Tuesday, December 13, 2011

thinking more about unschooling

we had a week and a half off because we had a little vacation and then came home to lice. so it was a bit tough getting chana back into the swing of things, which had me question more and more her negative attitude and got me thinking about unschooling again. after this post, i will post the question i posed to the orthodox homeschooling message board (to which there has not yet been a response).

i decided yesterday to just do one new pasuk and just do revi'i (usually i like to do an old aliya as chazara, but she was so negative). we aren't that far in to revi'i so i figured it wouldn't take so long, but as often happens, chana's dread made it so that we argued about starting for longer than it actually ended up taking. if she dislikes chumash so much, is it because i am doing it wrong? is it her personality? is it because i unschool her in other areas and she is not used to applying herself so hard to something she dislikes?

personally, i think it is a combination of all three. an argument about unschooling is often that the kids will grow up to be adults who are unable to apply themselves. i think at this point, with a decent amount of unschooling children growing up to be functional , responsible, contributing citizens, coupled with the millions of children who have gone through the school system yet shockingly are still unable to apply themselves to things they dislike, makes me not too worried. when i first started homeschooling, i thought long and hard about what my educational goals were. (i may have mentioned this before).

1. basic skills necessary to get a job (reading etc)
2. a sense of responsibility so that they are emotionally capable of showing up to work on time and can be relied upon to do the job
3. the ability to have enjoyable relationships in marriage, family and friends
4. a non-idolatrous view of judaism and the ability and desire to learn torah.

but i'm getting distracted. my point is, sarah is extremely responsible and trustworthy and i believe chana is making excellent progress on this as well. furthermore, many people in life apply themselves more when they have the confidence and freedom to follow their interests, which unschooled children are quite skilled at.

so i think that my tendency to feel rushed and to put pressure and to radiate slight disapproval when the student doesn't know a translation is DEFINITELY contributing to negative feelings. it would be incumbent on me to work really hard to be in a pleasant state of mind during chumash and to make jokes and radiate positivity. this would probably go a long way.

it might even offset the negativity she feels about applying herself and working hard.

(thanks a lot for helping me "talk" that out, make it conscious, and hopefully improve).

anyway, yesterday she did really well at rashi despite the long break. we still have not read them in the chumash without nekudos. perhaps that will be for tomorrow. today we did just one more pasuk, and i let her choose which aliyah to review, and she chose shlishi because it is so short.

tomorrow we will hopefully read those rashis in the other chumash, do one more pasuk, and review rishon or sheni, her choice.

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