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Welcome to our updated index of diaries posted on this Daily KOS "Education Alternatives" group page as part of our ongoing homeschooling/unschooling series. We will continue to update it as more diaries are added to the series. The diaries are currently organized under the following headings...

* Progressivism and Unschooling/Homeschooling
* Personal journeys in Unschooling/Homeschooling
* Resources for Homeschooling and Unschooling Parents
* Socialization

Current posts are through 10/27/2012.

Simply click on the title of a diary to be taken to its full text and the comments it generated...

Progressivism and Homeschooling/Unschooling

Homeschooling - Erasing the Stereotypes (2/18/2012 by angelajean) - A call for advocates of homeschooling and unschooling to come forward with positive pieces on the subject to counter what appears to be a conventional wisdom among many progressives that homeschooling and unschooling are part of a right-wing challenge to public schooling.

Thoughts on (some) Liberals Homeschooling our Kids (3/3/2012 by leftyparent) - A response to the opinion piece, “Liberals, Don’t Homeschool Your Kids: Why teaching children at home violates progressive values”,  by Slate magazine contributor Dana Goldstein.

No, Rick, a public virtual school is not home school (and other definitions) (3/17/2012 by ForidaSNMOM) - Challenging GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum's assertion that his kid's are homeschooled.

Happy Birthday John Holt – “Patron Saint” of Unschooling (4/14/2012 by leftyparent) - A look at the life and work of homeschooling/unschooling pioneer John Holt.

Not There Yet (4/21/2012 by Nance) - Imagining a day when the right to and the rightness of homeschooling is so ingrained in societal choices that it is taken for granted.

Just another Unschooling Story – No Big Deal (4/27/2012 by leftyparent) - A review of the Psychology Today piece “Meet Kate Fridkis, Who Skipped K-12 and Is Neither Weird nor Homeless” by Peter Gray, a top-flight spokesperson for this “life path” for young people that does not involve routinely going to school.

Every parent home-schools (4/28/2012 by Foothills of Oblivion) - Education begins at home, even if parents send their kids to school.

Saturday Night Homeschool Fever (4/302012 by leftyparent) - A review of and rant about Dennis Danziger's piece critical of homeschooling, “Home School Fever”, in the April 24 edition of the Huffington Post.

What the homeschooling world has to offer (5/2/2012 by smalakoff) - Looking at two stories in the media involving educators taking a second look at  homeschooling and drawing inspiration from it, and a third story of two successful grown homeschoolers.

Why in the hell would you homeschool? (5/19/2012 by rosabw) - A review of a study on the different reasons Americans homeschool their kids.

From Feminism to Unschooling (6/2/2012 by leftyparent) - A review of Wendy Priesnitz's piece, “Unschooling as a feminist act” republished in the Alternative Education Resource Organization (AERO) Education Revolution magazine.

Under 12 minutes and everything that's wrong with our education system explained. Unbelievable (6/16/2012 by angelajean) - A review of Sir Ken Robinson's white-board video "Changing Education Paradigms".

My Take on Learning in the 21st Century (8/18/2012 by leftyparent) - As an unschooler, leftyparent's take on how education may transform itself as an institution in the 21st century.
21st Century "Hybrid" Education (9/1/2012 by leftyparent) - The diarist take on hpw our educationg system will evolve in the 21st century.

Teaching our Kids how to Vote (10/27/2012 by angelajean) - The diarists makes the point that for a democratic society we give our kids very little chance to learn to be effective democratic citizens, and she lists some things we can do as parents to address this gap.

Personal journeys in Homeschooling/Unschooling

Homeschooling: Our Journey (3/9/2012 by tigerlilymom) - Choices the diarist's family made concerning their children's education and why they made them.

Unschooling in the Art of Social Transformation (3/12/2012 by leftyparent) - The diarist's own experience learning outside of school in the area of political activism and social change.

From homeschooling fundie to free-thinker (3/15/2012 by jabbausaf) - The diarist's experience growing up homeschooled in a religiously fundamentalist family and then becoming a free thinker instead.

What's a progressive to do? Our decision to homeschool wasn't easy! (3/31/2012 by k8dd8d) - The story of the diarist's difficult decision to homeschool, and the issues it raises about liberals supporting public education while taking their own kids out of public schools.

The Road to Homeschooling or Kicking and Screaming (4/7/2012 by Lily O Lady) - The diarist's story of homeschooling her two kids including a son diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome.

My Experience With Unschooling (Abbreviated) (4/26/2012 by chicgeek) - The diarist's own experience unschooling instead of going to high school.

Explaining String Theory to a 9 year old (5/4/2012 by FloridaSNMOM) - The diarist's story of teaching her homeschooled kids science.

Unschooling in the Art of Religion (5/6/2012 by leftyparent) - The diarist's story of life learning about religion, outside of any formal educational setting.

Schooling on the Move (5/12/2012 by angelajean) - The diarist's story of being a military spouse, constantly moving her family and trying to facilitate her kids' education.

Unschooled by my Electronic Greek Chorus (6/11/2012 by leftyparent) - The role of the lyrics in popular music in the diarist's own ethical development.

Back to School (8/11/2012 by angelajean) - A homeschooling mom looks at our cultures back-to-school rituals compared to those with her homeschooled kids.

A Blue-Collar Girl in a White-Collar World (8/25/2012 by chicgeek) - Chicgeek tells her story of navigating young adulthood after parting with formal education after 9th grade and the whole white-collar dominated world that that formal education is the conventional gateway to.

Unschooling and the Art of Writing (9/23/2012 by leftyparent) - A personal memoir of how the diarist developed his ability as a writer mostly outside of any formal education.

Resources for Homeschooling and Unschooling Parents

How to Homeschool on a Shoestring Budget (3/10/2012 by FloridaSNMOM) - How to use one's ingenuity to create an enriched learning environment for homeschooling.

Home Schooling Lessons (5/26/2012 by GreenMother) - Looking at the use of flash cards and gardening as two techniques to facilitate homeschooling.

Observation: Unexpected Benefit of Home Schooling (6/12/2012 by GreenMother) - How homeschooling can lift an entire family out of "educational poverty" as the parents learn along with their children.

Homeschooling Awakens a Desire for Learning (6/30/2012 by Zoltan) - The diarist's story of pulling his daughter out of school, homeschooling her, and witnessing her transition from learning what she had to when she had to in school to wanting to learn on her own timetable.

Living Math Not Just for Homeschoolers (7/7/2012 by angelajean) - A variety of games and books used by an unschooling parent to help her kids learn basic math skills.

Resources I Use for Homeschooling (9/8/2012 by by Mommyp00ka) - Calling out homeschool resources the diarist has used.


Homeschooling: The Dreaded 'S' Word, Socialization (2/25/2012 by angelajean) - Attempting to launch an honest conversation about homeschooling and socialization.

Homeschooling and Socialization (2/25/2012 by KGardner) - A list of tips for homeschoolers to promote social interaction with others.

Does homeschooling destroy the community? (3/24/2012 by Gareth) - Challenging the argument that homeschooling parents are unfairly depriving the community of their contributions to the education of all.

How Much Tech is too Much?(9/15/2012 by FloridaSNMOM) - The diarists thoughts and experiences on using technology as a tool in homeschooling.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (8+ / 0-)

    Cooper Zale Los Angeles

    by leftyparent on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 09:16:01 AM PST

  •  Updated and republished... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FloridaSNMOM, radical simplicity

    up top in our diary list so it is easier for folks to find!

    Cooper Zale Los Angeles

    by leftyparent on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 09:17:27 AM PST

  •  Thanks lefty... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leftyparent, radical simplicity

    for updating and keeping the list for us :). I know I've gone back through it on occasion to find a link I remembered that was pertinent to the lessons of that week.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 09:34:18 AM PST

  •  I home schooled (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leftyparent, radical simplicity

    Our local school system was abysmal. In six years in elementary school, for example, my children were presented with three "new" methods of cursive handwriting. To this day, despite my best efforts once we home schooled,  they cannot write in cursive. I learned that their "Gifted and Talented" class pulled them out of regular math class. That element of their education was not made up. The school news letter became a weekly joke for my husband and me as we red-lined spelling and grammatical errors. The "Gifted and Talented" teacher sent hysterically-spelled letters home. One told us that something about our son was "effident". This is the GT teacher!

    In third grade, I had an argument with my daughter's teacher over the meaning of "wherefore art thou Romeo". I suggested she look it up in the Oxford English Dictionary. She didn't know what I was talking about. From first grade on I was told my kids were disorganized. How many 6 year olds are organized? Anyway, after meeting after meeting, plea after plea and promises broken by the school, we gave up. We had several friends who home schooled who told us what to do to get started. I home schooled my son from 7th grade on, my daughter from 5th grade on. There was never a problem with "socialization", as the door knocking began as soon as the other kids got out of school. He had Scouts, she had Girl Scouts and ballet.

    I knew many liberal parents in this very conservative area who home schooled, for many, many reasons. But the bottom line for us all was, we were not going to let bad public schools make our kids failures before they got to high school! My husband works for the public schools in another county, and we are absolutely for public education. But it is not always right for everyone. I'm glad families now have the choice to teach their kids at home.

    •  Thanks for sharing your story!... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      radical simplicity, FloridaSNMOM

      At the end of your comment you say that public schools are "not always right for everyone", implying that they are right for some people.  

      I'm curious given all the bad stuff you shared about your local public schools whether you still thought they were "right" for some of the students (other than your own kids).  How about the schools in the county where your husband works?  Were they better, and if so, why?

      We pulled our own kids out of public schools in their early teens when we were convinced that those schools were constraining rather than facilitating our kids' development.  That said, we know other kids who seemed to thrive in those same schools.

      Cooper Zale Los Angeles

      by leftyparent on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 01:56:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  My husband works in one of the top (0+ / 0-)

        school districts in the nation. My best friend's daughter finished high school there, too, when her chronic illness caused her to have to leave a private school. I can only say that this particular county has resources far, far beyond our little county. My friend's daughter was able to finish high school using on-line classes.

        As I've shared elsewhere, both my kids are bipolar and it was hellish every time they had a growth spurt and had to up a dosage or try a new med. Schools just aren't equipped for children to be "out of it" for weeks or months at a time as we tried new meds and combinations.

        On the other hand, when my son went to middle school, they made an enormous effort to help him and us. He got very sick near the end of school, and the SCHOOL suggested and set up a home-bound situation where he worked with a lovely teacher as he could, when he could. They took into account the grades he'd received before he had to change meds, and actually let him quit a week before school officially ended because they saw he just couldn't think at all. They passed him with a "C", for which we were very thankful. My daughter had a different situation with her elementary school. We had to fight constantly with her teacher and the administration to get any kind of accommodation, and her teacher tried to fail her. Fortunately an aide backed us up when we met the principal, as did my daughter's shrink. She passed, too.

        I guess what I'm trying to say is, the county where my husband works is absolutely up-to-date with help and accommodations for kids with problems. My kids might have had a better chance of staying in school had we lived there. Then again, so much depends on the school and the principal. We saw that in the glaring difference between the way our children were treated by two different schools.

        There were literally about twenty factors that led us to home school. Their bipolar being possibly the largest factor, but certainly not the only one. I do think public schools are "right" for some kids. They thrive. But others don't, and that's why I feel fortunate that I could stay home and teach my kids. Everyone does not have that luxury.

        I like the way you phrased something that I felt strongly: "we were convinced that those schools were constraining rather than facilitating our kids' development". We felt the same way. The best teacher I ever had used to read to us every day, for a half-hour after lunch. I did that, and my adult kids still talk about how much they loved it. Two years into home schooling, my son decided he wanted to be an actor. It's a long story, but he got roles at two of Washington, DC's best theatres, The Shakespeare Theatre and Arena Stage. If he'd been in school he'd never have been able to take those opportunities. We did homework in the green room when he wasn't rehearsing, and on weekends. And we finished later in the summer. You can't have that flexibility with regular school. My daughter took ballet in the daytime two days a week. We went to the pool once a week to help us keep up some phys. ed. We were and are close and enjoyed being together. I wouldn't trade those years for anything.

  •  UK perspective (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    As a single mother in the UK with pretty dismal local schools, I had to resort to homeschooling my kids (although officially homeschooling is nowhere near as widespread in the UK as in the US). I created this resource primarily for UK based parents interested in homeschooling their kids for the UK based A-level and GCSE Exams

    Read more of me on my blog:

    by schoolfort on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 06:31:19 PM PST

    •  UK Ed focused on passing exams?... (0+ / 0-)

      So does that programmed path to college and good career in the UK focus mostly on doing well on these standardized high-stakes exams?

      Here in the U.S. that programmed path (which many of us who are unschoolers reject) includes grades in high school, an array of high-stakes tests (SAT, ACT, AP), plus a resume of extra-curricular/volunteer activities, all contributing to leveraging acceptance by the best possible college, and from there to the most satisfying high-paying career.

      Thanks for sharing a perspective from a sister country with which we have such shared traditions!

      Cooper Zale Los Angeles

      by leftyparent on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 09:20:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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