I have been asking my mom to unschool me and and times she has seemes ready to give in, only to snap back into her "this is as unschooled as you will ever be" (we homeschool already, and it is kind of unstructured, but not really) point of veiw.
I have already read The Teenage Liberation Handbook(and Teach Your Own, Real Lives, and a lot of other books about unschooling), and I have read and reread the chapter on convincing your parents, but most of it seems to apply to kids who are still in school, and the problems it perdicts that parents will have aren't my mothrer's. My mom's main problems with unschooling are that she doesn't really think it would work, she doesn't doesn't think I have enough initiative to tach myself, and (this is something I think is holding her bck, though she'd never admit it) the fact that she'd never here the end of it from our nosy relatives is she decided to unschool.
Have you asked her to give it a trial period - say one month. Or maybe just one subject. If she doesn't think it's working out after a month, you agree to go back to whatever you've been doing. If it works (and she's worried that you'll start to slack off after that one month), ask for a two month extension AFTER the first month, then go for three (look - you'd already be at 6 months!)
you could SHOW her you can do it by just doing it. Find something you are interested in and start learning it. Keep with it for a few weeks and she may start to see that you can do it (although there are no guarantees, of course).
No one can stop you from learning. If you have things you want to learn, do it in your free time. Go along with her program, and do your own...if you have the incentive, then go for it.
maybe if you showed your mom that you mean it, she'd change her mind. Pick anything, stained glass, rug weaving, trumpet, whatever you like and learn it by yourself. By showing that you have the willingness to learn and the strength to keep going, then you are showing what unschooling really is. It's a state of mind, not how much or how little you are learning from a book.
I wish you luck,
Thoughts in random order:
-She doesn't have to tell relatives you are unschooled. Unschooling is a form of homeschooling; it's unlikely that she'd let them know of every philosophical change she might make for homeschooling and she doesn't have to tell them she's changed her approach.
-In your free time, unschool yourself. Show her the initiative you believe you have. Let her trust that you can and will actually set yourself your own work. Keep a separate binder or portfolio of all the work you do, all the things you read, any educational activities you do that have nothing to do with what she's assigned you.
-Accept that she might never see your point of view, but don't lose that desire to teach yourself things. Just as two people can forever be on opposite ends of the spectrum on issues such as politics or school choices, there's no guaranteeing there's some magic thing for you to do that will enable you to be unschooled.
I would sit down and make up a "plan" for yourself as far as what you would like to do to be unschooled. Then present this plan to your parents, telling them your reasoning and ask them to consider it on a trial basis. If your mom sees it is benefiting to you, and that you can stick to it, than maybe she will change her mind. Maybe the two of you could set some goals/expectations of what you will need to do during the trial period. Good luck!
well i can see you need help with English but good luck on that
note i failed it 3 times so i'm not really one to talk
It seems that many answers I give are always "Google". Dayna Martin has a video on "youtube". She was interviewed by Dr. Phil and was not able to really show the positive side of unschooling, so she has web-blogging video.
I think it is a fascinating concept but I'm like your mom, I'm rather nervous about not having ANY requirements from my 14 year old son. We are relaxed and he has learned more at home than he did in public school, but still.......I'm just not sure about 'turning him loose' at this point.
Have you thought about getting a job so you can learn there? My step-daughter went to public school and she got a job when she was almost 15 years old. She told me at one point that she learned more on her job than she had ever learned in school. That is sad, but she is 20 now and wishes she had learned more in school.
Ask for a 2 week trial period. Prepare a presentation at the end of the 2 weeks to prove to your Mom that you have learned something. If she is still not convinced that you can keep up the effort ask for a 3 month probationary period that she can end if you are not making sufficient progress. Prepare weekly presentations to prove that you are working and learning.
My HS'ed son is not as old as you, but we have an interesting method here. We use an "all in one" curriculum, but it only takes him about 2 hrs/day (b/c we school year-round). The other 6 or so hours a day, he's free to do independent study on whatever topic he feels like doing that day (or several per day).
Perhaps if you can just get through the structured part of your Mom's assignments/lessons, then you can do something "on your own" the rest of the day. Since you're unstructured already, it's not going to be a big change.
Since you have already read the book, have you thought about having your mom read it?The book is a bit radical, even for me, and we do have a very relaxed home school philosophy, so be prepared to explain, and defend your choice.
The advice of a trial period sounds good, but for unschooling this is not the way to go, the change is more gradual.
Unschooling requires a life style change, this is hard to understand for those who still subscribe to the traditional school model of teacher/student - teach/learn.
Unschooling requires a level of maturity on the part of the student, as well as trusting his/her ability to direct his/her own education with a minimum of adult guidance.
Your parents can best determine if you have the ability, motivation, and determination to follow through with taking on this type of responsibility.
When your parents are ready to give this a chance, sit down with you parents, and set goals, a timetable to meet the basic requirements (3R's), and then have fun with the electives.
Schooling at home is good only if the student cannot cooperate in a classroom where he or she feels frustrated. If the parent and the teacher along with the student has a good rapport and keeps the work flowing for marking and on a weekly basis it will work. Socializing is important also. Also the student doing home schooloing has to be able to discipline themself in order to keep the school work up. Some students today find the classroom too noisey and it does not allow them to stay in school to be successful.
I'd like to know on what, exactly, does Gail base her opinion?
I can see where you'd want to choose where you go and what you want to do. Perhaps you could home school the three R's and unschool the rest? I sooooo understand the 'nosy relatives', I've got a few of my own, but get your mom to remember that you are HER chance to raise children not Aunt May's. That your desire to unschool is not a reproach of her own choice but a blossoming of the beautiful way she chose to raise you. Maybe you could put together a package of what you want to be in life and show her all of the goals you will have to achieve in order to be that person, then get her to help you unschool yourself in that direction, so that she doesn't feel she's loosing her darling child.
Your mom reading the books soon sounds like a good idea, but while you're making her do some homework, why not add in a book on assertiveness? Sounds like she could use some... she's an adult and has to learn that raising her kids is her responsibility, and that she should do what she believes is right, rather than give in to peer pressure (and family pressure, and any other outside pressure). Also, is there some way for the two of you to move out to a house or apartment of your own instead of staying with your aunt?
I don't recommend a trial period, as it will likely just make you feel pressured to study, study, study to prove that unschooling works... which is just not the way that unschooling is supposed to work.
Any learning you do is your own responsibility... if you choose to, you could rebel against the schooled curriculum. The fact that you don't shows that you either value your relationship with your mom, or your education, or both... probably both. So, if you were to unschool yourself, you'd want to learn stuff because that'd keep your relationship with your mom good as well as be good for your education. To me that proves that unschooling would likely work for you.
Perhaps your mom could tell her family that she's unschooling you to teach you values such as responsibility and independence? They might not think that Japanese is worthwhile, but who can argue against raising your kids to be independent, responsible people? Schooled kids tend to be so immature when they go off to college, thinking they can just sleep in and party all the time and only study at the last minute for a test.
Dunno what more I can say... hope what I said helps.
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