The Unschooling Movement: School's Out ... Forever

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The Unschooling Movement: School's Out ... Forever

Post by Bryant on Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:10 pm

The Unschooling Movement: School's Out ... Forever
by Tom Henderson
Parentdish.com


If she is lucky -- very lucky -- Michele Darr-Babson can get from one end of a sentence to the other uninterrupted.

Mornings in her Salem, Ore., home are slightly, shall we say, chaotic.

"We're able to give our children ... Louis! Don't stand on that!" she tells ParentDish (and Louis).

What Darr-Babson is trying to say is that unschooling -- a movement where children get no education and basically teach themselves what they need to know -- gives kids more choices. Apparently, the choice for Louis to stand on whatever "that" is, is not one of them.

Darr-Babson has 10 children in her blended family. She used to unschool most of them, and it's a good idea, she says. In theory, at least. Most of her children are in traditional school these days. That's because attending school was one of the choices they were free to make. Darr-Babson's ex-partner didn't share her enthusiasm for homeschooling.But when unschooling works, Darr-Babson tells ParentDish, it can work magnificently.

"It enables children to focus what they're interested in," she says.

A growing number of parents are unschooling their children. ABC News reports there are 56 million American children in traditional schools, with another 1.5 million being homeschooled.

Of those, according to the network, about 10 percent are unschooled.

Unschooling is not homeschooling. In homeschooling, children receive structure, discipline and curriculum.

Darr-Babson explains that unschooling has no rules. It is all organic.

"It really promotes how learning is accomplishing in real life -- through experience," she tells ParentDish.

Her two oldest children, ages 18 and 20, are in Egypt. "Now that's a learning experience," she says.

But does visiting the Sphinx teach a person algebra?

Children can take care of that on their own, unschooling parent Christine Yablonski of Massachusetts tells ABC News.

"If they need formal algebra understanding, they will find that information," she tells the network.

She knows her kids will do what they need to do, she adds.

"They might watch television. They might play games on the computers. The key there is you have to trust your kids to find their own interests," she tells ABC News.

It doesn't bother her, for example, that her 15-year-old daughter Kimi Biegler stays up all night.

"She's getting everything done that she wants to get done," she tells the network.

What about Kimi? Does she feel prepared for college?

"No, not really," she tells ABC News. "I haven't done the traditional look at a textbook and learn about such and such."

When such and such becomes important, she adds, she'll study it.

"If I wanted to to go college, then I would pick up a textbook and I would learn," she tells the network.

According to the Home School Legal Defense Association, there are no laws regarding homeschooling or unschooling in Idaho, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Connecticut or New Jersey.

All you have to do in those states is notify the school district that your child won't be attending classes. There is no testing or other requirements.

The rest of the states vary in the amount of notification parents must give and how much student testing is required. Colleges can set their own requirements for the admission of homeschooled and unschooled students.

"We find that we don't need a whole lot of rules," Kimi's father, Phil Biegler, tells ABC. "They will do what they need to do whether or not they enjoy it because they see the purpose in it."

Ann Pleshette Murphy, the former editor of Parents magazine and the current parenting expert on ABC's "Good Morning America," is doubtful.

"This to me is putting way too much power in the hands of the kids -- something that we know kids actually can often find very anxiety producing," she tells ABC News.

"And it's also sending a message that they're the center of the universe, which I do not think is healthy for children."
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Re: The Unschooling Movement: School's Out ... Forever

Post by Bryant on Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:10 pm

   
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Re: The Unschooling Movement: School's Out ... Forever

Post by Sir Pun on Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:36 pm

Un-schooling...wow

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Re: The Unschooling Movement: School's Out ... Forever

Post by Marconius on Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:16 am

OK....That idea is so damn dumb, I think I just got more dumber for reading that.

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Re: The Unschooling Movement: School's Out ... Forever

Post by Dennis324 on Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:12 am

Bryant wrote:What Darr-Babson is trying to say is that unschooling -- a movement where children get no education and basically teach themselves what they need to know -- gives kids more choices. Apparently, the choice for Louis to stand on whatever "that" is, is not one of them.

Darr-Babson has 10 children in her blended family. She used to unschool most of them, and it's a good idea, she says. In theory, at least. Most of her children are in traditional school these days. That's because attending school was one of the choices they were free to make. Darr-Babson's ex-partner didn't share her enthusiasm for homeschooling.But when unschooling works, Darr-Babson tells ParentDish, it can work magnificently.

"It enables children to focus what they're interested in," she says.
Ex-partner?

This is just about the dumbest idea I have ever heard.  Letting children focus on what they are interested in?  Most kids are interested in cartoons and Hanna Montana.

This is another example of Progressivism.  And imo, its practically child neglect.

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Re: The Unschooling Movement: School's Out ... Forever

Post by Miles1 on Fri Aug 23, 2013 6:45 am

Dennis324 wrote:
This is another example of Progressivism.  And imo, its practically child neglect.
Sounds like a bunch of unwashed long-haired hippy "you're a unique and beautiful snowflake, find your own path in life" shit to me, either that or the super-paranoid survivalist "the gub'mint is brainwashing our kids by forcing them to learn 'facts', turning them into slaves for The Man" types. Either way, that's all well and good until the kid wants to, say, go to college. The article says "Colleges can set their own requirements for the admission of homeschooled and unschooled students.", doesn't say how many of them actually let unschooled kids in though.....

I was always a bit wary of the whole home schooling thing anyway, whatever about the learning part of school, a large part of it as well is the social interaction aspect - when you're in school with others, you have to learn how to deal with people outside of your normal circles, some you may not get on with, or maybe some you'd like to get on with better ;)Staying at home the whole time would stunt your social skills, it seems to me.

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Re: The Unschooling Movement: School's Out ... Forever

Post by Dennis324 on Fri Aug 23, 2013 12:32 pm

I'm not crazy about home schooling either, for all the reasons you  mention.  But I can understand why in some cases one might want to do that.  School violence, far-left social programs being taught that go against the parents beliefs, etc.

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Re: The Unschooling Movement: School's Out ... Forever

Post by Marconius on Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:21 pm

Miles1 wrote:
Dennis324 wrote:
This is another example of Progressivism.  And imo, its practically child neglect.
Sounds like a bunch of unwashed long-haired hippy "you're a unique and beautiful snowflake, find your own path in life" shit to me, either that or the super-paranoid survivalist "the gub'mint is brainwashing our kids by forcing them to learn 'facts', turning them into slaves for The Man" types. Either way, that's all well and good until the kid wants to, say, go to college. The article says "Colleges can set their own requirements for the admission of homeschooled and unschooled students.", doesn't say how many of them actually let unschooled kids in though.....

I was always a bit wary of the whole home schooling thing anyway, whatever about the learning part of school, a large part of it as well is the social interaction aspect - when you're in school with others, you have to learn how to deal with people outside of your normal circles, some you may not get on with, or maybe some you'd like to get on with better ;)Staying at home the whole time would stunt your social skills, it seems to me.
I don't really know if this is progressivism or extreme conservatism (ie regressivism). I'm sure we would see examples of both in this movement......kinda like what Miles is saying.

Also, I like what Miles said about the social interaction thing. To me, that is one of the more important lessons learned in school.

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"We have four boxes used to guarantee our liberty: The soap box, the ballot box, the jury box and the cartridge box". -- Ambrose Bierce (1887)

"All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, and they're behind us. They can't get away this time!" -Gen. L. "Chesty" Puller, CO, 1 MARDIV, in Korea surrounded by 22 enemy divisions

Had the Japanese got as far as India, Gandhi's theories of "passive resistance" would have floated down the Ganges River with his bayoneted, beheaded carcass. -- Mike Vanderboegh.
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Re: The Unschooling Movement: School's Out ... Forever

Post by Dennis324 on Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:13 pm

True.  One thing I dodnt like about homeschooling is that it relies too much on parents to make sure that kids do their work.  Some parents are responsible.  Many are not.  My best friend here in town is a divorcee.  He remarried and pretty much turned his little girl's upbringing to that witch he married.  She, with no job of her own, decided she was going to homeschool the little girl.
 
Family arguments began over stupid unimportant issues and they began to do things to 'get back at one another'.  The marriage was doomed, as happens so often.  One of the ways the wife got back at her husband was to try to control every aspect of the little girl's life.  So she began to implement this thinking into her homeschooling.  Basically what she did was to try to turn the little girl against the dad and his parents, forbidding the grandparents to ever see the child.  the second thing she did was to pretty much disregard the lessons provided and let the kid do whatever she wanted to do.
 
The little girl became a teen and soon began slipping out of her bedroom window when her parents were fighting.  Desperate for love and affection, it wasn't long til she got knocked up.  The dad THEN decides to step in and take some responsibility.  (A bit late at this point).  He forced the little girl to marry the boy.  Both were under 16 at the time.
 
Now, with a child on the way, the girl couldn't find a job because she didn't have a high school degree, and didn't have enough sense to pass her GED.  The boy was a bum. 
 
My buddy and his witch of a wife eventually divorced.  He's remarried (this is his 3rd wife) and is doing fairly well now.  His daughter has divorced her husband and is trying to raise her child.  The dad is letting her live with him with that child.  She's got a job now as a dispatcher for 911.  This was after a number of waitressing jobs.  She barely makes enough money to get by and her dad has to help out a lot.
 
That's what can happen when bad parents try to homeschool.  All that was going on, but if she had been in our local public school, at least she could have gotten here diploma and had a chance at a better job.
 
Man, I could tell yall stories about that woman he was married too that would curl your hair.  Cinderella's mom was an angel compared to this woman!  He wasn't perfect, but if you didn't believe in evil before, you would after know what kind of person she was.

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Re: The Unschooling Movement: School's Out ... Forever

Post by Miles1 on Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:24 am

Dennis324 wrote:
That's what can happen when bad parents try to homeschool.  All that was going on, but if she had been in our local public school, at least she could have gotten here diploma and had a chance at a better job.
Here's something on that: Teachers have to spend years training to become teachers, have to pass all sorts of exams and stuff, and before they become a teacher they have to go through an evaluation period where they teach a class for a few weeks with another (already qualified) teacher sitting in the room seeing how they get on (at least they do over here, my cousin is doing it now). If you decide to home-school your kid, does anyone come out to evaluate you to make sure that you are capable of imparting the proper knowledge in the correct way to a young impressionable human being? As your example shows Denis, is quite easy for some unstable person to totally fuck up a child's life by doing a botch job of their home education.

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Re: The Unschooling Movement: School's Out ... Forever

Post by Sir Pun on Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:26 am

Where was this movement when i was a kid?

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Re: The Unschooling Movement: School's Out ... Forever

Post by Bryant on Sun Aug 25, 2013 12:25 pm

Miles1 wrote:
Dennis324 wrote:
That's what can happen when bad parents try to homeschool.  All that was going on, but if she had been in our local public school, at least she could have gotten here diploma and had a chance at a better job.
Here's something on that: Teachers have to spend years training to become teachers, have to pass all sorts of exams and stuff, and before they become a teacher they have to go through an evaluation period where they teach a class for a few weeks with another (already qualified) teacher sitting in the room seeing how they get on (at least they do over here, my cousin is doing it now).  If you decide to home-school your kid, does anyone come out to evaluate you to make sure that you are capable of imparting the proper knowledge in the correct way to a young impressionable human being? As your example shows Denis, is quite easy for some unstable person to totally fuck up a child's life by doing a botch job of their home education.
In California the teacher has to earn a BA or BS, then spend another 1.5-2 years in a credential program that includes about 1.5 semesters working as a student teacher (all day, for no pay, during which period they can't work).  After that they have to pass a test.  Then they have to go through a mentorship program for the first two years of their actual teaching job.  Its a very strenuous process.  I highly recommend that anyone who thinks teachers are overpaid look into the amount to education they have to have (most teachers spend as much time in school as MBAs, but make a fraction as much money), the amount of time they spend working (not just on campus, it comes home.  My wife spent most of yesterday grading and lesson planning and today doesn't look like its going to be that different), and who they have to work with.

There's a saying a heard a while back. Homeschooling is the only way to guarantee that your kid will know less than you. I think thats the exact reason so many religious fundamentalists home school (in the part of California I'm from it seems like most home school kids don't go to normal schools because the parents can't afford private school and don't want their kids exposed to the secular public schools. A lot of these kids end up undereducated and maladjusted).
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Re: The Unschooling Movement: School's Out ... Forever

Post by Dennis324 on Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:58 am

If the laws allowed you to send your kids to any schools you liked, homeschooling should not be an issue.  But parents ought to be able to have some kind of choice with their kids education.  Some schools just suck.  Low performance, violence, or social programs that just go against a family's beliefs.  A parent ought to be able to yank his kid out of that school and send him elsewhere.

Unfortunately here its not easy to do that.

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