Category Archives: homeschooling

Unschooling (and SVS) challenges

Some of the points this article makes would be aided by SVS, but not all. I know it’s a meaningless label ultimately (as the article explains) but I suppose “unschooling” families often have some overlap in approaches as families doing Sudbury model school.

On Unschooling Attrition…

http://project-based-homeschooling.com/camp-creek-blog/five-ways-to-stop-unschooling-attrition

“If … kids partly feel happy about avoiding the drudgery of school but simultaneously develop the sense that they’re falling behind — and the only way to catch up is to go to school themselves — then something is wrong.”

“We are all an interesting mixed bag and I sincerely hope the most interesting thing about you isn’t the form of education you’re currently using. Get out of your bubble and lose the agenda.”

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The post linked here talks about the types of fear we have in discussing change in schooling:

http://www.unschoolingnyc.com/2013/06/26/the-fear-factor/

The problem I have with this is that it I think we can do quite well by simply living by example. Yes, there is even fear in this. But it doesn’t need to go the next level and be a movement like “Occupy”. We can just choose alternative options for our kids — homeschooling, Sudbury or other democratic schools, Montessori, Waldorf, etc. Others will see this and it will gradually build.

The problem with this is… parents need real choice for school for their kids without the burden of worrying about $$/tuition. I don’t think vouchers will work, because there will always be strings attached for assessment/testing and many parents don’t want that. Better to head in the direction of more local control.

Maybe ideally it would be more like college in the US. Where most people pay mostly out of pocket, but there is need-based aid available.

That way, property taxes could go way down (since in many areas, half goes to the public schools), and people would be free to use that extra money saved on school. So it would be close to “tax neutral”. And people without kids would not be penalized.

I am sure I am over-simplifying because there are lots and lots of people who work in education–teachers, administrators, textbook writers, and on and on–and many will resist because it will impact their livelihood directly. That’s understandable.

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Experiences of ADHD-Labeled Kids Who Switch from Conventional Schooling to Homeschooling or Unschooling

“My analysis of these stories suggests that (1) most ADHD-diagnosed kids do fine without drugs if they are not in a conventional school; (2) the ADHD characteristics don’t vanish when the kids leave conventional school, but the characteristics are no longer as big a problem as they were before; and (3) ADHD-diagnosed kids seem to do especially well when they are allowed to take charge of their own education.”

from:

Experiences of ADHD-Labeled Kids Who Switch from Conventional Schooling to Homeschooling or Unschooling

These kids and parents manage ADHD better without conventional schooling.
Published on September 9, 2010 by Peter Gray in Freedom to Learn

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Filed under ADHD, alternative education, homeschooling, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School, unschooling

Order of operations

A is 7 turning 8. He likes math. We have been talking about mathy things since he was quite little. Discussions of googol, googol plex, negative numbers and infinity happened YEARS ago, well before times tables. And today we did some verbal algebra. He totally get’s it. Why not? Big whoop. Math literacy happens at all different ages. Just depends. I’m glad he’s free to develop this interest at his own pace.

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Taylor Wilson

(I would personally spend my time tinkering with solar energy, but hey ok, to each their own!)
(as read on Google+)
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Taylor Wilson

At 10, he built his first bomb.
At 11, he started mining for uranium and buying vials of plutonium on the Internet.
At 14, he made a nuclear reactor.

Wilson got his start on Fusor.net, a website where nuclear hobbyists who call themselves “fusioneers” fill message boards on topics that would enthrall only the geekiest subset of society, like “So where can I get a deal on deuterium gas?” The goal of every fusioneer is to build a reactor that can fuse atoms together, a feat first achieved by scientists in 1934.

“I’m obsessed with radioactivity. I don’t know why,” says Wilson in his laid-back drawl. “Possibly because there’s power in atoms that you can’t see, an unlocked power.”

Taylor Wilson (born 1994) is an American nuclear scientist who was noted in 2008 for being the youngest person in the world (at age 14) to build a working nuclear fusion reactor.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of Energy offered federal funding to Wilson concerning research Wilson has conducted in building inexpensive Cherenkov radiation detectors; Wilson has declined on an interim basis due to pending patent issues. Traditional Cherenkov detectors usually cost hundreds of thousands of dollars (USD), while Wilson invented a working detector that cost a few hundred dollars.

In May 2011, Wilson entered his radiation detector in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair against a field of 1,500 competitors and won a $50,000 award.

The Boy Who Played With Fusion
http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2012-02/boy-who-played-fusion

Tayloy’s website:
http://sciradioactive.com/Taylors_Nuke_Site/Welcome.html

http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/89423

You can choose to believe that this child is special and especially gifted, and that may be so. I choose to believe that this means that children should be allowed to specialize at younger ages… They should be taught how to get the answers they might need for themselves, not from teachers.
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Filed under contrarian, creativity, erik-green, globalization, homeschooling, homesteading, kids -- freedom and responsibility, solar, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School, unschooling

More Woodworking with Kids links

Since we (as in… the world) is going to be in an ongoing struggle between globalization and re-localization for the foreseeable future, along with it’s impact on the education of our kids and ourselves, here are a few more links on the topic of woodworking with kids that I started back here. Nothing compares to the thrill my kids get of doing real things with their bodies — skiing, cooking, gardening, sawing logs, etc. (Except Minecraft. And Wild Kratts. And… well, you see the issue.)

So here we go.

- Kindergrarten Shop Class – NYTimes.com

Mar 30, 2011 – Teaching children construction is gaining momentum across the country as a way to develop imagination and confidence

- If you’re in the Boston area, Wood is Good occasionally offers classes for kids.

- And The Eliot School, Boston MA offers endless courses for kids including “Very Beginning Woodworking – age 4-6″

- In NC, go to “summer camp” with a 5-day workshop from Roy Underhill. Here’s an example

MORE FROM 2014

- Shop Class integral part of this private school for boys

http://www.npr.org/2014/07/27/335804557/lessons-in-manhood-a-boys-school-turns-work-into-wonders?ft=1&f=1003

- A great 10 minute video about…
The Blue Ox Mill and Community High School, Eureka CA
A custom mill and woodworking classes for kids and veterans
Eric Hollenbeck

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Filed under alternative education, education, globalization, green, health, homeschooling, homesteading, kids -- freedom and responsibility, local, makerspace, mentoring / apprenticeship, minecraft, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School, unschooling, video games, woodworking / shop class

OK, this will be a running list of the things I would do if I were a SVS student or if I someday find myself independently wealthy or at least caught up on todos around the house!

1. Examine the 50/200 Simple Moving Average buy-sell indicator strategy. I am convinced it is better than buy and hold just by looking at it. But what am I missing? Maybe the returns aren’t that much better, but risk-adjusted they must be!

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/ta?s=SPY&t=5y&l=on&z=l&q=l&p=%2Cm50%2Cm200&a=&c=

2. Windsurf and/or sail (or surf?) more

3. Ski (downhill) more

4.1 Solar: Build a “deployable doubt dispeller”

http://ehaugsjaa.wordpress.com/2009/02/15/another-deployable-doubt-dispeller/

4.2. Solar: Add solar siding to the house and battery backup to our PV and lots of temp sensors

http://ehaugsjaa.wordpress.com/2010/08/29/nick-pine-on-solar-siding/

http://ehaugsjaa.wordpress.com/2011/03/25/monitoring-your-house-or-solar-heating-system-temps/

4.3. Solar: Visit the forgotten solar houses in MA that still around and working from the 80s and write a paper about them for Solar Today magazine.
And likewise talk to some people who have abandoned solar in their homes.

http://ehaugsjaa.wordpress.com/resources/solar-thermal-home-heating-in-massachusetts-and-new-england/

5. I am determined to get a marble pusher made out of legos to work! (see youtube) Argh!!!

6. Discuss

7. Vegetable garden

8. learn more vegan/Fuhrman style recipes

I notice that I don’t have exercise (like running and such) on this list. I think I’d usually rather do things like windsurf or play water polo or something I guess rather than “just” run or swim.

OK who am I kidding… I have time to do all of the above already!

Last updated: 9/12/2011

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Filed under erik-green, homesteading, solar, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School, unschooling