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"UNschooling"


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#1 sevnson_71

 

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 10:54 PM

The Biegler children live as though school doesn't exist.
They're at home all day, but they're not being homeschooled. They're being "unschooled." There are no textbooks, no tests and no formal education at all in their world.

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The children live as if school doesn't exist. They're at
home all day, but they're not being homeschooled.
They're being "unschooled." There are no textbooks,
no tests, and no formal education in their world.
(ABC News)

What's more, that hands-off approach extends to other areas of the children's lives: They make their own decisions, and don't have chores or rules.

Christine Yablonski and Phil Biegler of Westford, Mass., are self-described "radical unschoolers." They allow their teen daughter and son to decide what they want to learn, and when they want to learn it.

"They key there is that you've got to trust your kids to … find their own interests," Yablonski told "Good Morning America."


Yablonski described unschooling as "living your life as if the school system didn't exist."
When asked how their children learn things like math, she said, "If they need formal algebra understanding, then they will, they'll find that information."


Asked by "Good Morning America" about how they could parent without any rules, Phil Biegler said, "We find that we don't need a whole lot of rules."
"They might watch television," Yablonski said. "They might play games on the computers."
"They might read," her husband added.

Most children will always choose television over reading every time, but Yablonski said that "the key there is that you've got to trust your kids to ... find their own interests." She isn't worried that her daughter stays up all night, because "she's getting everything done that she wants to get done."


Full story

My op.: Now don't get me wrong allowing children to seek their own paths in my opinion can be healthy. But not at the cost of their own future. I have no issue with homeschooling if it is done in such a way to allow kids the widest breadth of knowledge base while still providing them with the basic skills they will need to function in society. That is why minimum curriculum standards are imposed. When we were an agrarian culture one could get by with an elementary level education. In this century one needs at minimum a high school education to attain basic labor jobs in industry. The military will not even touch you without a HS diploma. All these parents cited in this story are doing is assuring that the taxpayers of MA (as well as the out of state workers unlucky enough to ply their trade in MA who have no recourse on how the money is spent) will be supporting their kids for the rest of their natural lives because they lack the basic life skills to function independently.

Discuss.
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#2 JulesLuvsShinzon

 

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 08:39 AM

I'm pretty certain that the local version of social services will catch up with them sooner or later. This must surely be agianst the law? I'd be interested to know if these parents are highly educated, articulate and are the kind of parents who teach their children through their everyday discussions, say, at the dinner table, and actually discreetly educate their children do a lot of activites that require literacy and numeracy skills - but somehow I doubt it.

I think the idea that parents would deny their children any kind of education may be misguided, in that their children will lack the may of the basic skills needed to simply funcion in the outside world.

#3 sevnson_71

 

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 10:15 AM

I'm pretty certain that the local version of social services will catch up with them sooner or later. This must surely be agianst the law? I'd be interested to know if these parents are highly educated, articulate and are the kind of parents who teach their children through their everyday discussions, say, at the dinner table, and actually discreetly educate their children do a lot of activites that require literacy and numeracy skills - but somehow I doubt it.

I think the idea that parents would deny their children any kind of education may be misguided, in that their children will lack the may of the basic skills needed to simply funcion in the outside world.

in MA and some other states, amazingly no. They are required to check in(yearly I believe the article said) but beyond that there are no defined standards. In NH the practice where an adequate education is constitutionally mandated it is not legal, but supervised home-schooling is. In that case the parents receive a syllabus from the state and the kids are required to take exams to progress to the next grade. What the parents choose to teach them beyond that syllabus is obviously up to them.
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So the combination is 1-2-3-4-5. That's the stupidest combination I've ever heard in my life! That's the kind of thing an idiot would have on his luggage!- Dark Helmet; "Live free or die. Death is not the worst of evils." - Gen. John Stark; "Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can't, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it." -Robert Frost; "It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds." - Samuel Adams, Brewer/Patriot
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#4 Russell Crowe

 

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 10:49 AM

Gross ignorance of child development theory makes me sad. What's really depressing is, if you read further on this movement, it's pretty much entirely propagated by upper-middle class, intelligent (well, other than this), educated super-caucasian hippie-wannabes. Newsflash: respecting your kid's right to self-determination does not mean screwing over his future because he doesn't have the cognitive capacity to realize that certain academic skills, whether you enjoy them or not, are necessary to maintain a minimal level of functioning in life. And that the older you get, the harder those skills are going to be to learn. Think learning algebra at 14 was hard? I hope these kids don't have to try and do it in their 30's :err: :P

furthermore, i'd be curious about these kids' social interactions outside the home. at least with home schooling groups, you get the chance to spend time with members of your peer group.
Have you reckon'd a thousand acres much? have you reckon'd the
earth much? Have you practis'd so long to learn to read?
Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?
Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of
all poems...

#5 JulesLuvsShinzon

 

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 12:33 PM

in MA and some other states, amazingly no. They are required to check in(yearly I believe the article said) but beyond that there are no defined standards.

Wow, that's simply amazing! A yearly check in cannot possibly be enough to check out a kid's learning and academic development. I presume the rigor for checking out that parents have the ability to homeschool their kds is equally as slack?

In NH the practice where an adequate education is constitutionally mandated it is not legal, but supervised home-schooling is. In that case the parents receive a syllabus from the state and the kids are required to take exams to progress to the next grade. What the parents choose to teach them beyond that syllabus is obviously up to them.


That's better and at least kids progress can be monitored by exam results. I imagine it's what lies beyond the syllabus that is key to reason why a lot of these kids are homeschooled.

Interestingly enough, here in the UK where homeschooling happens but is much less common, schools are being seen increasingly by the government as the "hub" of all children's services including Psychiactric and medial care, because it's supposed to be the one place in community where all children can be reached. Obviously this method wouldn't work in the US where homeschooling is common. Also, in the UK, there have been safeguarding issues raised about homeschooled children. Not wishing to cast umpleasant accusations upon those that homeschool their children; but here in the UK, it is the teaching staff in a school that are trained to spot and appropriately report signs of child abuse, or be there if a child wishes to discose some abuse. What, I wonder, would happen in the case of kids where there is no rigorous inspection of homeschooled children who are isolated from mainstream society and do not get contact with other adults?

@Russell Crowe: I'm very left-leaning, but I have to agree with you. Some people would take it further and claim that to deny a child an education is a kind of abuse in itself. I may not go that far, but I always thought that parents were there to help and guide kids to deal with their inclinations and deploy them in a positive way. I don't think kids do well without boundaries being set and ...enforced by a system of positive praise and sanctions.

Edited by JulesLuvsShinzon, 21 April 2010 - 12:36 PM.


#6 sevnson_71

 

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 05:02 PM

Wow, that's simply amazing! A yearly check in cannot possibly be enough to check out a kid's learning and academic development. I presume the rigor for checking out that parents have the ability to homeschool their kds is equally as slack?



That's better and at least kids progress can be monitored by exam results. I imagine it's what lies beyond the syllabus that is key to reason why a lot of these kids are homeschooled.

Interestingly enough, here in the UK where homeschooling happens but is much less common, schools are being seen increasingly by the government as the "hub" of all children's services including Psychiactric and medial care, because it's supposed to be the one place in community where all children can be reached. Obviously this method wouldn't work in the US where homeschooling is common. Also, in the UK, there have been safeguarding issues raised about homeschooled children. Not wishing to cast umpleasant accusations upon those that homeschool their children; but here in the UK, it is the teaching staff in a school that are trained to spot and appropriately report signs of child abuse, or be there if a child wishes to discose some abuse. What, I wonder, would happen in the case of kids where there is no rigorous inspection of homeschooled children who are isolated from mainstream society and do not get contact with other adults?

@Russell Crowe: I'm very left-leaning, but I have to agree with you. Some people would take it further and claim that to deny a child an education is a kind of abuse in itself. I may not go that far, but I always thought that parents were there to help and guide kids to deal with their inclinations and deploy them in a positive way. I don't think kids do well without boundaries being set and ...enforced by a system of positive praise and sanctions.

We have similar services provided in the US schools. I can remember as many I am sure the annual lice examinations and back in the day when scoliosis and polio was still common we all had to line up for exams in the nurse's office in grammar school. Ironically while the nurse is allowed to do all those things and is responsible for tracking every prescription drug a kid may need to take for allergies or medical ailments the harshest painkiller they could offer if you had a toothache is cloves :P It is sad to say but with the decline in Federal dollars to help fund the public system has really pared back on sciences, humanities, health and wellness, and vocations training, opting instead to focus upon those minimum standards to get the kids past the competency tests required to get what little bit of the pie the Federal government is handing out. Problem there is while literate enough to read a road sign and do basic logical reasoning they don't know why it is important and the child graduates with a narrow range of skills so they still end up poorly prepared for the workforce and life in general. Our state is no different. 81% of the property tax collected in my hometown funds our regional school which is from what I understand mediocre at best and having a hard time hanging on to veteran teachers. I can understand under these circumstances why parents of more modest means turn to homeschooling, and the virtual charter schools cropping up online.

another side to the argument.
http://www.cnn.com/2...oing/index.html
At least this girl is putting in a little effort.
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So the combination is 1-2-3-4-5. That's the stupidest combination I've ever heard in my life! That's the kind of thing an idiot would have on his luggage!- Dark Helmet; "Live free or die. Death is not the worst of evils." - Gen. John Stark; "Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can't, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it." -Robert Frost; "It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds." - Samuel Adams, Brewer/Patriot
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#7 JulesLuvsShinzon

 

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 05:12 AM

I know one or two people in the US who homeschool for that very reason. One was a qualified English teacher herself who bailed because the job was simply becoming impossible to do well in a state school.

We used to have the "nit nurse" in my day too, and mass vaccinations of minors are usually carried out at school, but what our government has in mind is something much more far-reaching, in that the school and its governing body basically become culpable if any child falls through the net and suffers due to neglect, abuse etc. In many ways this is aspirational as you can well imagine, but it goes to show how other children's agencies - even when receiving state funding - can be inadequate without a central focus where children can be expected to physically be present.

#8 sevnson_71

 

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 02:37 PM

I know one or two people in the US who homeschool for that very reason. One was a qualified English teacher herself who bailed because the job was simply becoming impossible to do well in a state school.

We used to have the "nit nurse" in my day too, and mass vaccinations of minors are usually carried out at school, but what our government has in mind is something much more far-reaching, in that the school and its governing body basically become culpable if any child falls through the net and suffers due to neglect, abuse etc. In many ways this is aspirational as you can well imagine, but it goes to show how other children's agencies - even when receiving state funding - can be inadequate without a central focus where children can be expected to physically be present.

We had vaccination clinics available before HIV, but because of the invasive nature the schools decided the litigation risk was too high. The CDC still does free public clinics (like the one for H1N1) but it is left to parental discretion whether to have it done there or in their PC doctor's office.
Posted Image

So the combination is 1-2-3-4-5. That's the stupidest combination I've ever heard in my life! That's the kind of thing an idiot would have on his luggage!- Dark Helmet; "Live free or die. Death is not the worst of evils." - Gen. John Stark; "Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can't, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it." -Robert Frost; "It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds." - Samuel Adams, Brewer/Patriot
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