That is… An interesting idea. I’m confused how it’s not unschooling.
I feel like we’ve gone from “perfectly happy to go to sleep” to “screams at any mention of naptime or bedtime in her own room” in the space of 1 fall from her cot earlier this week. It was a roll from “toddler bed” (cot with the side off) to the mattress next to it, to the floor.
Since then, going to bed is a HEAP of resistance. Still variable but the minimum is a small tantrum, which was unheard of except for extreme tired moments before.
I thought resistance would arrive slower? Plan is to do lots of play sleep with herself and putting her toys to bed.
Ooh or maybe this is a round of co-sleeping right as her sleep habits mature. Aha.
Good thing I fit in her cot. I ninja rolled out and she has done better today
There was a conversation going on somewhere on the forums recently about getting kids to just freaking do the thing without 4839204 nudges/reminders/input from parents. We had Kiddo’s IEP meeting yesterday with his teacher/therapist/school admins and they all have to incentivize kids constantly so they shared some of what they do for my seven year old.
There’s nothing earth-shattering here but I figured I’d recap in case it helps someone.
First, stickers. Kiddo never seemed into playing with stickers at home but receiving a sticker is apparently a whole other thing. This morning I told him if he got himself dressed by himself he would get a sticker, and he did. I expect the novelty to wear off eventually but I’ll take the win. Oh and he put the sticker on his hand and I fully expect it to get lost at school but he doesn’t care so neither do I. I guess it was mainly the act of getting a sticker in recognition that he did a thing. Who knew.
Second, a kind of reward chart where he had to have good behavior X number of times before he got to pick something out of a treasure box. One teacher made a bunch of those paper fortune teller things out of pretty paper and Kiddo was bringing one home every once in a while as his treasure box prize.
Third, he knows he gets a reward (a sticker I think) with his OT for stuff he does with her but he also knows he gets a sticker when he brings his OT folder back with work completed. Mr. Meer and I did not know this and thought it was magic that our child spontaneously wanted to sit and write his name and trace letters last weekend.
Fourth, I suppose this last one is a kind of buy in? His speech teacher introduced the concept of on topic and off topic and would ask him if something was on topic or not. She also allows the kids she works with to talk for one minute about something they want to share before they settle into doing their speech work for the day, so at that point the “on topic” is what one kid wants to share, then the “on topic” shifts to what the next kid wants to share, then the “on topic” shifts to speech work. So at home I think we’ll shift it to having intentional time built in to talk about video games around homework tasks instead of just saying “don’t talk about that now” which just makes him feel frustrated.
Haha I’m a little the same. Like, on the one hand, I want to support public education as a concept. On the other hand, I don’t think I support the direction it has taken, particularly in younger grades (overtesting, less recess/PE, etc), and think it should be more play and social skills focused (I believe Japan wins at this for small kids). On the third hand, I’m intrigued by homeschooling/child led learning/unschooling ideas, but also intimidated by how much work it would be to make sure a child was exposed to all the academic fundamentals without a systematic approach? On the fourth hand, I recall mom teaching us our native language and it was a horrible, relationship damaging experience. Granted, she was kind of trying to recreate school/class structure for it. Homeschooling would have been hell for me/us in early grades (better in HS when I was more self sufficient). On the fifth hand (I have way too many hands!), that won’t even be an option for me if I continue to work!
We have some time to figure it out since there isn’t even a kiddo yet. But def a confusing landscape to navigate!
I think it’s because they do have allocated school time/classroom/lessons? But they’re focusing on different things than traditional schools? And obviously a lot more flexible?
This is essentially the type of schooling I received. My parents along with a group of other parents founded a school and I continued with it until high school. It’s a lot of fucking work and I’m not sure I could do it but it was a really great experience for me.
This is a big topic of debate in my household as well. I was homeschooled and it was great for me. We had to do one math lesson and one grammar lesson every day (this took… maybe 20-40 minutes depending on how focused I was) and the rest of the day was reading books and play based learning. We had some very loose curriculum for various topics (like, discussion questions after reading time) and for a few months each year we would coordinate with families for a group curriculum on something like, anatomy, or medieval history, or California geography. But we also went to museums or the park or the library all day frequently and it was amazing.
But… I don’t really want to homeschool my kid lol. I’m trying to convince spouse to homeschool her but he loves his job.
So, we’re very tentatively discussing private schools with less traditional structure vs public schools. It’s extra fraught because there’s a big class/racial divide between public and private schools here and I really can’t stand the attitudes of most people who send their kids to private school because “it’s the only acceptable option and who would subject their kids to the public schools in [city]”.
So…a big TBD. Thankfully we still have time!
Also we have a decent public school system and i do not envy y’all navigating the usa school system. Even then, we’ve kept homeschooling in our back pocket if it became clear the public system wasn’t working for one of our kids
A really interesting topic! I had some Montessori and Waldorf classes but mostly went to public school. As an immigrant and ESL learner I think this helped me assimilate in some useful ways. But, I was in a school district with mostly very good teachers and had a personality & learning style that jived well with public school which isn’t true for everyone.
Oh man I so so so agree with you. I struggle so much because private schools often align with my education values EXCEPT where it comes to social values and the representative community. A struggle.
I think it gets a bad rap but honestly we have some really really good public schools! Especially for serving neurodivergent kids with hard to find resources. The issue is that it is SO SO dependent on where oyu are and who is involved and that is very unjust and shitty.
This bit! The inconsistency gets me. It sucks. There is some inconsistency here but there is a bit more consistency, AFAIK.
I feel the same way about people who “choice into” public schools with better test scores and more white and or middle class kids, and then drive way across town because they don’t think the neighborhood school in the neighborhood that they are personally gentrifying is good enough.
Our oldest is in kindergarten this year and I had a lot of the same concerns you’re talking about. They expect them to be able to read by the end of K and I don’t think that’s developments appropriate. Also I strongly suspect she has ADHD, which can make traditional schooling difficult. Anyway, we sent her to public school but we’re reserving the right to do something different down the line if I see any evidence that they’re crushing her spirit. So far, so good!
Counterpoint to my previous statements:
For what it’s worth, I’ve always found this a false dichotomy between traditional and homeschool. We did park and library after school; museum/zoo/aquarium or hiking on weekends; discussed science at the dinner table because my parents were huge nerds. It definitely helped that my mom stayed home and my dad was in academic research, so he could flex his schedule a lot, before it was cool. Not saying this to pooh pooh homeschool (which definitely has other differences and benefits for people who aren’t me and my mom lol, I see it in friends who are doing it! ) but to say you can still give your kid those experiences if you do more traditional schooling.
Also, cheekiness and dark humor aside, I’m really keeping an eye out for people smarter than me who use public school systems and work to incorporate in their personal time with their kid the values/interests their family has. That would be my ideal, because I personally believe that public schools are the model that best fits within my moral values and is best for our communities as a whole. I hate the rigidity but also waves hands at certain southern states see its value in upholding a fact based curriculum.
This may be my personal chip on the shoulder coming out having been raised in a very elitist, private only type environment as a kid.
waves back from a southern state
I definitely feel like I’ll have to supplement my kid’s curriculum with non-whitewashed history and sex ed at the very minimum. But I do like that his school is diverse and the teachers and staff all seem wonderful. His public school is also required by law to provide him services like PT, OT, and speech which he gets at school. We could enroll him in all those privately. Actually if he were home school I believe he’d still get those services and we’d just have to drive him to the school where the therapist is at. Private schools have no requirement whatsoever.
I did two years in private school and the rest public, I definitely remember that my private school was 99.9% white and strongly skewed to upper class.
Oh, I meant it more as a illustration of how it wasn’t quite unschooling but it definitely wasn’t a structured school day/week. Kind of like what the article described.
But…the flip side is that you have to do what is right for your own specific kid. My sister agrees with you and sent her kid to the local ‘good enough’ public with the not so great test scores. Turns out, it also has not so great teachers and administration. He’s now getting bullied and it’s getting really bad and no one cares, so she’s probably going to have to pull him out for a choice school or barring that, a private one. Our school boards are full of people who are like…publicly taking bribes, and getting their family members jobs, and I do believe in public schools, but not at the expense of my kid.
Sigh. This is a sore subject because (I’m watching my nephew struggle and) DH is pushing for a particular private school and I can’t argue with him that it’s intriguing. Non-religious, and pretty diverse, and oh yeah, expensive as fuck.