I am so excited because Taylor Clouse contacting my family to help her with her capstone project. Taylor is a senior at SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) and is working to design a Unschooling Center (imaginary). She asked the girls and me to answer some questions for her project. The girls decided to do videos and I decided to just write everything out with pictures.
Tell me a little about yourself (location, how long you have been unschooling etc.). Selfies are welcome.
Chrissie McIntyre. I live in Savannah, GA but just got back from traveling for one year in an RV, 29 states, and over 35,000 miles. We have been Unschooling since January 2010.
My husband is Michael McIntyre. We are both retired, and he has only been Unschooling with kids for one year. It took him all year to adjust to Unschooling while we were on the road, but he is doing much better now!
Why did you decide to unschool?
We moved to Florida, and I didn’t like the schools. The private schools were very religious, and the public school had no extra activities like music, art, play time, and they would not let me see in the classroom. My uncle who was a teacher for 30 years (French) and a principal for ten years talked me into trying Unschooling. He is a mentor and is always encouraging me to try different things.
How long did it take your child to adjust to unschool?
It took about one month before they liked it – and about three to six months before they really liked unschooling. We had a really hard time at first, but we were also adjusting to moving and being away from all our old friends, homeschooling, and being home all the time.
They say for every year you go to ‘normal school’ you need to deschool that many months. 4 years school = 4 months deschool
Have you seen a change in the way your child relates to other children? If so, how?
Yes, a huge difference! They are more willing to connect with other children. They seek out children their own age and will make friends with anyone.
What type of environment do they excel in?
They recently decided they wanted a little more structure. I write like three to seven things they need to do during the day, and as long as they get those things done by the time we go to sleep, they can do whatever they want the rest of the day. If we go somewhere, I normally don’t make them do other school work.
They excel if I don’t harass them to death – which is sometimes hard for me because sometimes I want things done now, but I am doing better.
What current projects is your child working on?
Huggs (10 years old) – is working on several projects
- stop motion movie with her Monster High dolls
- minions out of polymer clay,
- cardboard furniture for her dolls
- sewing for her dolls
Munchy (11 years old) – is my tough child – she really doesn’t have any projects –
- She practices magic with her kit she got for Christmas.
- Munchy is working on her blog AreYouSmarterThanYourFood.com
- She shoots her bow and arrow outside and
- She practices soccer and her goal it to get on the premier soccer team. We are on a traveling soccer team, and when we left last year for our RV trip we took her off the premier team.
Both girls are taking a college course from the University of Cali – Learn to Mod. They are doing blocky (java) programming and building mods to play in Minecraft and getting college credit.
What do you use every day as part of your child’s learning?
I read to the girls every day. Right now we are in the last Harry Potter book (huge fans). We do Kahn Academy every day. I make the girls either read or write stories before bed. We try to limit TV, but sometimes that’s hard since they know how to get onto YouTube. On the other hand, they watch how-to videos on YouTube and Huggs loves them and has made lots of craft by watching them. The girls use their iPad because there are so many educational apps. If I want them to learn something I just find a game from the app store.
What does your day typically look like?
- I get up about 7am / feed dog/ work on my website / girls wakes up around 9am-10am
- They eat breakfast / brush teeth etc
- We discuss what we are doing today – field trips, etc
- They do some school stuff – mostly on iPad
- Play in playroom or do some crafts – Munchy practices soccer
- Eat lunch
- We read Harry Potter.
- more school stuff – work on learning to mod
- Tue/Thur – soccer practice
- Dinner: Read Harry Potter (if I haven’t read during day)
- 10pm: Get ready for bed – they can read or write
- 11pm: Me and hubby watch movie go to sleep
Where does your child tend to spend most of their time doing activities during the day?
Outside or in the playroom or craft room
Where does your child spend most of their time when you are at home?
Schoolwork on a couch next to me so they can ask questions if they need to. Otherwise, they are outside or in the playroom or craft room