# Re: [LAUnschoolers] Need advice/ideas from fellow unschoolers please

#### [email protected]

Hello,

I've started a local unschooling list in hopes of connecting & helping

others learn about unschooling here in Louisiana. I myself am relatively new to

it since my daughter is only 5 1/2 & I only 'discovered' unschooling about 2

years ago.

Although I'm mostly a lurker on these lists due to time constraints, I now

come to you for advice and suggestions from one of our listmembers. She gave

me permission to forward her post to you to seek your advice. Since I have

so little experience the only thing I could think of was to suggest she find

an electronically minded person as a mentor...and that we seek advice HERE :)

The first part of the email is a response/advice she got from our list :(

As you can see, she needs some suggestions from real unschoolers!!!

Thanks in advance. ~ Denise

the big problem with math is that it is cumulative and

must be learned from start to finish. you can try to

teach just the formula but the problem is there are so

many parts to the formula that need to be known first

and each formula changes with each problem (measuring

the volume of a cone and a prism requires 2 similar

but very different formulas)also those formulas might

require knowledge of square roots or powers. Unless

you know or are a math whiz it is hard to teach

"unschooled" Forget those public school gifted

classes, all they did was give the kids more work to

do (keep them busy so they did not disrupt the class).

Math is one of the main reasons i am home schooling.

Having a future Neurosurgeon who is doing 7th grade

math instead of 5th and a future Architec who is doing

9th grade Algebra instead of 7th (they both probably

would be farther but i can't keep up!)I know

unschoolers hate to hear it but i am going to suggest

a curriculum that lets the child learn from basic on

up. It is called Saxon Math (their home school

version) You can go on line print up the test, give it

to Derek and find out where you need to start him off.

It has a lot of repetition, that is so the kids learn

"sight answers" (knowing multiplication, adding,

subtracting, common fractions and square roots just

off the top of their head) This is important for the

child that is going to go into advance math with some

formulas that take 3 hours to do and 20 pages of paper

(it sure makes the problem a lot easier if they don't

have to stress on the little stuff {and saves a lot of

time}). Again this is for the unschooler who will need

to know math for their future goals. I am not

suggesting this for unschoolers who feel this does not

fit into their methods. I hope i was of some help.

Sandra B.

--->>>>

louise wrote:

I've started a local unschooling list in hopes of connecting & helping

others learn about unschooling here in Louisiana. I myself am relatively new to

it since my daughter is only 5 1/2 & I only 'discovered' unschooling about 2

years ago.

Although I'm mostly a lurker on these lists due to time constraints, I now

come to you for advice and suggestions from one of our listmembers. She gave

me permission to forward her post to you to seek your advice. Since I have

so little experience the only thing I could think of was to suggest she find

an electronically minded person as a mentor...and that we seek advice HERE :)

The first part of the email is a response/advice she got from our list :(

As you can see, she needs some suggestions from real unschoolers!!!

Thanks in advance. ~ Denise

>>>>>>Hi Louise:

the big problem with math is that it is cumulative and

must be learned from start to finish. you can try to

teach just the formula but the problem is there are so

many parts to the formula that need to be known first

and each formula changes with each problem (measuring

the volume of a cone and a prism requires 2 similar

but very different formulas)also those formulas might

require knowledge of square roots or powers. Unless

you know or are a math whiz it is hard to teach

"unschooled" Forget those public school gifted

classes, all they did was give the kids more work to

do (keep them busy so they did not disrupt the class).

Math is one of the main reasons i am home schooling.

Having a future Neurosurgeon who is doing 7th grade

math instead of 5th and a future Architec who is doing

9th grade Algebra instead of 7th (they both probably

would be farther but i can't keep up!)I know

unschoolers hate to hear it but i am going to suggest

a curriculum that lets the child learn from basic on

up. It is called Saxon Math (their home school

version) You can go on line print up the test, give it

to Derek and find out where you need to start him off.

It has a lot of repetition, that is so the kids learn

"sight answers" (knowing multiplication, adding,

subtracting, common fractions and square roots just

off the top of their head) This is important for the

child that is going to go into advance math with some

formulas that take 3 hours to do and 20 pages of paper

(it sure makes the problem a lot easier if they don't

have to stress on the little stuff {and saves a lot of

time}). Again this is for the unschooler who will need

to know math for their future goals. I am not

suggesting this for unschoolers who feel this does not

fit into their methods. I hope i was of some help.

Sandra B.

--->>>>

louise wrote:

> This email may get long-winded, but I'm needing to[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

> inquire with other unschoolers about a snag our

> family has hit recently.

>

> Our son, Derek, unschools. Sometimes he just floats

> around indulging in whatever hits his fancy, other

> times he has come to us with a list of topics he

> wants to learn about, and asks for help. So far, the

> things he wants to learn about have been fun to come

> up with resources and ideas for him to explore. For

> example, he wants to learn about other countries.

> He's asked me to give him something to do so he can

> learn, so I put together a "backpacking through

> Europe" idea for him. There's not much to it, other

> than he started off with Italy and is now in France.

> We jot down a slew of questions about the country

> and he goes and researches the answers. Some of the

> questions lead him to learning about scientists and

> inventors from those countries that invented or

> discovered things that wow and amaze Derek, so he

> starts researching those topics as well. When Derek

> feels he's learned a lot about the country, he then

> puts together a menu of authentic cuisine from that

> country, sends out a fancy invitation to us and his

> grandmother and her friend to attend the dinner, and

> he then cooks a four course dinner for us of

> authentic cuisine and teaches us about the country.

> He's an amazing chef so we are spoiled with a

> wonderful dinner.

>

> So, it's not really a formal study or program or

> anything, it's just something fun that he enjoys and

> has asked us to continue doing.

>

> Derek's big passion is studying electronics. He's

> off on his own with this, using electronic kits,

> books, and collecting bits and pieces from broken

> appliances and gadgets and turning them into

> electronic toys. Last night he demonstrated an

> airboat he built from bits and parts. His mission

> is to be the first person to build an electric

> plane. He brought in a diagram he drew of his

> design, and it's very impressive (this coming from

> me, who knows nothing about electronics).

>

> So, now my dilemna. Derek has reached a point in

> his electronics where he really needs to know his

> math. He asks his father, Graham, questions now that

> can't be answered until Derek understands advanced

> math. Derek was in gifted math & science classes

> when he was in public school, but after unschooling

> for 1 1/2 years, he barely remembers what 2+2

> equals. This may seem like a knock against

> unschooling, but I see it as a knock against the

> public schools method of teaching math. If he truly

> had learned what they taught (and he brought home

> those A++'s all the time), then he would remember it

> 1 1/2 years later. What Derek needs is applied

> learning.

>

> However, the kind of math he needs right now isn't

> going to be gained quickly from his cooking, or

> building a playhouse, and playing his math computer

> games. He's learning from those experiences, but

> for his electronics he's needing to learn to some

> degree of algebraic formulas.

>

> He told us last night that he wants to learn this

> math. He's anxious to get past the roadblock he's

> hit with electronics. He's ready to start building

> that electric plane.

>

> Does anyone have ANY advice on how we can help Derek

> achieve this? I know nothing about fancy math

> formula's. Graham has the knowledge, but not the

> know how of sitting a child down and teaching them

> math. Plus, Derek has to go back to the basic

> building blocks he's missed out on. He has a gifted

> mathematical mind to understand it all rather

> quickly, but I haven't a clue of where to point

> Derek to on this one.

>

> I would like to have several ideas of how Derek can

> learn this advanced math, building up from the

> basics, and present them to Derek so he can let us

> know what would work best for him. He's passionate

> about wanting to learn the math he needs for his

> electronics and I want to provide him with some

> outlets. I need some ideas though.

>

> Does anyone have any advice/ideas they can share?

>

> Thanks

> Louise

#### Kirk and Susan

Tell Derek to forget the electronics, practice writing instead, and

become a travel magazine author. OR..a professional chef....WOW...I boy

who cooks four course authentic cuisine!!! I'm so impressed. But I"m

not help in the math part. So far my son is NOT interested in much

math, but he's only 8. So, I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone

else has to offer and the discussion on Saxon math that ensues.

Susan

become a travel magazine author. OR..a professional chef....WOW...I boy

who cooks four course authentic cuisine!!! I'm so impressed. But I"m

not help in the math part. So far my son is NOT interested in much

math, but he's only 8. So, I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone

else has to offer and the discussion on Saxon math that ensues.

Susan

#### Fetteroll

on 3/4/05 7:56 PM, we3deeves@... at we3deeves@... wrote:

can do real stuff" way, look at it as any other thing they want to do. If a

child wanted to knit better you wouldn't find her finger exercises to do ;-)

You'd find her someone who liked to knit and videos and books and ...

Are there clubs he could join? There may be amateur electronics club or

rocketry or something. 4H has more than cows so it might be a place to begin

looking.

I wouldn't discount a math book but since he's looking for specific skills

and is at a unique place I don't know how helpful they'd be. Or maybe a

software program. Maybe check on Amazon and read the reviews to see which

ones people liked. (Of course their liking would be based on a more standard

knowledge of arithmetic.)

Joyce

> However, the kind of math he needs right now isn'tI think rather than looking at in in the schoolish "get the skills so you

> going to be gained quickly from his cooking, or

> building a playhouse, and playing his math computer

> games. He's learning from those experiences, but

> for his electronics he's needing to learn to some

> degree of algebraic formulas.

can do real stuff" way, look at it as any other thing they want to do. If a

child wanted to knit better you wouldn't find her finger exercises to do ;-)

You'd find her someone who liked to knit and videos and books and ...

Are there clubs he could join? There may be amateur electronics club or

rocketry or something. 4H has more than cows so it might be a place to begin

looking.

I wouldn't discount a math book but since he's looking for specific skills

and is at a unique place I don't know how helpful they'd be. Or maybe a

software program. Maybe check on Amazon and read the reviews to see which

ones people liked. (Of course their liking would be based on a more standard

knowledge of arithmetic.)

Joyce

#### Pam Sorooshian

On Mar 6, 2005, at 3:34 AM, Fetteroll wrote:

-- example:

Schaum's Outline of Basic Mathematics for Electricity and Electronics

(Schaum's) by Arthur Beiser

Basic Mathematics For Electricity And Electronics, Workbook by Bertrand

B. Singer, Sharon Ferrett

and looks like many more.

There are community college and tech college courses that are

specifically math for electronics - they'll almost always have a basic

algebra prerequisite. There could be online courses.

LOTS of people who go into electronics have very little math ability to

start with because they went to school and everything they learned

there is forgotten.

-pam

> I wouldn't discount a math book but since he's looking for specificThere are specific textbooks for people learning math for electronics

> skills

> and is at a unique place I don't know how helpful they'd be. Or maybe a

> software program. Maybe check on Amazon and read the reviews to see

> which

> ones people liked. (Of course their liking would be based on a more

> standard

> knowledge of arithmetic.)

-- example:

Schaum's Outline of Basic Mathematics for Electricity and Electronics

(Schaum's) by Arthur Beiser

Basic Mathematics For Electricity And Electronics, Workbook by Bertrand

B. Singer, Sharon Ferrett

and looks like many more.

There are community college and tech college courses that are

specifically math for electronics - they'll almost always have a basic

algebra prerequisite. There could be online courses.

LOTS of people who go into electronics have very little math ability to

start with because they went to school and everything they learned

there is forgotten.

-pam