Why We Unschool

We unschool for lots of reasons.

First, I believe the government-run schools do not teach children to learn. They teach children to accept all input from outside sources as fact, without question. This is not at all what I want for my children. I want my children to learn to think. And I want them to think to learn. By pursuing an interest and trying new things, they are doing this. They learn by trial and error and experimentation. The knowlege they gain by these methods is not forgotten easily (like, over summer break).

By staying home, our children have established a loving and more supportive relationship among themselves. Of course, they are siblings and there are conflicts, but they are resolved quicker and with fewer emotional injuries than before. (One used to go to "school" school.)

Staying home gives my children the opportunity to experience the real world. They are not trapped in a room with 25 other same-age people for 6 hrs., made to sit still and be quiet, do boring worksheets to keep them busy, and allowed to run and play and be a child for only 15 min., twice a day. Instead, my children follow their interests -- which includes self-motivated research to find answers to questions -- and spend as much time as necessary on whatever topic they choose. Most of these topics lead to "field trips" where they get to have an experience that relates to whatever they have chosen to learn more about. They get to, almost daily, interact with people of a variety of ages thereby making them able to adapt more easily to social situations than one who has been confined to interacting with only people his own age. They spend hours getting to be the precious, noisy, rowdy, imaginative children they are (and were designed to be).

A child's character is built by the people who have the most contact with, and therefore more infulence on, a child. Learning values and character are every bit as important as the subjects taught in school if not more. My children are living and learning the values and characteristics that are important to our family instead of bringing home those they've learned from other children and adults who may or may not be worthy of imitation. And given the news reports over the past few months, I'm sure you can appreciate what I mean by this.

I offer an environment in which my children can cultivate a healthy self-image. My children's view of themselves is precious and fragile. While a "teacher" might try to be sensitive to that while correcting my child (behavior, work, whatever), his/her motivation could never be the same as mine. And unfortunatly, not all teachers care about their students. My children mean the world to me and I could never be callous or uncaring when dealing with them.

I have fewer worries of my children developing negative coping behavior. I do not practice sarcasm, name-calling, or manipulation so these behaviors are not models for them to follow. Our family has no cliches for anyone to be excluded from. There is no one to flirt with or try to impress by wearing the "right brand" of clothing. Instead of ganging-up on the weakest, each child "sticks-up" for whomever they feel is being persecuted or attacked, be it adult, child, family, or non-family.

Family unity is being instilled in my children. Because I choose to be a part of every aspect of my children's life and am there to assist if needed, my children are learning that they are important and everything they do is important to me. They know I will be there if they need me and I will step back if they need me to. They know that no matter what, I will always support them and side with them. My favour will not waver.

My children are learning responsibility. Instead of relying on a "teacher" to prepare the work for the day or assemble the required supplies, my children take responsibility for helping collect the items needed. This includes writing letters requesting materials, making purchases and finding things around the house, as well as assembling them for the activity on the particular day.

I get to be a mom all the time. My mothering is an around-the-clock adventure. Not just before 8am and after 3pm and on weekends and holidays. I'm so lucky!!! Because I am always available, my children never feel abandoned.

It is my responsibility to educate my children. A responsibility which I do not take lightly. I utilize whatever available resources are applicable to our current endeavor. Presently, I can provide my children with a better education than anyone else. If at anytime it becomes necessary to employ a third party to accomodate my children's interests, I will not hesitate to do so.

Links We Like

School Is Dead: Lots of good information on homeschooling and lots of good links.
Gordon's Entemology Homepage: A really good site about insects, etc.
Homeschool Is Cool: A fun place to go. It has quite a mix of activities and lessons and LOTS of cool links.
Neptune's Homepage: An oceanography site
How to Make Your Own Mummy: from the Royal Ontario Museum
A Science Odyssey: Science experiment stuff
Stuff For Kids: by the woman who does Take Part and Tell-a-Tale Town
Learning Through Art: the McMichael Canadian Art Collection
Choral Speaking and Reading: Some information about choral speaking and reading
Choral Speaking Script: The Grasshopper and the Ants
Imagine the Universe: NASA's astronomy site geared to kids ages 14 and up
Star Child: NASA's astronomy site geared to younger kids
Online testing: Tests for various grades and subjects with immediate results
Book It! Program: A reading incentive program -- lets's homeschoolers participate
Kid's Clubhouse: Reading contests and fun games

What Else Can I See?

Back To Home Page:
Question's People Ask Me: Mom's Other page
From a 9-year Old's Point of View: Jaimie's page
How Things Look When You're 3 Feet Tall: Misha and Kestin's page
Out of the Mouths of Babes: Some of the Children's Poetry
Spinning a Yarn: Some of the Children's Stories

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