I must admit that over the years unschooling high school has caused me considerably more anxiety than unschooling my youngest son, who in my opinion, is a perfect example of a natural born unschooler. Of course this is probably due to my increased confidence that unschooling works and that it is the right choice for us and not educational neglect!
Eyeron, age 10, has always wanted to know more. He loves to learn. He is constantly involved in some sort of project with Legos or Everybody Edits (an online designing game). He actually begs to conduct science experiments. Making a pickle light up was quite the experience and he did several repeat performances for different audiences! His latest desire is to make a light bulb light up in the microwave! ( We saw this experiment on the All Things Beautiful Blog). He doesn’t like reading books, however, which does cause me some concern. He does enjoy my reading to him, though. Sometimes I also feel compelled to make him log off and go outside for fresh air and exercise too.
Cutie Pie is my lone high schooler right now. She just got her driver’s permit and so for the next several weeks learning to drive will be the bulk of her education. In our state a person needs to accumulate 50 hours of driving experience before they can schedule their road test. Actually, with Cutie Pie and my former high schoolers as well, we have operated more as partial unschoolers than what most would consider to be total unschooling. For better or for worse, I have always felt a nagging anxiety about getting them into college. I believe that it is my duty to prepare them to pass college entrance exams and score well on the SAT’s. The best way I know how to fulfill this obligation is, I believe, to require that they work through traditional Algebra and Geometry text books. But the bulk of our high school education is reading, reading, and more reading on a variety of subjects including History, Geography, Biology, Botany, Chemistry, the classics, Jane Austen, and of course what ever else they choose to learn more about.
My kids have always spent a lot of time on the computer as well. They read about and research whatever it is that interests them and network online with like minded people. I know some homeschoolers might frown upon so much screen time but I do believe it is important. Let’s face it, computers are here to stay and we will be depending on them more and more for a variety of ever increasing reasons.
Now I’m not bragging but, as a result of, or perhaps in spite of, our homeschooling style, my first four children are college graduates. My oldest son was the youngest art director that Time Magazine had ever hired back in 2000. He is now art director for the Neilson Company in NYC. My second son has a degree in social work and works with troubled teen boys. My third son graduated from a state college Magna Cum Laude and is the videographer for a Westchester school district. My fourth son has a Fine Arts Degree and designs t-shirts and tatoos! My first daughter just earned a 3.94 GPA in her first year of college. Even my special need son is holding his own in his third year of college for computer networking.
I am also unschooling my multiply disabled daughter. This comes with a whole new set of anxieties and worries, but that is a whole new post- soon to come! I would love to hear from and get new ideas and tips of how others are unschooling their teens and special needs children! Please comment!
Click here to read more about the lightbulb/microwave experiment! –http://homeschooljournal-bergblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/this-moment-rough-housing-edition-and.html