So Many Unschooling Questions

So Many Unschooling Questions

"I'm Bored"

Question

"I pulled my 12 year old daughter out of public school in March. We are both still deschooling. She has been complaining that she is bored. When I ask her what she would like to do she says ,'I don’t know, you’re the adult you’re supposed to entertain me.'  How can I gently encourage her to explore? I admit that I have been a very controlling mom in the past and I’m working very hard on not just telling her what to do."

Answer

Well, she's not right that you're supposed to entertain her - good try though! ????
But directly asking is often met with that kind of response. Especially when she's used to you being more controlling and setting it all up for her. It will take a little getting used to - for both of you.
Lean into the things she simply enjoys doing, and do more of that. Take a trip to the craft store (if she's into anything there) and get supplies for her to play with.
Play more games with her.
Cook with her.
Don't turn things into lessons, just see where it goes and what data you can gain from the connection. It will help you know where to go next.
Here's a link to another blogpost that might help:
"Mom, I'm Bored."

Brainstorm Together!

What About The Basics?

Question

"I know there’s no “typical day” in an unschoolers life but curious what moms are doing to make sure their kids are learning the basics of math and language arts."

Answer

True, there's no real "typical" day because every family and every person IN that family is different. Also, everyone is at a different place on their unschooling journey when it comes to peeling back all the layers of deschooling.

School conditions us to believe that we need some kind of structured approach to dealing with those basic academic subjects. I can remember thinking that way too! I thought that we'd get those "basics" under our belts, and then we'd be free to explore and play and discover whatever came around.

But what became apparent was that "The Basics" are the basics, because they weave throughout all of our daily lives. We don't need to orchestrate something to make them occur. Kids want to play and explore and in doing that, they encounter a need for these basic academics. And then THAT becomes the motivator - not to learn the basics, but to do whatever it is they want to do! Remember, learning really belongs to the learner. When they deem it necessary and in context with their lives, there's no stopping them! Then we just help them solve whatever the issue is. And a piece of The Basics is picked up, and more importantly, retained!

Get a Good Deal

Sometimes when you're questioning a few of the 3Rs, it might be a good idea to read about how unschooling works with learning to read, write, and do math? I've tossed in the additional guide to help you with all the second-guessing that happens, "Am I Doing Enough?"

This has helped so many people reframe academics and what's really important when it comes to learning.

Starting Mid-Semester?

Question

"I would like to know if I can unschool my daughter for the end of “school” year 2020-2021. Can we do this in the middle of public school year?"

Answer

Yes! You can remove your child from school at any point of time. Sometimes, people have a few questions about this, so I'll share what I know:

Is this even legal?

Yes. Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states and many countries. Unschooling is considered a homeschooling method/style.
Here's a link to find out more about laws: Getting Legal.
It's always good to talk with the local unschoolers, as legal requirements vary from state to state. You can do that in our free Facebook group - there's a thread for each state and many countries.
Here's the document to find those threads: Find Each Other.
Here's the link to find groups: Find Your Local Group

Will they get credit for the semester?

They will not. But, unless you're seeing this as a temporary fix and sending them back in the Fall, it doesn't really matter. If your child is younger, kids are usually placed in the grade with their age-mates. Sometimes, extra help is needed, but often they're simply blended back in. If they're older (high school age), you will be able to create the transcript they will need at the end of your homeschooling/unschooling time with them. You'll have plenty of life experience to "count" for their subjects, so you don't have to worry about this semester.

Will they grow up to think they can quit when things get hard?

No. They'll grow up to know that they can leave an unhealthy situation and their parent will be a source of support for them.
Miserable kids aren't learning in the classroom anyway. Research has shown that as a learner's anxiety rises, their ability to process new information shrinks.

Bringing Kids Home

Whether you're doing this between sememsters - or tomorrow!

You can!

Once you've figured out all the legal requirements for where you live (see above for links to ways to connect with other local unschoolers) this blogpost will shed a little light and help you know a little more about what to do next.

Record Keeping Question

Question

"How do unschoolers do quarterly reports?"

Answer

First, know most states do not require quarterly reports to meet the legal requirements. Every state is different. Knowing what you need to do is an easy fix. We have a link to help you with the legalities here. 

But if you DO need to do record-keeping like this, it's important to know what's expected. Sometimes it's just a quick check-in with an evaluator, maybe including photos of the kids doing various activities. Then you can explain it with more educational jargon. Reading in bed could be described as "Silent sustained reading, at or above grade level."  Learning the lingo is important if you live in one of the states that require extra hoop-jumping. Usually you can look at the Department of Education website for your state, and use the language they use for the various subjects.

If you're turning in reports for a charter school, see if you can find an unschooling evaluator. They'll be more flexible and be able to see learning happening in every day activities. Some evaluators are happy with photos of the child "in action!" If you need a little help seeing where subjects can be found in daily activities, this free PDF will help: Rethinking Subjects. Getting this free PDF will pop you onto my weekly email list, Unschooling Updates, and I'll help you keep unschooling ideas at the front of your mind!

IMPORTANT: You don't have to let your child know that they're doing these different subjects - it's actually better if you don't. Hanging on to that artificial dividing up of life interferes with recognizing that Real Life is full of all kinds of legit learning opportunities. But, if you can quietly note it to turn in, then it's less likely to interfere in the more natural style of learning that is happening.

Finally! Help with Record Keeping

Sometimes unschoolers have to keep records to turn into their evaluators (don't worry, not all states have this!) and sometimes bullet-journal moms like to keep everything organized! I've created a fabulous Unschooling Guide to help you unravel all the details about keeping your educational records as unschoolers!

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