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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Am I still Unschooling?

William (5th grade) has been busy this school year! He is enrolled in keyboarding at It was suggested by our annual evaluator that we transition with an elective before diving into required classes, since we have never followed a curriculum. William has done very well. I have become aware that I am a "hunt and peck" kind of keyboarder (despite taking typing on an old-fashion typewriter in highschoool) , but my son has learn how to type properly! He has learned how to format memos, letters, and reports. And he has to write the contents of each, also. I find this gives him the opportunity to be very creative! The virtual class involves written and oral exam (by telephone call). It also involves interaction with teacher and classmates, dispelling the myth that virtual classes leads to isolation. Several of his virtual classmates have joined his friends lists on other virtual communities. And several of his real life friend are enrolled in flvs.

William has joined a stock market club at this online campus. The club meets each Tuesday night... and the members IM and TALK to each other through the computer! They really talk!

Both school activities are recommended for 6th grade and above.

William is also in Karate twice a week. He takes drum lessons once a week. He is in Hebrew/religious school ( a Tuesday night/Sunday morning curriculum). A teacher in the congregation often tells William that if he went to school he'd be better at arts and crafts. How awful for a teacher to talk this way! How silly to put someone in school just so they can color better. His "art" is his photography. He should tell his teacher he is a published photographer which he true. We all have our own talents. I want to know, since they do crafts in her Jewish History class, why doesn't SHE help him improve?

He is finally reading novels this year. We discovered the beautiful FAU University campus a mile away is also a county library. This is a very convenient resource. He knows how to request books online and we go pick them up when they are ready. He likes scary stories and books by Lauren Myracle. (Her books are written in IM and text messaging conversation.)

He's got quite a load of work to do right now. Is this unschooling? Some days we have so much to do, I feel like it isn't. But my common sense tells me it is, because this is what's working right now and I can change course any time I want with no pressure to conform.

In our homeschool, he was never forced into learning (and burn-out) and was always allowed to follow his interests through.
This is his favorite recent photo of himself. He is bored of all the photos I take that make him look like a little boy. His personality is emerging!

Now, the neighborhood kids are banging on the front door looking for him....


Catalina said...

You know, I wish my parents helped me in pursuing my interestes instead of letting the school board place me into a cookie cutter education. I think I would of been more profiecient in pursuing and doing the things I love to do. I don't blame them, I just wish they were more open ... I hope to be that way for my daughter!

anastasiadenton said...

hmmm, good book idea, thank you!

To your son, the schools told me I HAD no talent, even though I LOVED making art. MY sister too, turns out SHE also does photography as well as LOVES it! And very few teachers "helped" as this one seems to have suggested (but they do hinder)

oh hunt& peck! DO you type FAST but HAVE to look at the keyboard? I can "peck" at about 40 wpm (not too shabby) but have GOTTA look at the blasted thing. Visual Learner am I. MY Vo Tech school eventually let it slide, I passed the 40 wpm mark so essentially I DO know how to type, lol! weirder things in life to worry about!

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