This year has not been easy for our family. With my husband having a stroke in Jan., me being diagnosed with breast cancer in April and cancer treatment taking over my summer and fall, this year has not been organized to say the least. I've been thinking a lot about unschooling. This is my 12'th year of homeschooling and I've researched unschooling, but thought it was crazy idea.... until now.
After all my experience, I've learned some things over the years.
#1. Why do middle schoolers need to learn Algebra?
#2. Why do we teach spelling when spell check is on every electronic device offered to man?
#3. Why do we put so much time into teaching cursive?
#4. Why do we have such strict schedules on our homeschool routine and bedtimes?
#5. Why do we need to teach our children things that they will never use or apply to their lives?
So I will address each question with MY opinion. #1., I have never used Algebra. The highest math I took in high school was Algebra 1, never used it. I understand that certain careers have certain requirements. But one thing I know as a homeschool mom, is my kids. I know my kids. So unless they are going to college, Algebra is over rated. #2. I do teach spelling, but again, over rated. I attended to public school. I had weekly spelling tests and I am probably in the top ten worst spellings ever. Hmmmmm. #3. Cursive. I've read that it helps with Dyslexia but we don't dwell on it. When my boys were younger, I taught cursive. It's not mandatory to write cursive, so why spend so much time on it? I do agree that you definitely need to know how to read it and sign your name of course. #4. My youngest doesn't really have a strict bedtime. He gets about 9-10 hours of sleep per night. Except for my husband, we go to bed between 11 and 12 every night. We use no alarms. I usually get up around 8:30am and my son around 9:30am. We start school around 10:30 and school until about 2 with a short 30 minute break for lunch. I want my son to get the sleep that his body needs. That is why I don't use an alarm. I know what you are thinking. Why let him stay up so late? I am a night owl and my son and I spend our 'quality' TV time at night. We watch sitcoms, laugh, and spend time together. He is 12.5 yrs old and wants to watch TV with me every night. What teenager wants to spend time with their mom anymore with Ipods, cell phones, Ipads, etc in the mix? Sorry, taking advantage of our 'TV time'. As far as daily routines, we try to keep one but lets face it. Life gets in the way. Radiation treatments, hospitalization, etc. #5. Why do I need to teach my son how to find the square root of 81 or where to find the predicate nominative in the sentence? I would rather teach him to measure the square foot of a room for hardwood flooring. Now that is worth learning and will be applied to his life. Why does he need to know about chemical reactions? There is a thing called common sense and we do teach that. ;)
So, I don't expect answers to these questions but would like to hear from unschoolers. I don't want to be the unschooler who lets their children play video games all day or whatever they want to do. But I do want to be the unschooler who "teaches" outside the box and teaches what they will apply to their lives and what they do need to know. I don't want to fill my son's head with all of this useless information when I only have a precious five years left to teach him. My goal as a homeschool parent is to teach my sons how to be good Godly men, who are helpful to others and can support themselves and their families. For those of you who don't usually read my blog, my oldest is 19 and graduated in 2013. My middle son, just tuned 17, and is a freshman in college. So my youngest, who is 12, is my last homeschool son at home. My oldest 2 are very book smart. We're talking 3.5 or higher gpa's. But my youngest is different. He is smart too, but he is more hands on, high energy, and challenging. He doesn't like to read (and Dyslexic), and hates to write. Yes, I do teach writing; we use Excellent in Writing. He likes to think outside the box and figure out other ways of doing things. Make sense?
So attention UNSCHOOLERS, what advice, tips or info. can you share? :)