Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Unschoolers and Socialization

I am trying to decide if I am an "unschooler". Maybe some of you are wondering what that may be? Well, it's a term from a man named John Holt that describes a child driven education, where the child learns what he needs to know from life experiences not curriculum. I make my own curriculum, using the interests of the children as my guide. Do I fit in? I can't decide. Not that it really matters, I suppose. I have met many new homeschooling families lately, many of them declaring that they are "unschoolers." So, I was just wondering:)

This week I had to stop and laugh at a worry that many people have about homeschoolers. How do they get socialized with other kids? Here's our week:
  • Monday-library day. The kids spent time in the Discovery Room and easily found kids to play with and had a great time.
  • Tuesday-play date at the park where we met many new friends and spent a good hour playing with 20 kids of all ages and also, swim lessons/Childwatch where there was much interaction with many different kids.
  • Wednesday-attend a homeschool Gym and Swim class at the YMCA with many other homeschool kids
  • Thursday-kids go to Lutherhaven which is an outdoor science day for homeschooled kids that is as long as a public school day
  • Friday-zoo day with Grandma and Grandpa-the best kind of socialization you can get!!
  • Plus, everyday many hours are spent outside with the neighbors!
I just love it! Because we are trying out a year round schedule (4 weeks on, 1 week off), this isn't even one of our school weeks though it seemed busy enough to be!

We have finally settled in, stopped whining:) and are gearing up for our Robot/Simple Machine unit study coming up (any ideas for a good field trip for this topic?). We just finished our Vet study which was a lot of fun. The kids' spelling has improved dramatically since we started back up and we are finally getting into a math groove. We have read 3 read-alouds that have challenged their vocabulary skills. We made notebooks that showed some of our work. All in all, a successful first month. Yay!!


Angela and Ethan said...

You're awesome! Seriously.

And although I don't have plans to homeschool my kids (but wouldn't completely rule it out either), I always think it's crazy when people have concerns with homeschooled kids not getting socialized "properly". Obviously it's up to the parent(s) to provide those opportunities, so it's not a garauntee. But... seriously! There are so many ways (in better settings than public schools) to give your children opportunities for social development. Anyway...

For now, I wish I could get up the energy to even have a desire to homeschool my kids. :) Right now I'm couting down the 5 years until all my kids will be in school...but maybe I'll have a change of heart when I'm not preggers anymore.

Anna Marie said...

I'm envious. Sounds like a great schedule. I bet your kids love it.