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From: LuckMomma (
Subject:         Debrief me...please?
Date: November 19, 2008 at 12:33 pm PST

Okay, let's say I JUST fell off the turnip wagon. Let's say that I have no idea HOW to home school, and you want to "teach" me how to Unschool. Never mind the reality that I have, for 12 years, been home schooling, but want to learn to UNschool, so that our children are happier, we don't feel behind ALL the time, and we aren't all burned out.

I have read a few books, and believe I am interested in this approach. How do I get past that feeling of needing to prove to anybody and everybody that my children are bright and just because they don't learn in the scope and sequence of the public school doesn't mean we aren't learning.

Also, how do I motivate children who have always answered "are you done" by showing me their workbooks or assignments? They have (I believe due to my hectic schedules) this feeling they need to rush through it all, and THEN they can have fun.

This is what I see (and gently correct me if I am wrong) as a possible day. Do math instruction from the expensive books we have always bought (because I have no idea how to be creative enough to "play" math daily and still feel like they "learned"), do some form of language arts from our stacks of books and workbooks, and get them to write something down. Now, we have covered the main 3 Rs that my husband and I feel are important and can move on to some form of history, social, georgraphy, science, etc.--although I still see this also as fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants ideas. And what happens when I have NO new tricks to pull from a hat?

Side note: my 14 year old is insecure without a structure of some sort--and I believe that is not an ingrained trait but a trait he formed in our helter-skelter years of school. It is probably the one thing he can latch on to when he feels the "boat is tipping". This is an age where they need more security. I had purchased Sonlight this year--sadly, mostly ONLY for the schedule because I just cannot pull one off on my own.

My 20 year old (about to graduate college) keeps telling me that we didn't work hard enough on reports, essays, etc., and that she felt shafted when she got to college and had to learn it then (although, she chronically points out all my failings!).

Any thoughts, criticisms (gentle, please, I've have a weekend laden with grief over a loss--don't add salt to my wound!), comments, ideas?


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