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From: Patti Miller (
Subject:         Re: Anyone Unschooling High Schoolers
Date: April 3, 2007 at 6:54 pm PST

In Reply to: Re: Anyone Unschooling High Schoolers posted by Maureen on April 3, 2007 at 4:36 pm:

The best advice I could give you is to take the time to de-school them. If they've been in public school for the elementary and middle school years, then they definitely need some time off to just be kids. I would also advise you to take that time to educate yourself on the different methods of homeschooling. If you're interested in unschooling, I highly recommend anything you can find by John Holt. The biggest mistake I made when I first pulled my boys out of public school was trying to replicate what the PS was doing (hours, subjects, etc.) It took a long time and some life changing events for us to relax and let life happen and believe me, they have learned more from the real life experiences than they ever would have from PS. I still have panic moments with my girls (13 & 8 who have never been to PS) when I feel that they aren't up to where the PS kids are (mostly because our life changing events happened to the girls...the oldest has had 3 operations on her leg and the youngest had to go thru chemotherapy)but I know in my heart that unschooling is the path God wants us on. I try periodically to "do school" with them (and I firmly believe they need to be taught how to read and also basic math skills)but somehow we always end up back on the unschooling path.

The only other thing I can think of is to give your children time to figure out what their interests are and to let them learn about those things as much as they want to. My oldest daughter used to be infatuated with ancient Egypt, so we bought several books and went to the library frequently until she got tired of that. Now she wants to be a doctor so she reads simple medical texts and anything we can find on the internet that suits her learning style. And she also has the GameBoy game "Trauma Center-Under the Knife"
Chilren tend to retain more of what they learn if they have a true interest in learning it.
In the words of John Holt "Since we canít know what knowledge will be most needed in the future, it is senseless to try to teach it in advance. Instead, we should try to turn out people who love learning so much and learn so well that they will be able to learn whatever needs to be learned."
Hope this helps. Please feel free to email me if you like.

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