These are questions that my children got asked recently by a good friend of mine. I just wanted to share some of them and try to answer the best I can. My thought is that if one person is thinking these questions then several people are thinking of them. My girls get asked some of these questions a lot. I don’t mind when people ask questions about homeschooling or unschooling, what I do hate is when they test them to see if there learning anything, or testing me.
- Do you have to wake up at a certain time? We do not have a certain time that we wake up everyday. If we have a homeschool class we are doing or plan the night before that we want to go somewhere at a certain time we get up so we can be ready to leave when we need to. Honestly the girls sleep late if they stay up late and that is one of the many things that is so great about homeschool. The kids get plenty of sleep which I believe is one problem with the normal school.
- Do you have a curriculum? We do not use a curriculum. We do however, as most unschoolers do, incorporate different teaching methods, books, videos, iPad apps, computer games and various teaching tools into our school days. I bought Magic school bus, a packet we get once a month, to help teach science.
- Do you have everything planned everyday? Honestly I am not a planner, never have been and hate lists. I do use them occasionally but unschooling is about letting the kids decided what they want to learn about and how they want to learn it. So that what they learn will be kept in memory because they are interested in it. I just direct them to find the answer they seek.
- How long do you have to do school for everyday? The Georgia state law says we should have school 4 hours a day for 180 days September – August. We actually do a lot more days than required and do school 7 days a week and all summer long.
- Do you use a certain room for doing your school work? No we do school all over the house. If we are doing an outside project like make a sprinkler we are outside. If we do a writing like take notes from a video so we can remember facts or write a letter, we may do it on the couch and use a notebook or even our iPad.
- Do you go on field trip? Where? Yes, we love taking field trips. Actually every time we leave the house is a field trip. I am quizzing the girls all the time, I give them assignments , we do math and reading while we are driving. If they go shopping for clothes, I give them a math assignment. We are alway learning and asking questions.
- Do you have a uniform? What do you wear everyday? No, why the heck would we have a uniform. I guess the clothes we wear the most are pajamas. Why not who the heck wants to get dressed if you have no where to go.
- You make a lot of cooking recipe, what kind of stuff do you make? We love to cook and mostly make desserts and recipes that the kids love. I love to pretend that I know how to cook but I don’t, self taught. Usually I find a recipe to try and then have the girls do a video because it turned out so yummy and I just want to share.
- What do you do when you’re not doing school? I considered everyday, 7 days a week a learning experience. My girls are constantly learning. If they come into my room at night and ask a bizarre questions about something then I will help them find the answer. School is not from 8:30 – 3, 5 days a week. We considered every waking moment a moment you can learn something so therefore you are in school all day 365 days a year. Yes, even your birthday but sometimes we take that day off.
- How does your mom teach you all the subjects? I do not teach them anything. The girls learn all the subjects required by the state through the year as the feel fit. We use books, videos (YouTube), computers, library, apps on our iPad, mentors, parents, friends, coaches,….. you get the idea
- How does your mom teach you? I feel that this is the hardest concept for most adult to understand or get. I again do not teach them, I encourage them, they learn on their own. I try to encourage them to try new things, ask questions to get them thinking about a subject or question in a different way. We might start out by talking about animals and end up talking about the way things move like roller coasters. They lead the conversations I just try to help find the answers.
- How do you learn without going to school? Learning is a process, you have to ask questions, find resources to help you find the answer you seek. I don’t care how the girls get a project done, who they ask for help or what material they refer to to find the answer. The point is they get it done and are satisfied with the result and if they are not or think they can do it better they do so.
- How is Disney considered school? This is my favorite question of all time. Disney is very educational and has tones of website, video and apps to promote this fact. We take behind the scene class when we go, with South Carolina Homeschool Group. Disney my favorite place to go and vacation, for fun and great educational experience.
- Do you take test? Then how do you know they are learning? No, we do not take test like a traditional school. I do not give them a piece of paper with 10 questions and expect them to fill in the answer from the previous day lesson. I do verbally ask them questions all the time. I know they are learning something because, they might be so excited about something they learned that they come and tell me stuff all about it days or weeks later.
- Is it Fun? Yes we have a lot of fun, just the three of us. Who wants to sit in a desk while a teacher talks to you all day – not even adults can stand it. We have done so much more in one day than they ever did in their expensive private school. I was berated by the school for taking them out and told them I wanted to homeschool. I was told that they would never get into this school again or go to college. Who cares – my girls don’t need to spend a half million dollars when they can learn it on their own. If your interested in adult unschooling check out this book Hacking Your Education: Ditch the Lectures, Save Tens of Thousands, and Learn More Than Your Peers Ever Will and uncollege.org
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