Saturday, March 17, 2012

We Really Don't "Do School" - Just So You Know

We've been home educating for a little over a year now. I have done a lot of de-schooling and had a complete paradigm shift. I completely understand Unschooling. I know that encouraging and letting Padawan follow his interests works, because I have seen the results even before we began home educating. I just didn't know there was a name for what we had been doing in addition to sending him to school.

On the other hand, Padawan has not de-schooled as much as I have and he has NOT had a paradgim shift - even though his actions, attitude, and insights pertaining to school and the system were the catalyst for said paradigm shift on my part. I had to read things by Gatto, Holt, and others to see the things he already figured out. 

This leads to some interesting conversations around here. I thought I would start sharing them on my blog.

Here's one from a few months ago. This came of the blue after he had been researching topics of interest, watching educational videos and documentaries, typing a story, figuring out real life math problems, translating words into German, Latin and several other languages with Google translate, listening to me read a chapter or two of a book, constantly asking me questions, and doing all the educational things disguised as Roblox, and Minecraft. We also finished Life Of Fred Fractions over the course of 6 weeks, read aloud from Horizon's Health and Apologia's "Who Is God?" about once a week, do a Meet The Masters Art Lesson once a month, cooking "lessons", and countless science experiments and crafty things.

Padawan: We really don't do school, just so ya' know.

Me: If you are talking about doing school at home like they do school at school- you are correct. I only have one student to educate. I don't have to teach you the way they teach a classroom of students. Are you learning stuff?

Padawan: Yeah, but I don't think "they" would be happy if they came in here and saw the way we are doing things.
Me: (trying to re-assure him) Well, don't worry. I'm keeping track of the laws and what you should be learning. I do notice that you are interested in a lot of things related to social studies and science.
Maybe you could try to do some more math- like math on paper. And writing- like typing a little bit every day or so. Anyway, I really love to read what you write. I love seeing what goes on inside that melon head of yours.
AND it would really help if you would tell me how YOU want to do homeschool. I'm not a mind-reader, and I keep asking for your input.

Him: I don't know. YOU'RE the teacher.

Me: You never like my ideas. That's why I really want to know what you think our homeschool should be like.

Him: (evil laugh) You really don't want to know. Besides. I'm not complaining. I'm just letting you know that we really don't do school.


  1. Just have to comment on this. We made the very drastic switch by pulling our daughter, Sarah, who is almost 12, out of sixth grade on Feb. 29 of this year and moving to a pretty much entirely "unschooled" system.

    She says to her counselor last week, when he asks her to tell her about homeschooling, "Well, we haven't started doing any school stuff yet."

    Insert mom falling through floor ... you know. But the counselor is nice and was able to get out of her all the things we WERE doing, and his pronouncement, which I really valued, is that she's certainly more engaged than she was in her previous school!

  2. It's funny when you take them out of school and start finding out what they consider school, and what they consider "just learning stuff."


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