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education from scratch


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14 replies to this topic

#1
stephenscorzo

stephenscorzo
  • 12 posts
As someone who is seriously considering homeschooling my son, what are some of the guiding principles a homeschooling facilator should have?
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#2
Josh F

Josh F

    Thought Terrorist


  • 768 posts

Check out Waldorf, Montessori, and Unschooling


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#3
tasmlab

tasmlab

  • 306 posts

As someone who is seriously considering homeschooling my son, what are some of the guiding principles a homeschooling facilator should have?

 

Hi Stephenscorzo,

 

How do you mean 'facilitator'?  Do you mean you and your wife, or an external organization like an association?  Or a tutor or nanny?


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#4
stephenscorzo

stephenscorzo
  • 12 posts

I'm sorry for taking a long time, I mean basically what kind of teaching do you do when you homeschool.  I've heard of Dayna Martin's unschooling and I've heard of peaceful parenting which seems non-coercive and where the focus is on having the child learn on their own pace.  I will have to generate income for the family at least until I can market my skills at a consultant level which can offer me more time to be with my son.  I will have to show my wife what to do about this, this isn't going to be a breeze because we're at different stages in our education.

 

Point is, I don't know how to set this up without it being just the cliches I hear about my son sitting around watching TV all day while the rest of society thinks he should be in a classroom.  However, I will have to write out and organize my and my wife's role in our son's education, I just need to establish what that will be based on what we have

 

Thanks.


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#5
Wesley

Wesley

    Self-Excavator


  • 1233 posts

Point is, I don't know how to set this up without it being just the cliches I hear about my son sitting around watching TV all day while the rest of society thinks he should be in a classroom.  However, I will have to write out and organize my and my wife's role in our son's education, I just need to establish what that will be based on what we have

You don't need to "set this up" or "write out and organize my and my wife's role in our son's educations" or "establish what that will be based on" and occasionally your son may sit and watch TV, but you can negotiate about how long and what you want to watch together- or to switch between shows.

 

All you do is treat your son like a person and take an interest in all of the things that he is interested in. From there, you can help him lean things by helping him to get his hands on more resources than he knows how to find.

 

Does he watch a TV show of TMNT? This you could talk to him about the morality of what is going on in the show and whether the bad guy was actually bad for what he was doing and how else they could have solved the problem other than what they did. You could take him to the nearest zoo or park and try to find turtles. Go to a library or research online about turtles so that he knows how turtles actually act. Create a role-play scenario where you do a DnD-like puzzle where you try and fight bad guys as the TMNT. Maybe even get a pet turtle that he could take care of.

 

I am sure there are many, many more ways that learning and skills can develop from this or any other interest he may take. The point is to be interested in his interests and then negotiate and explore what is interesting to him. It is not about making a plan, but about being present as a person with preferences and interested in your child having fun with learning and learning the things that he is interested in.

 

If there is one skill above all others that would be the best for your child, it would be to be able to effectively negotiate.


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#6
Pepin

Pepin

  • 542 posts

I'd look into the Trivium learning method. There are a bunch of podcasts that talk about it towards the bottom of this link. The School Sucks podcasts on the subject I found to be quite informative. I also think it is important to go through The Introduction to Philosophy series which will give you great insight into what you are actually teaching. In my public school education, what screwed me up to no end was how I understood reality and concepts, as it was rather backwards.

 

Also, as another thought, I think incorporating relaxation and meditation into your child's life at a young age will be helpful. There is a lot of research showing the benefits, and the largest affect will be gained while the brain is the most plastic. Concentration and the deferral of gratification is key to success in general, which meditation trains. To put it this way, they find significant changes in the brain structure. Also, learning tends to occur best when a person is relaxed and more towards the alpha brain waves. Teaching someone how to relax is also just a good life skill. It is something that most people have to learn much later in life when stress if overwhelming them.


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#7
xelent

xelent

  • 2183 posts

Although I've yet to become a parent. I'm beginning to think that some form of schooling could be very useful for younger children, say from 4 - 7/8. When I took some clases at a local Sudbury school last year, it was interesting to note that it was that age group that tended to look for guidance from me. After that age, it seemed that they mostly got along with their own thing. Only occassionally asking for my help, when they needed to understand something new. These older children would probably get on with their own interests almost free of supervision, which might make them better candidates for unschooling by then.

 

I would like to see an even freer version than that of Sudbury, which tends to focus a little hard on democratic principles, rather than principles of self ownership. They are there enough frankly and probably enough to send my own children there with a watchful eye. I think it gives children the opportunity to explore new ideas with the skill sets of different adults, rather than just my own. However, if you are in a community of unschoolers or homeschoolers there is nothing to stop parents offereng their respective skill sets to the children of that community.

 

The one thing I'm beginning to realise that compared to public schooling, as parents we will have to be very focused on our childs needs and desires. This will be a lot of work at first, as we teach them the skills of independence and self discovery. But come age 12/13 I imagine they will be managing 90% of it themselves by then.


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#8
tasmlab

tasmlab

  • 306 posts

I'm sorry for taking a long time, I mean basically what kind of teaching do you do when you homeschool.  I've heard of Dayna Martin's unschooling and I've heard of peaceful parenting which seems non-coercive and where the focus is on having the child learn on their own pace.  I will have to generate income for the family at least until I can market my skills at a consultant level which can offer me more time to be with my son.  I will have to show my wife what to do about this, this isn't going to be a breeze because we're at different stages in our education.

 

Point is, I don't know how to set this up without it being just the cliches I hear about my son sitting around watching TV all day while the rest of society thinks he should be in a classroom.  However, I will have to write out and organize my and my wife's role in our son's education, I just need to establish what that will be based on what we have

 

Thanks.

 

This is one of the hardest parts to get your mind around.  There's a huge instinct to recreate the rigid tops down agenda that school provides, but that's not the point.  You just let your children learn and help them when they need it.  It doesn't need to have this monolithic start with a regimented plan that is fool proof and covers all contingencies.  You are just going to let it flow naturally.  Kids want to learn.

 

From what I've read, a lot of the instinct to watch TV all day comes from the fact that kids in school are taught to be passive listeners as they are forced to sit in a chair and listen to lecture all day.  Then they are so exhausted from the seven hour day that they lack the energy or curiosity to do much else.

 

In the end, if your child falls into some TV trap you may have to negotiate less TV.  I really don't think this will be a big issue.  

 

(disclosure:  I'm new to this)


You don't need to "set this up" or "write out and organize my and my wife's role in our son's educations" or "establish what that will be based on" and occasionally your son may sit and watch TV, but you can negotiate about how long and what you want to watch together- or to switch between shows.

 

All you do is treat your son like a person and take an interest in all of the things that he is interested in. From there, you can help him lean things by helping him to get his hands on more resources than he knows how to find.

 

Does he watch a TV show of TMNT? This you could talk to him about the morality of what is going on in the show and whether the bad guy was actually bad for what he was doing and how else they could have solved the problem other than what they did. You could take him to the nearest zoo or park and try to find turtles. Go to a library or research online about turtles so that he knows how turtles actually act. Create a role-play scenario where you do a DnD-like puzzle where you try and fight bad guys as the TMNT. Maybe even get a pet turtle that he could take care of.

 

I am sure there are many, many more ways that learning and skills can develop from this or any other interest he may take. The point is to be interested in his interests and then negotiate and explore what is interesting to him. It is not about making a plan, but about being present as a person with preferences and interested in your child having fun with learning and learning the things that he is interested in.

 

If there is one skill above all others that would be the best for your child, it would be to be able to effectively negotiate.

 

I second everything Wesley just wrote.


Although I've yet to become a parent. I'm beginning to think that some form of schooling could be very useful for younger children, say from 4 - 7/8. When I took some clases at a local Sudbury school last year, it was interesting to note that it was that age group that tended to look for guidance from me. After that age, it seemed that they mostly got along with their own thing. Only occassionally asking for my help, when they needed to understand something new. These older children would probably get on with their own interests almost free of supervision, which might make them better candidates for unschooling by then.

 

I would like to see an even freer version than that of Sudbury, which tends to focus a little hard on democratic principles, rather than principles of self ownership. They are there enough frankly and probably enough to send my own children there with a watchful eye. I think it gives children the opportunity to explore new ideas with the skill sets of different adults, rather than just my own. However, if you are in a community of unschoolers or homeschoolers there is nothing to stop parents offereng their respective skill sets to the children of that community.

 

The one thing I'm beginning to realise that compared to public schooling, as parents we will have to be very focused on our childs needs and desires. This will be a lot of work at first, as we teach them the skills of independence and self discovery. But come age 12/13 I imagine they will be managing 90% of it themselves by then.

 

This might be true for some kids, but I would be hesitant to say that it applies to all.  I'd be hesitant to say that there is ANYTHING that applies to all, which is kind of a very fundamental libertarian kind of idea.

 

I don't warm to the idea that indoctrinating the kids from 4-8 in a school, creating emotional and intellectual dependency, putting grades and competition on them, destroying their home life, etc. would be productive for most kids.  

 

This said, I did put my eldest in school from 5-8 and we are now just starting out unschooling, so I don't even have an anecodote to base my current opinion.  She still seems pretty cool and is being delivered to me able to read, write and do some simple math.  I don't think the schooling was necessary.


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#9
xelent

xelent

  • 2183 posts

I don't warm to the idea that indoctrinating the kids from 4-8 in a school, creating emotional and intellectual dependency, putting grades and competition on them, destroying their home life, etc. would be productive for most kids.  

 

This said, I did put my eldest in school from 5-8 and we are now just starting out unschooling, so I don't even have an anecodote to base my current opinion.  She still seems pretty cool and is being delivered to me able to read, write and do some simple math.  I don't think the schooling was necessary.

 

Who said anything about indoctrinating them? Perhaps you misunderstand the Sudbury protocol. It is all child led. There is no curriculum and the teacher has to discover the interests of the children. This is nothing like public or even most private schooling. Parents are encouraged to join in with their childrens day and help the teachers if they so wish and the children can come and go as they please, within safety reasons of course

 

However, I completely agree that you never know until you have the children who will no doubt let us know what they want to do.


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#10
stephenscorzo

stephenscorzo
  • 12 posts
This is absolutely fascinating stuff! I heard a podcast today from stefan where he instructed the caller to simply not lead people or suggest people things and i felt like a bolt of lightning hit me. I realize that i need to allow my child the independence and freedom of working out problems independently. most of the education will be from experiences he will learn. we watch shows where i ask him about ethics and the morality of characters like captain hook and the neverland pirates. we watch snoopy which he notices right away a difference in the characters.
its mainly fear, however I am confident that in the era we live in if my son wants to learn to read and write there are no shortage of free resources, books, libraries and other groups we can go to for basic reading, writing and arithmatic.

I will seek out the trivium method, but first I will learn philosophy so that i have an understand what learning truly is. there is still a lot i have to undo As i was in public school myself, especially given the capital punishment of having a learning disability.
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#11
tasmlab

tasmlab

  • 306 posts

Who said anything about indoctrinating them? Perhaps you misunderstand the Sudbury protocol. It is all child led. There is no curriculum and the teacher has to discover the interests of the children. This is nothing like public or even most private schooling. Parents are encouraged to join in with their childrens day and help the teachers if they so wish and the children can come and go as they please, within safety reasons of course

 

However, I completely agree that you never know until you have the children who will no doubt let us know what they want to do.

 

Hi Xelent, perhaps I did misunderstand.  My wife looked at a similar sounding school and it was all student led, like homeschooling but not at home.  One kid who had been homeschooled was there and said it was the closest thing to homeschooling he'd experienced.

 

All in all it sounds good and sounds like it would be a good place to meet friends and learn, but I could imagine it taking a lot of time away from the family, despite them encouraging family participation.  Although I bet it would be great for families where both parents absolutely have to work 9-5.

 

My preference would be hundreds of different educational models out there.  We pretty much got public, private and then homeschool.  Although I'm discovering that the last can really be free market education.  I'd love a school like you describe where we could dump the kids for one or two days a week.


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#12
Lians

Lians

  • 392 posts

This is absolutely fascinating stuff! I heard a podcast today from stefan where he instructed the caller to simply not lead people or suggest people things and i felt like a bolt of lightning hit me. I realize that i need to allow my child the independence and freedom of working out problems independently. most of the education will be from experiences he will learn. we watch shows where i ask him about ethics and the morality of characters like captain hook and the neverland pirates. we watch snoopy which he notices right away a difference in the characters.
its mainly fear, however I am confident that in the era we live in if my son wants to learn to read and write there are no shortage of free resources, books, libraries and other groups we can go to for basic reading, writing and arithmatic.

I will seek out the trivium method, but first I will learn philosophy so that i have an understand what learning truly is. there is still a lot i have to undo As i was in public school myself, especially given the capital punishment of having a learning disability.

 

Here's a great way of learning some applied philosophy on the cheap: http://board.freedom...ophers-toolkit/

 

The course will certainly give you a lot of ideas about what topics you can bring up with your child. It's designed for adult learners and it's somewhat heavy on terminology. You'll have to digest and present the information in an age-appropriate way. There's definitely room for creativity on your part. 

 

I've shared some thoughts about unschooling here: http://board.freedom...es/#entry348480

 

I hope you find them useful. Other than that, keep listening to the show, and you'll have all the philosophical and emotional tools you need to raise a young philosopher!


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#13
FriendlyHacker

FriendlyHacker

  • 252 posts

Don't push things, make them curious about it and they will demand to know.

 

Ex: You start reading a book they really enjoy, when it gets to the best part you stop and leave the book around, they will WANT to pick up the book and start reading, because the feeling of incompleteness about not knowing the end will be distressing.

 

Teach people self education, the best skill you can have is the ability to teach yourself anything. That's akin to saying the person will learn to adapt to every situation.


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#14
xelent

xelent

  • 2183 posts

All in all it sounds good and sounds like it would be a good place to meet friends and learn, but I could imagine it taking a lot of time away from the family, despite them encouraging family participation.  Although I bet it would be great for families where both parents absolutely have to work 9-5.

 

My preference would be hundreds of different educational models out there.  We pretty much got public, private and then homeschool.  Although I'm discovering that the last can really be free market education.  I'd love a school like you describe where we could dump the kids for one or two days a week.

 

Yes, I agree about parents spending more time with their children. I just like the model of them being around other adults that are listening to their needs and learning to negotiate their preferences. From my experience, the younger children perhaps spent 2 to 3 days a week in the school, often with one parent for a day or so of that time and much more when they were 4 - 5. Anyway, it's one of many things to consider of course. Here's a link to the Sudbury Valley School model, in case you or anyone else was interested.


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#15
SuzieDavis

SuzieDavis

  • 7 posts

Im a homeschooler/unscholer. What i really had to do was get away from the governent schooling methods. We started off with a strict schedule. Now we have NO schedule. We do what we want when we want and how we want. We are always learning! I let my son guide his education. If he wants to work on maps, thats what we do. He's slow to read and write so we do not force it. We use to and it was awful. He was upset, we were upset, it just wasnt worth it. Now hes taken up cursive writing on his own and writing his own notes. He need to know how to read to play his video games so hes soaking that up. We explain WHY we teach him the things we do. Logic and reason even in little ones work wonders!! Which also teaches him to question EVERYTHING. Which is fantastic!! We do not buy any cirriculum. I have a few sites i have signed up for, for a yearly fee that are totally worth it. You can print booklets and work sheets. (www.education.com) love that for resources. There is so much free stuf out there that you dont have to spend much. If you have any more questions or want to pick my brain feel free to message me!!!


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