Sunday, November 22, 2009

Nine Days Debriefing and Re-Assessment

Our nine day experiment with structure was up yesterday. This morning we got up and did math, handwriting, biology, physics, chores, music theory and the like just like we had for the previous nine days. The experiment was over and awaiting re-assessment, but we kept working away anyway. Hmm.

This evening we had our official meeting to talk about it. Zowee. Who would 'a thunk it? To wit, the kids' input:

  • Yes, let's keep the 11 pm bedtime. In fact, some of the kids would like to make bedtime earlier, but that's always an option, so an 11 pm rule is fine.
  • Yes, let's keep the Structured Schooling. A couple of hours a day is about right.
  • Let's buy more workbooks and DVD lectures so that there are more resources available as the year progresses.
  • No-Screen Day. It's cool. But once a week is probably too often to keep it 'special.' Let's have a biweekly No-Screen Day.
  • Things are better now. Let's keep working on this. We're getting somewhere.


  1. Wow Miranda! This is so helpful for you to share this experience. We have been on the same page over here, with structure being important with the boys special needs. Consistancy has been key to make them feel secure and comfortable enough to have a platform, or strong base... then they are much more apt to try new things and take risks. ( with my oldest son and his AS he will get a special interest in a book and will read it over and over for months, all day. It may take 6 months for him to get up the gumption to try another book. He will ALWAYS say no to a new activity, even if it is going to the movies, or the circus, or a new beach)
    I have struggled with my identity as a homelearner because of this. Not at all typical homelearners, but not at all fitting into the unschooling camp either... with all of the rules, and coaxing and strewing!lol
    Anyways... thank you for sharing your struggles and triumphs. I really appreciate it all!

  2. Congrats, sounds like your experiment worked. I am always interested in reading about families that unschool.

  3. And how is Chuck viewing the changes?

    Your topic is one that has interested me for some time. I have questioned and sought answers and insight to this very interesting part of unschooling for awhile now. I usually get a standard sort of response that "defends" the very unstructured days/lives of unschooling... and although I appreciate that, I sincerely was seeking honesty about the subject.

    You have provided that honest insight! And I am very grateful for that. I am also very interested in seeing how your philosophy and practices may have worked very well with one child, yet didn't have to become your set-in-stone stance for parenting/schooling in general... your parenting philosophy and schooling philosophy has been allowed to remain fluid, to alter and reform with each child, with the changing dynamics of raising children as one matures, ventures out, as life evolves and the remain children adjust.

    My youngest son had to have structure. He was drowning when giving too much room for self-structuring, and I was so uncomfortable with it that I was an awful presence at times. He wasn't ready. And yet, my other children whom were raised very traditionally still learned to self-structure their lives but later on, when they were ready... most of them somewhere between middle school and high school ... one as a young adult is only now learning the value and skills of self structuring: adult life seems to demand that of him if his to be successful.

    I look forward to your candid assessment and evaluation of the whole evolving process for your family. I look forward to hearing your interpretations and insight into some family structure as life and learning go forward.


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