Yes they do, Sandra.
HmSchDodd : Socrates, one of the greatest teachers in history, didn't have worksheets! Rabbis, famous to this day for their successes, don't have worksheets (well, maybe to learn the alphabet...)
ShariY : Jesus didn't use or have worksheets!
HmSchDodd : Even catechism rarely uses worksheets. It's rote memorization.Big difference! Socrates used the question/answer/discussion method.
HmSch DAC : Book reports. Everyone wants to see written book reports.
HmSchDodd : Same as Buddhist priests use (although some of them
throw in a combo calligraphy/meditation). Socrates didn't even write his own stuff down!
HmSch DAC : Wow. I never knew that.
LJDBush : But Socrates didn't live in the 90s——don't we need to know how to write?
ChosenOnes : Question, Sandra. How do you handle creative
HmSchDodd : Honestly, Cheri/Chosen, my kids aren't up to writing
yet. Others want to take that question?
ChosenOnes : DAC, should I feel guilty because I don't require my
boys to do book reports?
HmSchDodd : I can make answers based on what I've seen and read
and know from teaching Jr. High English.
HmSch DAC : I don't. I think book reports kill the joy. But we TALK about books a lot.
ChosenOnes: I think they are just busy work.
ShariY : Narration is a beginning step in creative writing.
MyCamelot : Chosen...my son wants to write creatively....because
he has a wonderful imagination...but he's not too up on all the physicality of the writing
and some of the spelling and grammar.
TAZTUG : we do book reports as letters to friends exchanging
ideas for the library trips
HmSchDodd : I didn't require written book reports when I taught 9th grade. They sat next to me, handed me the book and told me stories. I asked them questions like "Was it scary?" or "Did it remind you of people you really know?" Not questions which would've been in a regular school question/answer thing.
HmSch DAC : Some people will never write creatively. It doesn't
make them stupid.
MyCamelot : He writes it his way, and I have him read it to me (if he wants to) and I always think it's wonderful.....someday the rest of it will clean itself up
ChosenOnes : Neither boy likes to write——neither did my dh when he
was in school.
MyCamelot : A really good point, Chosen/Cheri. My husband hates
to write too...it may be part of their makeup.
Lakewood6 : All good writers start out with reading good writing.....
HmSch DAC : Let your kids write what they want. Worry about
editing it later. Try not to focus on grammar and punctuation and spelling at first. Then, teach them about editing.
HmSchDodd : And by thinking and by creative play, and story—telling, and such things. They all lead up to what writers need. Let them NOT write if they don't want to, too.
Ruhi19 : One of the best things I fell into is that my daughter decided to do a script based on a book she is reading. She is improving her typing, English and spelling all at once.
Margmom : My kid has started writing because he wants to. He
writes notes, signs and little stories.
HmSchDodd : Back to Socrates. He knew how to write, but he didn't choose to spend his time writing books about what he thought. He taught people orally and the students wrote down the parts they liked best.
HmSchDodd : We get Socrates digested by others, which is pretty cool.
HmSch DAC : So what we get of Socrates is the parts he said that
others thought were important enough to keep?
ChosenOnes : What surprised me was when my 8 yo on his own wrote
out how to make a volcano for: one of his friends! Maybe so, Jeri.
Ruhi19 : So writing is for "real" activities such as passing
on information, visiting with others...
MyCamelot : See, they can write....they just have to write about
what's important to them.
ChosenOnes : I doubt that he would tell me if he wanted to. I
didn't know about that till it was done.
HmSchDodd : I think encouraging them to write when they want to and helping them when they need help (I mean helping them all they want, and not saying, "You're too old to need this kind of help," or "You should know how to spell that"——none of the school—shaming) then they will write happily and for a real—life purpose, NOT because they were "assigned" to write.
ChosenOnes : Ah, Jeri, but my 8 yo is too quick to say "I don't
know", when I know he does know.
Margmom : He uses invented spellings and "creative" penmanship. I don't correct anything he's written. Sometimes he asks and then I tell him. Anyone he writes to now (me, his dad, grandparents, a few friends) understands how he writes, and is OK with it.
HmSchDodd : We cook for people to eat. If nobody's there there's
no reason to cook. What if someone came and gave you a recipe you had NO interest in and said, "Make this. You have two hours."
HmSch DAC : It would probably be inedible.
CherisHome : My 11 year old refuses to write, but she sent a
wonderful two page letter to a pen pal.
HmSchDodd : So Cheri, do you say, "I know you DO know!"?
ChosenOnes : I know—I'll start by having them edit these chats
HmSch DAC : How many of us believe we can't write?
ChosenOnes : Sandra, I encourage him to think about it a little
while. If he still can't get it, I help him.
MyCamelot : Me
PMcconn369 : me
HmSchDodd : I think you should just tell him the answer.
ShariY : I want to write like Sandra
HmSchDodd : (thanks)
HmSchDodd : I think if your kids asks you how to spell "they're" 30 times running you should just spell it each time. If you don't, is it because you don't want "to cheat"? Because you "want him to do his own work"? Maybe he just has a hard time remembering that! So what?
MyCamelot : Funny thing, though....I took a class a few years back about writing for children and I found a lot of the materials when I was unpacking the other day. When I have time, and I WANT to write, I can write really well! :::patting self on back::
ChosenOnes : No. I just want him to learn to think things through
and come up with a solution.
HmSch DAC : Pushing them only embarrasses them, and convinces
them they are stupid.
LJDBush : Deborah, that was worth the price of admission.
HmSch DAC :
ChosenOnes : From the Institute of Children's Literature, Jeri? I took that one.
MyCamelot : Yes, Cheri, that's the one!
HmSchDodd : CherisHome said -=-My 11 year old refuses to write, but she sent a wonderful. letter...-=- You mean she refuses to write on command?
Beck2830 : If they are given the answers do we have to concern ourselves about them becoming mentally lazy?
CherisHome : Exactly!
ChosenOnes : I haven't really had time to write since, Jeri. Makes me sad.
ShariY : Sandra, is there ever a time when you do say, "Look it up?"
CherisHome : I don't push it at all anymore
Ruhi19 : I'm still not convinced. I have taught others to use
the computer and sometimes they don't learn it becasue they know they can ask instead of trying to remember. ????
HmSchDodd : I think he WILL learn that. If I asked my husband
where the hammer was and he said, "Now think. If you can't figure it out I'll tell you, but if you think a while I think you can figure it out." I would be furious! I want to treat my children with as much respect as I treat adults. I fail, but it's a goal.
MyCamelot : Same here....but the great thing is that I can know that I have it in me....and no one gave that to me. I did it myself. I think children need to find that too.
Margmom : When mine ask something, they usually need the answer to continue with something interesting they are doing. If I make them think about it because I know they know, they will lose momentum on the original project.
ChosenOnes : If he needs to know it at the moment to continue
something interesting, I would tell him.
HmSch DAC : We make assumptions that people are lazy because they
don't learn the same way we do.
HmSchDodd : Are you guys becoming mentally lazy because we're throwing information at you? I think it's the exact opposite. Shari, I'll help them look it up. I've told Kirby to look up his own phone numbers, but if he gets frustrated I talk him through it.
Beck2830 : OK good point Sandra
ChosenOnes : Only if we just accept it at face value and don't
think it over or analyze it.
Ruhi19 : This is all new info....what about learning
confidence in yourself because you do know.
ChosenOnes : I think that was my point, Ruhi.
MyCamelot : I admit it....when he asks how to spell something,
I'll ask him to try it first, but then I'll tell him if he doesn't get it right. And the
next time, if he asks about the same word, I just tell him.....obviously this is a word that stumps him.
ChosenOnes : Also, the kinds of things my son is interested in
require that he think them through. Particularly computer programming.
ShariY : By asking them to try spelling it first, I 'hear'
them thinking. If they miss I ask if that sounds right. Is that ok?
HmSch DAC : Frustration can sometimes be a learning experience
yes. But it should be real not faked up.
HmSchDodd : I think the same about writing, research, and even spelling—— "DRILLS"——meaning things faked up by the parents "for the kids' good" are NOT ever going to be as good as real need on the part of the learner.
ChosenOnes : Right, Shari. I've done that.
MyCamelot : Ruhi, I think learning that you can have confidence
because you DO know is a very valuable thing....but really, are children going to claim to not know things just to frustrate you?
HmSch DAC : If we don't know then helping them find out or saying you'll have to work on that is real. But withholding information because we think it will be good for them is rude.
HmSchDodd : If you get enough help when you're a beginner that
you're confident that the help will be there always you can go on to harder stuff.
ChosenOnes : DAC, Sandra said the other day she makes up frustrations for her kids.
HmSchDodd : I did not!
HmSchDodd : I said my mother-in-law recommended that and I would not.
ChosenOnes : Are you sure? I thought you said you did it. Recommended it.
HmSchDodd : Oh no, I don't think ANYTHING should be put on kids to "train them" to deal with frustration, or writing, or anything.
ChosenOnes : I'll have to reread that part, I guess.
HmSchDodd : To frustrate kids on purpose so they'll be tough for
future frustration would be like breaking a finger so they could handle a possible broken arm better.
Ruhi19 : Mine seem to do it not to frustrate but because they
are not sure.
Lakewood6 : Does anyone here have a grown "unschooler" that actually learned to spell? I guess what I want are stories about kids who were unschooled and turned out OK.
HmSch DAC : I have a grown dh who went to Jesuit schools and
MyCamelot : Sandra, I love this -=-HmSchDodd: If you get enough
help when you're a beginner that you're confident that the help will be there always you can go on to harder stuff.-=-
I think this is true of ANYTHING to do with children. If my children have the confidence that I am there when they need me.....then they will be more confident people and less likely to be totally dependent on me.
Lakewood6 : Good point HmSchDac, but I'd still like personal proof that this will work
HmSch DAC : My oldest I can't claim as an unschooler. He was half tortured in ps and then half unschooled. His spelling was atrocious. It has improved immmensely in the last 6 months, because he is corresponding with adults in the field he wants to enter, and doesn't want to look dumb I was ready to say "the kid will never spell." I was wrong.
HmSchDodd : I often think back to the things I learned in La Leche League, from readings and other moms. If you nurse a child a long time does it make him dependent on the mom? Seems to be the opposite.
HmSchDodd : If you hug a child every time he wants a hug, does it make him want a hug-a-day for life? You WISH!
Lakewood6 : I agree...I'm nursing the most independent 3 year old ever..
MyCamelot : Nursing on demand doesn't create a demanding child......answering questions on asking doesn't make a lazy child.
HmSchDodd : The more they get, the less they need.
ShariY : I think the evil of ps system is having monthly, yearly goals....We need to look at the big picture....Life!
HmSchDodd : I bet it's the same with spelling and looking things up.
Ruhi19 : OK....thanks...I might try it.
ChosenOnes : Momentia rules!!!
HmSch DAC : I think so. I used to look up everything for him. Now he does it all himself, well.
HmSchDodd : Yes about life! You want to aim toward a happy, balanced, confident adult, not "a successful third grader" GAG ME!
HmSch DAC : For 6 months after he got his computer, EVERYTHING that went wrong he came to me. Now he works it out himself.
HmSchDodd : Well try it! Try answering every question calmly for a week or a month and see whether it doesn't make the kid happy, and feel what it makes you feel. I'd bet cash it's making you feel old school—fears and school—guilt. Cheating. Teacher voices will come into your head and say, "You know that." or "I can't do your work for you."
MyCamelot : Well, I was painfully shy.....ex: my mother had to call the doctor to make the appt for me when I found out I was pregnant (I was 21 and married). BUT, she always did what I needed and now, I do almost everything I need to do on my own.
HmSchDodd : Jeri! That's amazing to hear. You're plenty brave now!
MyCamelot : Thanks, Sandra!
ShariY : My goal is to think if I died, what would I leave them? Passing tests, grades? Or tools to help them in their adult life?
Lakewood6 : Maybe you already discussed this.. but do you think the same applies to learning to read? They'll just do it?
ShariY : Mine did
HmSch DAC : The school voices conspire in our heads so that we worry if the kid doesn't learn everything right on time he'll be living in our basement when he's 30.
MyCamelot : Read, read, read to them.....and they'll read.
LJDBush : Mine did too.
Mettaphor : Mine are learning to read without being "taught"
HmSchDodd : Mine did, except for the times I made him cry trying to "teach him"——that's points against it. He would have read sooner if I hadn't made him fear to read in front of me. Honest.
HmSchDodd : I will NOT similarly "help" the next two.
MyCamelot : ::::whispering::::: We've all done something we wish
we hadn't to our children....I made mine cry over math a LOT of times.
HmSch DAC : Too many people hate reading because of being made to read aloud.
ChosenOnes : How about socialization and peer pressure in regard
to school detox?
HmSch DAC : Peer pressure on us? Or the kids?
ChosenOnes : I don't—and I feel bad for those who worry about
their kids' socialization.
LJDBush : Delete "socialization"? YAY! Can I, huh, can I really?
MyCamelot : Freeing, isn't it?
HmSchDodd : Please do!
Margmom : My mom still tells about reading aloud and saying
Canna—DEE—an instead of Canadian. It scarred her for life!
HmSchDodd : Mine was YOZEmite (Yosemite)
MyCamelot : Mine was disheveled. Dis - Heave - eled
Lakewood6 : And for those of us who could read, wasn't it boring
listening to those kids who couldn't?
Beck2830 : Go light on the socialization and there is also less
peer pressure problems
ChosenOnes : Both, Sandra. Peer pressure on us to buy this,
follow that method, etc.
HmSchDodd : You're raising adults, not children.
ChosenOnes : On the kids to be like all the other "schooled" kids.
ChosenOnes : We do, Anita. We feel our boys are much more mature
than others their age.
HmSchDodd : You're keeping them warm and alive and happy until they become adults, because they will, with or without you in the picture.
We have the power to screw them up to the point of life-scarring, or to just give them some room and peace and security to grow well in. We can't very well make them be what they aren't.
ChosenOnes : They interact well with people of all ages, instead of just those in their "group".
HmSchDodd : Chosen/Cheri, you run with a rough crowd!
ChosenOnes : Oh? How so?
HmSchDodd : You could run with us and we'd pressure you NOT to
buy stuff, or follow any methods .
ChosenOnes : I was speaking of homeschooling moms in general, not me particularly, though I have felt it sometimes myself. Look at the articles in the hs mags. They can give some people guilt trips.
ShariY : Depends on the magazine!
HmSch DAC : Do you really want your kids to be just like everyone
else? Or themselves?
ChosenOnes : Themselves, definitely, unless they are emulating
someone else's godly qualities.
HmSch DAC : We can try to fit them in a box, which nobody fits in well. Or we can help them to be the very best THEM they can be. .
HmSch DAC : There's another relic.
HmSchDodd : Relic of what?
Mettaphor : Lakewood, my dh is a rocket scientist... not much going on in that field right now
HmSch DAC : If my kid is a rocket scientist, he's a success. Dogsledders are failures.
Lakewood6 : Socrates turning out ok isn't a scientific sample of unschooling working either ...works both ways
HmSchDodd : Socrates is considered to be a teacher by thousands, though, and that dog-sledder...
Beck2830 : Those perfect kitchens didn't you know the family went on a field trip to the kitchen to clean it
HmSchDodd : Hey, anybody can make their kids matching outfits and go to Sears and get a family photo. Maybe that would make some of you feel better.
HmSch DAC : I have two siblings who are retraining OUT of the aerospace field. Too unstable right now. ">
ChosenOnes : Lake, is your point that we need to have a balance?
HmSchDodd : We're about out of time. I was having fun. Bummer. I'm willing to stay a while.
Ruhi19 : What mags do you recommend...there are so many...right now I rely on AOL.
ChosenOnes : PHS
PMcconn369 : HOH
HmSch DAC : HEM. GWS. HOH.
ShariY : HOH!
Margmom : I like GWS and HEM.
HmSchDodd : Me too, Margaret.
Mettaphor : Mothering
MyCamelot : I LOVE HEM
Beck2830 : I only want to read a magazine with a kitchen shot in disarray
HmSchDodd : That's Growing Without Schooling!
HmSchDodd : Hey, Anita——maybe you should do a photo spread for Home Education magazine! "REAL KITCHENS"
Mettaphor : Love it, Sandra
Ruhi19 : PLEASE do the kitchens! It would make me feel so much better.
Beck2830 : Yes I could give you the real look of a homeschooler
Lakewood6 : I'm not saying I don't agree with you guys.... just playing the devils advocate I guess
HmSch DAC : I wish I had time to talk about job satisfaction
Ruhi19 : Now that we are detoxing, what do you do to teach
things like algebra?
HmSchDodd : Games.
Ruhi19 : What games?
HmSchDodd : Algebra textbook all you want to, as long as the kid does the reading and learning and comes for help rather than the parent assigning pages and "checking homework."
Margmom : I just hope my husband doesn't start wanting to impose structure. He thinks I'm a radical.
Mettaphor : I generally wait til my kids ask questions about
something, then they are ready to learn
Ruhi19 : OK...can you suggest a good book...the one I got is
not appreciated by my kid.
HmSchDodd : No, but you could try the math folders at HEM or Homeschool Connection and see what teens' parents have tried and liked.
Ruhi19 : Marg: Would it help if you printed out the Unschooling folder for him to read?
Margmom : But so far hasn't really put up a fuss. Maybe by the time they are 10 or so he'll be convinced. He understands the unschooling concept... just doesn't quite agree. He's bombarded at work by the "opposition". Works for a public policy/ education policy research firm.
HmSchDodd : Margaret, I think he'll come around on his own. My husband has been really impressed by some of the conversations they've had and he's taken the opportunity to teach them things in a really informal way, but at a deeper level than kids their age are expected to understand, generally (if we go by the school's curriculum and calendar)
HmSchDodd : Margmom, would he read a book or two?
HmSchDodd : Do you have any John Holt?
HmSchDodd : I guess what makes me the most defensive is when
people say, "I don't believe unschooling will work." Okay... based on WHAT? I want to say. Based on the fact that you went to school every day for twelve or sixteen years and "cooperated" and you want that to be the only possible way!? The fact that it has and DOES work (maybe not for everybody, but for a LOT of people) is right there for those who want to see it.
Ruhi19 : So what do we say to them to convince them?
Margmom : I ordered Gnys at WRK from Holt Associates. The invented spelling thing is starting: to bug my husband.
HmSchDodd : I might not BELIEVE a 747 could fly, but they do.Whether I can explain it or build one doesn't matter. They do fly.
HmSchDodd : Margmom, stop showing him their spelling then!
Margmom : I don't! Shobie writes notes to his father.
HmSchDodd : I have friends with older kids than mine who do remarkable things their parents didn't teach them to do. They figured out how to do it.
HmSchDodd : OH! Then find him a Whole Language book
HmSchDodd : Or tell Shobie—daddy to explain phonics to him for fun. or to pay him a nickle for every right word.
HmSchDodd : I learned more after I learned to read and started
scouring the library than ever before,and I think the sooner kids are brave enough to read whatever interests them, the sooner parents can relax and not have to hold their hands. I also do what schools don't do, in that I'll read things to the kids which would be "later" "when
you're older" stuff at school. Schools present material at the reading level of the students. How boring! Why should they have to read everything when they have two perfectly good parents who could read it
Greek Mythology, Egypt, novels intended for older kids—things they can understand even though the reading level is high—we can just fill them UP with that stuff without regard to whether it's "at their reading level," or rather knowing for certain that it isn't.
At school when they test kids any one kid will show a huge range of "placement" in math, language, science... the schools rarely do anything about it xbut maybe put them in a "higher reading class"but the schools are calm about the whole thing. Homeschoolers flip out more than schools do.I don't really know the magic words to get people to be calm and realistic about expectations and results. To proceed without looking into the school-windows-of-their-minds all the time .
CherisHome : All I know is — my kids are happy — not lazy, irresponsibly happy , but healthy and whole people again.
HmSchDodd : Who could want more?
CherisHome : Not me! .
HmSchDodd : Well, except maybe marching band and chorus...
HmSchDodd : A nice jewelry shop...
HmSchDodd : Darkroom...
HmSchDodd : The good parts of school
HmSchDodd : Too bad there are all those teachers and other students in the way! .
CherisHome : Oh if only my daughter could be prom queen:::::sigh:::::
CherisHome : gag.
HmSchDodd : Or a cheerleader! .
CherisHome : No offense to any prom queens in the room
CherisHome : or cheerleaders.
HmSchDodd : Certainly not me! .
HmSchDodd : I think Margmom and Mettaphor are off fixing lunch. .
CherisHome : I was eating mine through class.
HmSchDodd : It's not noon here yet. .
CherisHome : Love these cyber classrooms.
HmSchDodd : AND I ONLY EAT AT NOON!
HmSchDodd : That's a lie. .
CherisHome : of course.
Mettaphor : sorry, got busy with IMs.
Margmom : Trying to read Emily a little book while reading your
HmSchDodd : I had breakfast just before I came on here.
HmSchDodd : You guys don't have to talk! I was just goofing around. HmSchDodd : Shall we bail, or do any of you have any final comments for our audience? (Smile for the rest who will get the log——I'll edit the really boring parts, like this, probably) .
HmSchDodd : Did we forget any school—barnacles I should put into e-mail?