Unschoolery http://unschoolery.com An Undefinitive Guide to Unschooling en-us Wed, 27 Aug 2014 20:34:07 +0000 http://sett.com Sett RSS Generator Unschoolers Learning to Read http://unschoolery.com/community/474631 I'm interested in hearing stories about unschoolers learning to read. Did you let it all happen naturally? Did you provide lessons at times? At what age did it happen for them? My kids are eight years old (twins!), unschooled, and my wife and I are trying to strike the right balance in supporting them. Thanks!

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Sun, 17 Aug 2014 23:15:05 +0000 http://unschoolery.com/community/474631
How to tell the school your son isn't going anymore? http://unschoolery.com/community/473876 If I decide to unschool my son, how do I tell the school he isn't going anymore? How do I know the state won't consider me a bad parent and put my son in a foster home?

Thank you!

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Sat, 16 Aug 2014 13:58:49 +0000 http://unschoolery.com/community/473876
Back to school after 2 years of unschooling? http://unschoolery.com/community/470749 Need some help and guidance - My husband and I have been unschooling our two daughters (ages 10 and 12) for the past 2 years in the state of Virginia. Just last week my 10 year old asked if she could try the school in the area we just moved to a year ago. In order to register her for school I have to show proof that she's ready to enter the 5th grade (and 7th grade for my other daughter if she ends up wanting to try it too). How do I do this if I haven't tested them annually like Virginia homeschoolers are supposed to do? I'm scared and feeling very guilty for not at least having them tested and complying with homeschool regulations. I have very mixed feelings about them going back to school but ultimately I want them to own their education, choose the methods that they feel satisfy their needs and I will fill in wherever necessary.

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Tue, 12 Aug 2014 15:19:38 +0000 http://unschoolery.com/community/470749
Could my unschooling curriculum idea work? http://unschoolery.com/community/223576 Hello,

For the past year I've been thinking about an idea of teaching 3rd-5th graders a progressively more sophisticated curriculum all based on the chocolate chip cookie. It would be books with activities, classic project-based learning with lots of side benefits. If you are unschooling your kids I'd love to hear what you think of this idea. The 3rd segment, for 5th grade, would be starting a mock (or real) cookie company where a group of kids collaborates just like in real life. Thanks for your thoughts!

Susie

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Wed, 21 May 2014 00:12:41 +0000 http://unschoolery.com/community/223576
Buy Now! http://unschoolery.com/community/470136 I made literally 10s of dollars by working from home! Follow Zen Leo to learn more!

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Mon, 11 Aug 2014 19:34:11 +0000 http://unschoolery.com/community/470136
Gamification Explained Shortly http://unschoolery.com/community/329563 With the ever increasing effect technology has on our day-to-day activities, a new lifestyle has conquered our planet, teaching us to better understand the meaning of life. Gamification, is a word we started see more and more in the past couple of months, yet only few of the enlightened ones, have managed to truly comprehend its meaning. As time goes by, it becomes even harder for us to fully explain its constantly expanding nature. In the basis of it stays our natural ability to play. Being the most well-developed mammals on Earth, we humans are amongst the few creatures in this planet, which actually know how to play. It is being observed with dolphins, who enjoy diving though the tiny bubble rings they create, dogs, who just love fetching or chimpanzees who even use tools, such as sticks and pebbles, in their games. Yet these are only a small part of the live population on Earth. The other ones have no ability to play, as explained by specialists. And how does playing makes us so special? And what exactly is gamification?

Graphic explaining gamification

Our course of life passes through several different stages, each of which has critically important meaning for our normal development. Along with the teen years and many others, come the time when we discover games. Playing has an essential role in our lives, being a trigger for community development and many more. The games we play are not just entertainment, they are a way for us to learn and experience events which wouldn't otherwise have the chance of living through. It is our own way of growing up and develop our minds. This is why it is not a secret, that millions of people age 25 and above still have the need to play - they basically need learning. Nature has found its own way of giving us the desire to stay informed without actually get stressed out - playing. Still, what has gamification to do with all of this?

Gamification Graphic

Gamification puts our curiosity and playfulness to a test, using games to teach us the basic understanding of life. It literally means using games to teach us live through real life events and get the required experience to develop our ability to survive. This is how for example, survival games teach us staying alive in a time of starvation and war. No wonder the past decades are marked as the time with the fastest technology and intellectual development on Earth being indicated in centuries. How exactly is gamification going to affect our lives in the long term, we are yet to learn. Could astronauts learn surviving in outer space through games? Or could we learn how to become the best housekeepers in our area, just by playing mobile games? It is only a matter of time until we learn the truth about gamification. We could only wait and hope the technology revolution won't turn against us.

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Mon, 16 Jun 2014 19:04:35 +0000 http://unschoolery.com/community/329563
"The Triple Package: How 3 Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America" http://unschoolery.com/community/267746 Hi Unschoolery,

We're TEDxUMassAmherst - a non-profit, student-run annual TEDx conference at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. This year, we had nine world-renowned speakers give a TEDx talk at our conference, two of which were Amy Chua, author of New York Times bestseller "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother", and her husband Jed Rubenfeld - both Yale Law professors - who spoke about the Triple Package. We thought you might be interested in their talk. Here is the link:

The Triple Package: Amy Chua & Jed Rubenfeld at TEDxUMassAmherst 2014

Thanks,

The TEDxUMassAmherst Team

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Mon, 02 Jun 2014 23:55:25 +0000 http://unschoolery.com/community/267746
Ding Dong Merrily Upon High http://unschoolery.com/community/103717 It does often seem that building a young child into an adult is a challenge to complex for even the most gifted and sensitive of parents and that society as a whole must enter into the challenge of raising the child. Indeed such a hypothesis stretches back to those most ancient of days in which the human race had not yet reached even a primitive stage of civilization. For, lo, in those ancient days the whole community would be responsible for the child, as is still the case today, if one chooses to home school a child, what does one do when one is eaten by a lion? And yet among us still today are those so ardently opposed to the very concept of society that they seek to isolate their child and hide them from the truth of the world, somewhat akin to the prisoners in Plato's allegory. And yet, eventually such a child must mature and escape the cave and be thrust into a world not of their parents, nay, a world in which such shadows are revealed to be illusions. Indeed, in such a scenario it could be argued that the parent is afraid to let their child escape their cave, and will seek to prevent the necessary onset on adulthood. For this is the greatest crime, to deny a human being, regardless of parentage, the ability to defend oneself in the world, to turn one's back on society and refuse to participate in the greater heritage of our species. Yet such people still exist in today's world, and it is disturbing that so many people wish to isolate themselves away in a cave of their own making, to merely watch shadows dancing on the wall of their caves, and refuse to accept the glory of reality and our destiny as a species, as a world, as a civilization. And when such people assume a position of power and choose further to erode such a society the damage they do to the future generations is incalculable.

The greatest fools are those who deny they are in the cave.

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Fri, 10 Jan 2014 21:16:54 +0000 http://unschoolery.com/community/103717
Facing foreclosure? Consider a short sale http://unschoolery.com/community/252103 The foreclosure crisis hasn't been in the news for a while. Many have reported that the foreclosure crisis has ended. It would be more accurate to say that the foreclosure crisis has nearly ended but there are still hundreds of thousands of struggling homeowners that are in or near foreclosure. Many homeowners think that their only option is to get a loan modification or walk away. There is another option however, a short sale. In a short sale, the borrower sells the home for less than they still owe on the mortgage. The lender takes a loss and the borrower is now free from the mortgage. Of course the lender must approve the short sale because they are the ones taking the loss. Whether the bank will approve the short sale depends on how short the sale is.

At the height of the foreclosure crisis, short sales were much harder to approve. Since the national mortgage settlement announced in 2012, short sales have been a little easier to get approved but many homeowners still aren't having any luck.

When to consider a short sale

A short sale is far from ideal. Because the lender is taking a hit, your credit score is going to take a hit as well. While a short sale does negatively affect your credit score. It doesn't look as bad as foreclosure. It's always better if you can get a loan modification or find some way to get some extra income to get caught up on your mortgage. If there is simply no way to get current on your mortgage, a short sale can be your way out. You can escape from your mortgage without having a foreclosure on your credit history.

Tips for getting approved

If your requests for a short sale are repeatedly rejected by the bank, there are a number of things you can do. One reason that short sales aren't approved is because the paperwork wasn't all submitted on time. It's important that the bank receives all the required paperwork in a timely manner. To protect yourself, make sure you make copies of all the paperwork you submit and keep a record of when you submitted them. If the bank claims you didn't submit something you can look at your records.

Even with all the proper paperwork your short sale request may still be denied. In this case all you can do is be persistent and patient. Jump through any hoops they ask you to and continue to resubmit the paperwork. As you quickly reply to any and all requests from your lender you maximize your chances of being approved for a short sale. If instead you became frustrated, impatient, and uncooperative with your lender, your short sale will likely never be approved.

Business, real estate, and bankruptcy law and litigation news brought to you by mbblegal.net

Source: articles.sun-sentinel.com/2014-05-22/business/sfl-singer-housing-questions-link-20140523_1_short-sales-real-estate-pro-general-informational-purposes

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Thu, 29 May 2014 08:30:50 +0000 http://unschoolery.com/community/252103
Teens and the Critical Need for community in Life and Learning http://unschoolery.com/community/191829 I was recently interviewed for this post: For Unschooled Teens, Learning Communities Are Critical where I talk about the need and vision behind creating a temporary learning community for teens.

I am the parent of an unschooled teen. Only the last two years has community become a critical need in my son's world. Although we are traveling, we connect with wonderful families and friends online creating a supportive community of unschooling and homeschooling parents, many of which have teens, it is not the same as connecting in person. However, I've discovered the common element among teens are their desire for community to combat the feeling of isolation. Some parents have shared with me that their teens attending traditional high schools also feel the sense of isolation and connection but it's emotional, revealing this is a common theme. However, home educated teens have a greater sense of being alone since the physical isolation is also present.

But my son loves unschooling. And he loves traveling too.

Last year we were considering finding a democratic school so my son could be among his peers and I wrote this article calledFinding community. Dealing with teen isolation- Unschooling & Travel Finding community. Dealing with..article

Then my blunt question to Miro, “do you want to return to the United States and go back living a conventional life?”
His answer, a clear emphatic, “No.
NO
Miro does not want to go back to the US to live. He’s clear about that. Equally, Miro does not want to go to conventional school. He’s clear about that too, as he says over and over that he loves unschooling. And he assures me, he likes the freedom of traveling.
OK.
Next, I suggested to Miro that we reach out to our community, online. I am a member of many homeschooling and unschooling groups on both facebook and yahoo groups. I am also the member of many other groups that support families who travel. I figured if they all had children there would likely be some that were at home too, maybe even some around Miro’s age. Perhaps some of them might even be interested in some of the same things as Miro is. Maybe some might be willing to connect online as well. At least it’s something.
And so I put the message out there. Again, I had to remind Miro (and myself) that there is no shame to share our desires as part of the human race. There is no shame in wanting connection. There is no shame in saying we desire “community” either. There is no shame to seek support in order to learn and be supported. There is no shame in asking for help.
So we asked.
The community response was amazing. Miro added about 8 new friends on facebook. Although he’s a little shy, he hopes to connect and create a circle of friends across the world. I hope he finds some connections this way. For now.
Being a single mom is not easy. Choosing our lifestyle is not an easy path. And if we hadn’t chosen this lifestyle, I would almost guarantee we would have a different set of problems, no better, no worse than the ones we have now. The beauty about our lifestyle is the ability to choose what we want to experience every day. We have the freedom to choose something else if it is not working.


“What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.”
~Kurt Vonnegut
So we are looking at lots of different possibilities now, open to where the world will lead us. We both love traveling and are feeling the itch to explore some more, new and exotic places. But we also are committed to stay here in Peru for another 6 or 7 months. Together, we are producing a project we both believe in so deeply, called, Project World School Peru. It is no coincidence really this project is about the very thing we are both struggling with right now: community. The project focuses on having learning experiences together and building relationships as an integral part of the process.
So for the next half year or so, we focus on building our vision and fulfilling our dream. Hopefully our passion can keep us fueled during the next few months and we both can find our way to combat loneliness while we explore options for the future.

So it's almost 5 months since I wrote that article. And the depression has lifted from my son and we've become more and more focused on the idea of creating temporary learning communities that involve the immersion of new cultures, immersive learning and now, doing so within a community. My son said, "there's got to be more teens who want to discover the world too and have the kind of experience we are. I don't want to go back and live an ordinary life, I want them all to come with us!"

The deeper we dove into community learning we realized, just like the theory behind democratic learning, mentors and the feedback loop is conducive of meaningful learning. Anytime you have a group of 3 or people involved in an immersive activity there is the potential for deeper and more supportive learning. One idea or observation leads of the next and through conversation and feedback the experience is transformed into learning. We've experienced this countless times throughout our travels and throughout the world.

Worldschooling and Unschooling, inspired Project World School Peru

The article I was recently interviewed, For Unschooled Teens, Learning Communities Are Critical for that appeared on the Unschooler Experiment (unschooler.com) the author Hafidha Acuay examines learning in a community as mentioned by grown unschooler and filmmaker, Astra Taylor, where spoke about this desire during a talk on the Unschooled Life in October 2009. Taylor said, “What I really wanted … is that intellectual community…. I would have loved to commune with other young people and to study marine biology or number theory or playwriting a couple afternoons a week, but for some reason, such a possibility was unthinkable – a wild fantasy. Instead the only option available was to submit to [the school system]. We should wonder why there’s no middle ground.”

From the article:

For Miro and Lainie, Project WorldSchool offers the possibility of such a middle ground, albeit a temporary one. While immersion programs are nothing new, Lainie and Miro are planning a retreat that will be shaped and directed by the attendees. While Lainie works with an education consultant (also an unschooler) to identify the elements of a well thought-out learning community, Miro works to line up housing, guest speakers and other details of programming. The mother and son have been preparing since 2012 for this session and Lainie hopes that every participant will arrive ready to “make use of the inherent lessons of the space.”

If you want to learn more about our project, Project World School, please visit our site at: http://projectworldschool.com

I would love to hear your thoughts about the value of learning within community and how you may have dealt with teen isolation within the framework of unschooling.
Please leave comments below.

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Fri, 09 May 2014 15:58:15 +0000 http://unschoolery.com/community/191829