Re: DSM: Homeschooling and the sense of community

From: Karen Locke (villagespecialed@charter.net)
Date: Mon Dec 10 2001 - 16:29:28 EST


Liz, you wrote:
>). But there are so
>many people in my area that are homeschooling and a huge portion of them
>are unschooling, and that number is growing month by month. I am just
>bowled over by how many there are.

Where do you live (if you don't mind saying!).? I homeschooled in Minnesota
for several years, but it was hard to find others that were exactly
"unschooling". We'd get together, but often the parents' agendas were the
most important. Even when I started an "unschool", it devolved into
schooling because the parents who thought they wanted to unschool only
wanted to do it until they found out the kids really wanted to play all day.

On the plus side, I think there's a lot to be said for homeschooling. My
children got to be really close. They're six years apart, so that was
quite an achievement. Because I didn't set a curriculum we didn't have
school power struggles, and we spent lots of hours reading together about
pirates and detectives , etc. I did like the feeling of closeness I got
from the experience. I also felt reassured as I saw them developing skills
I thought would probably be important in their futures (eg. reading,
speaking persuasively) from our experiences at home and with other
homeschoolers. It can be a natural environment, with kids even
accompanying parents to work (my son helped me teach a preschool music
class).

I think there's a place for lots of options in the world. Homeschooling
filled our needs for awhile, and then my kids wanted to go on, first to
private schools and then to public schools. If kids have the option to try
other things, I think it follows what I believe to be the primary
democratic directive: self choice. Letting the child investigate, weigh
the options, and make important decisions.

Karen

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