Homeschool Conflicts

Humans have a lot of desire to label things and people. Homeschoolers are no different. "What type of homeschooler are you?"

Me? I'm an unschooler. I love asking my girls what they want to learn and helping them learn it. I keep a close eye on what seems to interest each of them when we go somewhere, read something or they play. Many times those interests are in line with lists of age-appropriate learning and also with what they say they want to learn. This is nice because it reinforces my knowledge that I'm in-tune with them.

Despite me loving unschooling, Aba isn't convinced. He's sure the girls need to be sitting in a classroom-type of situation and learning for hours a day. He's slowly coming to his senses, but is starting to worry that they aren't reading. At five years-old. You know, when they enter Kindergarten (or Pre-1A).

This naturally leads to conflict.

I've tried giving him books, articles and excerpts to read about how children learn but he says he doesn't have time to read them. For many things he lets me research and present my case and then agree with me. Not this time

 We had come up with a compromise that I had hopes for. Basically we would slide our routine into the camp's routine and have "school" (math/reading/writing) from 8:30am to 9:30am. Then we'd have parsha/brachot/holidays from 9:30am to 10:15am followed by snack. Then we could unschool the rest of the day.

We spent Shabbat lunch at the same table as another homeschooler and talked over this plan. She tried convincing Aba, too, but mostly made me rethink my compromise.

Her concerns are that by setting aside a time and place for "school" the girls will associate learning with them and not feel like they are learning elsewhere. This is something I'm terrified of happening. My main reason for homeschooling is to appreciate each child's abilities and desires and make life a learning experience.

So I rethink my plan. I need to keep it somewhat the same for Aba's comfort, though. This is what I've come up with.

  • Don't call it school.
  • Don't always have it at the table. (Why I bought clipboards.)
  • Don't tell the girls, "its time to..." Rather say, "we have an hour before we need to leave. What should we do?" 

I think this puts us on the right track. I've come up with some other ideas but they'll be in other posts.

What do you do to solve homeschool style conflicts in your family?