids learn this? When do they learn that sometimes, people will say "no" and when they do, "no" means "no" and not "let's discuss this?"

Natural consequences is a great way to teach a kid about not jumping on the furniture. But how do you teach a 5-year-old kid about the natural consequences of crossing the road without looking both ways -or- holding onto mommy's hand? Do you just let them cross the road and let them experience the natural consequences of getting hit by a car?

Or do you say "NO" and mean "NO" and expect your child to accept your authority and you can discuss it AFTER you are safely across the street?

How do you prepare a child for living in a world where most of the people they're with, have NOT learned the way they have, and DO live by rules and regulations and "do not" and "no means no," if you are not teaching them this from the very start?
I am not an unschooler. Nor am I a radical unschooler. I do subscribe to SOME of the philosophy of unschooling parents so I think I can give you an answer to the questions you pose.

We do have rules. We just don't have so many rules that kids live in fear of violating a rule. What we don't believe in is arbitrary rules that exist only so that there is a rule. We say no, but we don't say no just to say no.

If a child does something where you can allow the natural consequences to teach the child then you just allow the child to learn that way. If the natural consequences would kill the child, then you teach them.

It is amazing but when you say NO only what is necessary kids listen much better than when you are constantly saying NO. If you say yes when you can they accept NO much more easily.

As a parent you do need to exert authority over your children. But you do not need to do it all the time. If you do it only when necessary they listen. I don't know why but they do.
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Old 11-24-2011, 10:35 AM
 
Location: here
24,467 posts, read 28,677,006 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnonChick View Post
I'm still having trouble understanding some of this stuff.

The world we live in as adults, comes with rules and regulations and lots and lots of "do not" and "no" and government-imposed consequences (as opposed to natural consequences). Freedom of speech does not come with it the right to shout "fire" in a crowded theatre (unless there really is a fire there). And if you do shout that, and cause a riot, and the law enforcers discover that you were the direct cause of the riot, then you will be arrested, put in jail, and given a court date. You will be _punished_ for a _crime_ and not merely "experiencing the natural consequences of your behaviors."

When and where to your kids learn this? When do they learn that sometimes, people will say "no" and when they do, "no" means "no" and not "let's discuss this?"

Natural consequences is a great way to teach a kid about not jumping on the furniture. But how do you teach a 5-year-old kid about the natural consequences of crossing the road without looking both ways -or- holding onto mommy's hand? Do you just let them cross the road and let them experience the natural consequences of getting hit by a car?

Or do you say "NO" and mean "NO" and expect your child to accept your authority and you can discuss it AFTER you are safely across the street?

How do you prepare a child for living in a world where most of the people they're with, have NOT learned the way they have, and DO live by rules and regulations and "do not" and "no means no," if you are not teaching them this from the very start?
I agree. I think natural consequences are great, but I think there needs to be some parent-given consequences too. I'm not going to allow my kids to jump on the furniture until they either break the furniture or break an arm. As a parent it is my job to attempt to keep them safe; and broken furniture might not bother them at all, where it would bother me a whole lot.
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Old 11-24-2011, 11:01 AM
 
15,721 posts, read 13,135,438 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorthy View Post
Would you be willing to reference page numbers so we can discuss?

Just a note about who the author is. He was a research mathematician at UCLA. He has a PHD from Columbia University. He taught mathematics at Brown and UC Santa Cruz and he now teaches all grade levels of High School math at a small private school in Brooklyn, NY.
And if we are going to make an appeal to authority, do my graduate degrees, published research and years teaching, etc matter?

And just to be clear there is ZERO research in the opinion piece that we are talking about.

Anyway, pg. 16 for the dismissal of the importance of teaching method, pg 11, again for the importance of the science of teaching (and make no mistake it is as much science as it is art), pg 9 for his examples of "acceptable" problems (ignoring the basic skill set necessary to address these problems as well as their highly abstract nature).

I do not disagree with any of his ideas, enthusiasm is always a good thing and we can surely improve curricula, what I disagree with his leaving out all of the things we do KNOW from research. Things like the FACT people learn in different ways, that grade and middle schoolers are not truly capable of the abstract reasoning he expects of them, and finally that teaching is really as much science as art. Ignoring that Johnny is not a auditory learner is not going to be overcome with enough enthusiasm if we continue to teach in a way he is not going to learn from.

Truly, it makes me a little sad that someone who claims to participate in the research process has chosen to turn his back on the results it has generated.
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Old 11-24-2011, 11:11 AM
 
15,721 posts, read 13,135,438 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlotteGal View Post
They learn that by living in the world! I don't have to make a point of saying "no", for them to learn that no exists, it will come up naturally. There are natural limits in the world, as well as limits created by other people, society, community, etc.

I don't have to contrive consequences for consequences to exist.
This is where I depart from this philosophy.

I got my daughter a bunny when she was 10. She asked for it, she researched their needs, and made sure she understood what their needs were.

But she was 10, and I know that developmentally that means she is not always going to remember on her own. So we made "rules" about feeding the bunny at the same time of day everyday and consequences for not following those rules. BECAUSE the "natural consequence" of not feeding and caring for her rabbit are too tragic for most children to handle. Now maybe unschoolers feel that dealing with starving a bunny to death is an appropriate consequence but I do not.

Part of the reason children are not shoved out into the world as soon as they can walk is because we need to protect them from some of those natural consequences until they have learned to protect themselves. Part of the learning process is to give them consequences that are geared towards their age and level of understanding instead of permanent damage.
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Old 11-24-2011, 01:46 PM
 
2,726 posts, read 4,356,918 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorthy View Post
From my understanding of radical unschooling, that's not really it. Saying "yes, but" would be considered coercive. A radical unschooler would just say "yes".

A radical unschooler would not worry if their child did not know their colors at a certain age. They would trust that their child would learn their colors when they were ready and interested and they would not say or think that their child "has to learn before she can play".

I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with what you are doing but it's not unschooling or radical unschooling.
Coercive?

"Mommy, may we go to the playground?" "Yes, after we do some clean up." Anyway, I guess I could leave out the last part and she can just wait. I think communication is more important than just saying "yes."

Also, I never said she "had" to learn in order to play. I tried to get her to remember and she seemed to enjoy the challenge, not that I would do it for everything.

Its okay. I am not an unschooler.
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Old 11-24-2011, 01:52 PM
 
Location: California
29,577 posts, read 31,848,979 times
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Call me crazy but when I read stuff like this all I think about is how much people love to label themselves. There is nothing, I mean NOTHING, new about anything here and most people just call it "parenting". Everyone does it different and everyone does "a little of this, a little of that" without even thinking about it.

The only real thing I see is a choice to send kids to public school or not. And even if you do you can still apply "enter lable here" principals to you and your childs life.
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