Adventures in Unschooling

Posts Tagged ‘reading

Just want to quickly say that I added pictures of that bowling set I spoke about in my post from a couple of weeks ago…if anyone was interested in seeing it.

I have been reading this unschooling book called Homeschooling our Children Unschooling Ourselves. The books is entirely about unschooling and not homeschooling so I am not sure why she chose that title but no matter, it is still a lovely, inspiring book.

She talks a lot about her experiences as a teacher in a public school and how she saw young children full of excitement become apathetic teens. It was disheartening for her to see how the things the teachers did smothered the love of learning in so many children. When it was time for her children to go to school she couldn’t bear to send them to school. She then began her journey into unschooling.

I was regalled by her stories of her children learning a wide diversity of topics to the kind of depths that school never allows. Her children are now roughly the age of my parents (so obviously she was involved in the very beginnings of the movement).

I have been so inspired by her doubts and her eventual success. There once was a time when she thought her daughter would never read. Within a few years from then her daughter was reading far beyond the level of other children her age. Awesome!

I have been thinking about how we plan let our children direct their own learning and how that applies to the rest of their lives. Specifically the potty training aspect of it.

My gut tells me that I should just back off and let them tell me when they are ready to stay dry but the other part of me feels like exploding every time I have to change my four year old’s diaper.

And of course, my three year old won’t potty train either. Why would he want to when his brother won’t do it?

I just feel so lost and alone with all of this. Sometimes I think about putting Trey in playschool just so the other kids can make fun of him for wetting his pants. That sounds horrible but my being patient and supportive hasn’t helped, neither has blowing up though.

I sure hope we get this over with soon. I have been fighting with him for over a year and I have been at the end of my tether for a long time. And he will stay dry all day when he feels like it so it seems 100% psychological. Ugh! Well there goes my good mood.

Anyways, I have a picture of the kids learning their letters and reading completely on their own. These are flashcards they received from a teacher family member. I thought, “what am I going to do with these since I don’t “teach” my kids?”

Well, I let them play with them and they spent about a half hour working on the reading the words in the back and learning the letters. What do they need me for?  🙂

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And the other day Trey came up to me with one of his magnetic fridge letters (the E) saying that the sun was making an E. And sure enough the sun was shinning through our window and forming a giant E on the wall.

A couple of months ago we let Trey have our old film camera. He has loved taking pictures and so when we had his film developed I thought he might like to scrapbook his pictures. Here are some of his scrapbook pages. I didn’t help him with any of this by the way.

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And we also set up our Christmas tree last week. Here is Joel DSC06728cwearing a stocking on his head.

Yup, they are excited all right. This is going to be a good Christmas.

I am constantly impressed by what our kids are learning. Trey used a surprisingly large word in proper context this week.

Anna is learning to walk and is already manipulating her brothers.

Joel is using his imagination more and more and Trey is expressing  more interest in reading. It’s amazing to see them grow.

 

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This morning I moved the computer from my hobby room into the kitchen. I was reading some unschooling resources and was inspired to get the kids started on the computer. The oldest is three and a half but I am hoping that as they learn to use it better they will desire to learn how to read so that they can better navigate.

Having another item, especially such a large one, in my kitchen is cluttering my house up even more but no one said that unschooling would be convenient.

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I am also turning the closed captioning on on all of their movies.

I have been trying to read to them more often but Trey, my eldest, has started saying that he doesn’t want me to read the books but rather, that he wants to read them himself. This seems like a break through except that he won’t even look at them. “Reading” to him is simply toting the book around. If I can get his brother to sit for a reading then Trey gets curious and joins us. So that is working for now. Hopefully I can get them more interested in books soon. The hubby and I both read for pleasure so we are doing the best we can to help them see this as a fun and fulfilling activity.

We do want to be very hands off as far as what and when they’ll learn but I am determined that they will learn to read and write properly. I know they will do it in their own time and I am not going to start teaching lessons but I am trying to offer as many opportunities for learning to read as I can.

The big struggle I am having right now is getting them to respect me. I have tried the gentle discipline and non-violent communication with them but that doesn’t stop the repeat behaviour. I get frustrated by the lack of respect and start raising my voice and putting them on time-outs or sending them to their rooms. Grrr! I hate it when I have to resort to this but I don’t what to do. I feel that I am super flexible about where and what they play with but I don’t tolerate them hitting each other with drum sticks or yelling at me!

The other thing is that my oldest has totally regressed as far as potty training. He was fully trained and picked it up very quickly (albeit it took forever to convince him to even try) and had about two accidents in six months. Then he decided that he didn’t want to anymore and has been wetting himself two to eight times a day! This has been going on for three months and I am tired of doing laundry every two days. It just burns me up. Has anyone ever had success dealing with this.

I have tried every strategy and I still can’t get him to be consistent. I know it’s not a medical problem because when we go to the mall or something he can go for hours without wetting himself. And the other day he went a full 24 hours.

Anyways, if anyone has any words of wisdom to offer (and I don’t want to hear the lame answers like, “maybe there was a transition” or “maybe he was learning a new skill” or something because we have already considered all these issues. I think it’s something I will just have to wait out but I don’t know how to deal with it until then. I don’t want to act like it’s acceptable to wet ourselves. And I find it embarrasing to go to people’s homes when I know he is likely to wet himself. I refuse to put him back in diapers.

Sometimes I feel like he uses wetting his pants as an excuse to change his clothes because he tends to pee way more often on the days that he has fresh laundry…who knows. 

Parenting…it’s not all giggles and tickles.