College at 12 starts to seem normal

From the Today show, a great story of a successful homeschooling/unschooling family. It makes it sound easy!

Seth Harding grabs a two-handed rubber sword, adjusts his helmet made with electrician’s tape, and starts to teach. “Try to block her sword with the base of your sword.”

“Why aren’t you wearing shoes?” I wonder.

“We’re peasants.”

“En garde!” Seth yells. The battle begins. He is bringing light to the Dark Ages.

At 7, when many kids figure they might be firemen, Seth announced he would be a military archeologist. His mom, Mona Lisa, encouraged that curiosity. “Wow! That kid was into this!” she marvels.

By 12, Seth was hanging out with students nearly twice his age, studying the Middle Ages at Faulkner University, near his home in Montgomery, Alabama. “How’s he doing?” I ask assistant professor Grover Plunkett.

Read more…

 

What are you teaching your homeschoolers about work?

Author and internet guru Seth Godin has a post relevant to homeschoolers.

I tried to be an entrepreneur. That hardest part is breaking free of the mental-model of work I have learned over the years. I’ve always tried to encourage my sons to be entrepreneurs from lemonade stands when they were little, to bigger goals now that they are older. I have to catch myself sometimes, thinking a part time job might be a good thing. Maybe I should help them open a lemonade kiosk at the mall.

The reason you feel most comfortable with a job (unless, like me, you’re in the minority–a job would destroy my psyche) is that you’ve been brainwashed by many years of school, socialization and practice. I pick the word brainwashed carefully, because it’s more than training or acclimation. It’s something that’s been taught to you by people who needed you to believe it was the way things are supposed to be. Read more…

At Open School, students learn to teach themselves

At Open School, students learn to teach themselves

Taking a few lessons from homeschoolers, an innovative school is opening in my home town.

About the school
# No tests, grades, report cards or mandatory classes.
# Staff will not judge student work unless asked.
# Students will be offered a menu of courses, contacts, guest speakers and off-site activities.
# Students will choose their own schedules and activities.
# School will be run like a democracy with students and staff having equal vote in school decisions like setting rules.
# Students are not separated by age. Read more…

Vacation for Homeschoolbuzz

Vacation for Homeschoolbuzz

http://homeschoolbuzz.com/images/liberty.jpg
The Davis family (owners of this site) have been on vacation this week. We are finally home (but we are still resting). Here are the boys at the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, PA. We were also in Hershey and Lancaster County. It was fun even though most of the time we were walking long distances in 90 degree sun.

Why Homeschooling?

Why Homeschooling?

From Pam Dolan of TheDay.com

Why am I planning to homeschool our kids?
This question keeps coming up. It’s a fair question, but I still do not have a fixed and ready answer. You’d think that after all these months of thinking and researching that I would have come up with a workable response, but the question still stops me cold.
It seems like the kind of question I will be much better equipped to answer five or ten years from now. It’s not that I’m waffling on this decision. I am thrilled to pieces by the notion of learning along with the kids for the next several years. It absolutely feels like the right thing to do.
But why? Read more…

Who better to teach about unschooling?

Who better to teach about unschooling?

An unschooler named Andi wrote this comprehensive how-to on unschooling aka”worldschooling.” It’s fairly balanced and informative for anyone who’s considering homeschooling or unschooling. You can even add to parts of it.

Hi, I’m Andi. I wrote this lens. (In case you don’t know, a ‘lens’ is Squidoo’s name for a user-made page about a topic.)
From the time I was six, I was homeschooled. From the time I was twelve, I was worldschooled. Then, this spring, I graduated.
So I’ve been through the whole thing – all the way until I was accepted into my top choice college and awarded 60% tuition in grants.
And you know what? You can do it too. You can follow your interests during your teens years and have an incredible launch into your adult life.
That’s what this lens is about. Read more…

Unschool approach moves to private school

Unschool approach moves to private school

DALE ENTERPRISE – At a new private school in Rockingham County, students are creating their own curriculum.
The school is called Shenandoah Valley Community School and is located on U.S. 33 West behind the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Harrisonburg. It opened last year, serving children in kindergarten through sixth grades with full- and part-time enrollment.
Teacher Sarah Beachy said that unlike traditional schools, where children sit at desks all day and are told what to study, the community school operates “freely,” allowing students to decide what they learn and when. Read more…

Parents ‘unschool’ kids to spark love of learning

BEMIDJI, Minn. (AP) — It’s one thing to home-school your child, where parents become the teachers. They can download lesson plans, buy workbooks, and register their kids for online classes.
It’s another thing to “unschool” your child. Kelli Traaseth insists she is not the teacher for her three children.
“I used to describe myself as a tour guide,” Traaseth laughed. “I thought that was kind of corny but kind of true, because I help them along.” Read more…

Can ‘unschooling’ spark love of learning?

BEMIDJI, Minn. — It’s one thing to home-school your child. Parents can download lesson plans, buy workbooks and register their kids for online classes.
It’s another thing to “unschool” your child. Kelli Traaseth insists she is not the teacher for her three children.
“I used to describe myself as a tour guide,” Traaseth laughed. “I thought that was kind of corny but kind of true, because I help them along.” Read more…

What kind of homeschooler?

Home schooling.
What is the first thing you think of when you hear that word? Hopefully, you think of someone going to school at home. That’s all well and good, but let’s narrow that down a little, shall we? Read more…

Homeschooling attacked in UK

An editorial from a Teachers trade journal attacking homeschooling in the UK. They cite anecdotal evidence with no comparison to the abuse and lack of learning in government schools.
One in four parents who home-educate children provides little or no teaching
As many as 35,000 home-schooled children are not receiving even a basic education from their parents, according to inspectors, prompting calls for a change in the law.
Despite the stereotype of creative middle-class parents educating their children at the kitchen table, a quarter of home-schooled children are doing little or no work, officials claimed.
Read more…

Unschooling: It’s only natural

But unlike most kids his age, Richie has never taken a test and doesn’t go to school.
He is “unschooled” by his mom, Cindy Fox. Unschooling is a segment of the homeschooling population that doesn’t use a set curriculum, and instruction is driven by student interest. Parents of unschooled children describe the approach as the natural way to learn.
“Fish swim, birds fly, people learn,” Cindy Fox said. “Nobody teaches a child to walk, nobody teaches them to talk. They learn because they want to. Why do people think that stops when they turn 5 or 6?” Read more…