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10 October 2008


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I find this tribe you have fascinating. Looking forward to how you work it out.


Just some food for thought, from someone who over the last year or 2 has moved more and more towards the unschooling side of the spectrum (not radically so, but slowly moving that way).

Have you guys considered the possibility that the work load itself is too heavy (I ask that recognizing that I really don't know what the work load consists of)?

We've more and more moved towards a relaxed approach and the only true curriculum we use now is for math.

The rest of the schooling is a mix of just tons of quality reading material (both read aloud and for them), and following their interests vigorously in a project based manner (hope that make sense).

It's a very 'scary' thing to do in some regards, because you always fear you are short-changing them.

But the results we've seen are very good, and it's taken so much of the tension out of the day.

What's really interesting is that the fear that this would be overly 'indulgent' was totally unfounded.

With the removal of the tension comes more peace, more kindness, more time for exploration of interests, and more enthusiastic learning and experimentation (by curious children).


Steve, I'm pretty happy with my style of schooling overall. It suits us well. And Hannah has a style of her own that suits her own family. These styles are a bit different, and our attitude towards the differences is, I think, part of our problem.

We have sort of assumed "she does things her way, I do them mine," and haven't really looked very hard at whether to try to integrate our styles on the days we're together. One of the things we're going to discuss at our Meeting/dinner out (I'm beginning to think that a couple of margaritas are in order for this one) is whether, for this year or next, to do some of our school subjects really *together.*

For instance, can we agree on a single curriculum or project to use for science, or history, or foreign language? We can't really do math or phonics together because our children are at different levels -- but we *could* step in to teach a lesson to each other's children.

One of the things we know we need to do is create more connection points in our days, more days where we bring as many of the people in the house *together* as we can -- even if it's just in the same room, some reading aloud while others work on puzzles and someone else unloads the dishwasher. But we really need to face the question of whether we'd better serve our relationships with each other and all the kids to co-teach, something we've avoided even CONSIDERING as a possibility (probably because each of us has been unwilling to let go of her own style).

As usual, connection requires doing things differently from how you would choose to do them alone. Risk!

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