Schools Are For Fish

Schools Are For Fish
"You can not make a child walk before they are ready. You can not make a child read before they are ready. You can however make a child think they are dumb or learn to hate reading if you push them before they are capable." -Stephanie, Throwing Marshmallows

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Unschoolers Group

Hey guys, I just wanted to let you know that you could join an unschoolers, or home schoolers group through My particular group is for people in Colorado Springs, CO but if you want to take a look at it here's the link:

Thursday, April 19, 2007

What Is Unschoooling?

I know you guys are probably like me, wondering what the heck unschooling is. Well let me brief you. ha ha.

Unschooling is a branch of home schooling, except without formal schooling. Unschooling teaches children by practical application instead or in addition to book studies. The children that my sister and I home school are ages 4 years to 9 years old. They do not do book studies at all.

They play games to learn what they need to learn such as math: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. English: reading, grammar, rules, spelling, sounds and phonics. The games are educational that they play every day and are called The Phonics Game for English and The Phonics math game too. In addition to those games our kids play Yahtzee- for their math and writing skills, boggle- for their spelling and writing, monopoly jr- for money learning, scrabble jr- for spelling, 'smath for more math and a few others.

In addition to all the games we were blessed enough by our mom's work Red Noland Cadillac with a cash register. They pay for their lunches with play money and each day one of the children takes turns being the "lunch lady." The children read to each other each day from a story of their own choice and help each other when they get stuck. They have learned that family, above all is essential.

The kids also have a ton of gym class, being that we live on 5 acres joined to our mom and dad's 5 acres. They have bikes, go carts, a monster sized trampoline, a two mile block to walk or ride around and my hubby is going to get them a 4 wheeler. Not to mention that we have dinner once a week at our mom and dad's and church once a week as well. We have gardens in front of our house as well as a larger one down at mom and dad's. It would be a miracle if our kids didn't go down to Mom and Dad's more than once a day. They are always down there.

Our kids do 3-4 hours a day of "school" and spend the rest of most of their days outside.

That, in a nutshell, is unschooling. We have our children enrolled in a private school so that we are not obligated by the state to get our children tested in conventional ways. With that said, you would be astounded by the amount of learning our children have undergone from taking them out of public school and unschooling them. It is an absolute miracle, but when you take the obligation of attending school, opening and reading worthless books, spending countless hours repeating the same boring information and replace it with an easy atmosphere, where a child's natural desire to learn and play go hand in hand, the children thrive.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Why homeschool?

My sister and I home school our own two children each and our other sisters two girls for a total of six kids. Our first Born's, (Zech, Mariah and Redemption) who were in Kindergarten, didn't seem to be learning anything. Anything they did seem to be learning was with us after school. The next year, the three children above headed into first grade while my youngest (Nehemiah) went into kindergarten. Our first graders were struggling with reading and the teachers asked us to do some work with them at home. We ended up spending about four hours a night with our children teaching them what we thought the teacher was supposed to be teaching. When the school year was over, I was none to pleased to learn that my kindergartner could not even spell his own name. Our first graders had improved drastically (with their after school tutoring sessions with us) but we had spent so much time after school with them that we figured we were already doing the teaching, we might as well bring them home. If we home schooled them, they at least wouldn't have to do spend eight hours a day at school and then four more at home at school.

So we took them out of school and found a public school in our area that was online. If you haven't heard of it, it is a school system which provides the computer printer and pays you for Internet service and supplies and your child learns the same things that they were learning in public school except they learn it at home. This worked out for a year, our kids were learning how to type and navigate the computer and surf the web. The problem was they still weren't learning. The curriculum was exactly like the other public school we had taken them out of, which meant, it was crap! So we looked into traditional homeschooling that summer for the next school year. What we found was something called Unschooling. Weird word huh? I know, I was pretty confused when I first read about it. For those who don't know what it is I will give a brief description. Unschooling is teaching a child with experience rather than a book. For example, our children play the game Yahtzee one of their math classes. I know you must be thinking that our kids are not being taught. But for anyone who knows how to play Yahtzee knows they add, subtract, multiply and divide countless times in only one game. Our children have learned the fundamentals of math without the boring book that just confuses the issue and makes learning no fun.

When I found the pic above I thought I had to share it with you guys. It is exactly what people need to see. If you don't know it already, home schoolers have home school groups. We get together for field trips, play time, full day recess, etc. Home schoolers also get a lot of help from the companies and parks because they home school. We are offered free days at parks, museums, zoos, and given discounts where the free days are not offered.

Our kids are learning in an environment that encourages individualism, learning and experimentation without having to suffer the mundane tasks that comes with public schooling. If you are a parent you must have, at some point thought to yourself, that your children would be better off at home. They wouldn't have to deal with daily violence, harassment, peer pressure, and favoritism, not to mention that they may learn better in an environment they are comfortable with, and know they are safe in.