- Paperback: 168 pages
- Publisher: Not Avail (January 1, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0965780627
- ISBN-13: 978-0965780629
- Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #882,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Homeschooling Our Children Unschooling Ourselves
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...Important book!...Should be a staple, not just for homeschoolers, but...anyone who has interest in how children learn. -- Elena Reyes, Reference Librarian, Madison Public Library
Alison McKee writes with...authenticity about the...triumphs of child-directed learning...This book is nourishing bread for the homeschooling journey. -- Mothering Magazine, Melissa Chianta, managing editor
An honest and touching account of how homeschooling leads to new attitudes and possibilities for learning -- Patrick Farenga, editor, "Growing Without Schooling"
Many...tinker with "unschooling"...Only a few have taken this uncharted path...Alison's work is paramount in this field. -- Rose Sias, The Tutor Shop
This is a vivid, complex, powerful, triumphant, reassuring and moving account of a whole family's education. -- Grace Llewellyn, author of "The Teenage Liberation Handbook"
About the Author
Author Alison McKee, has written numerous articles on homeschooling which have appeared in "Growing Without Schooling," "Home Education Magazine," "Homefires: The Journal of Homeschooling," "The Relaxed Homeschooler," "F.U.N. News: Family Unschooling Network" and others. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband. For twenty three years she homeschooled her two children, Christian and Georgina. Subsequently they have entered and graduated from college. Today, as community liaison for H.O.M.E. (a support group she began in 1984), she continues to offer, on a local as well as national level, support to individuals who seek information about homeschooling. She is also an advisor at Homeschool.com. Ms. McKee has been interviewed for newspaper, radio and television. She has also made numerous homeschooling presentations in teacher education classes at the University of Wisconsin, parenting groups, and various homeschooling conferences across the country.
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Concerns such as learning to read, learning math, socialization are put to rest. Not in an instructive way, but in a way that the issues are alleviated, dealt with, never show up as an issue, inside a good story. That's what I mean when I say it's easy to read. Easy and comfortable.
Right now our son is in decompression mode from almost six years of traditional brick and mortar, being away from family for seven hours a day, school. After about six months of decompression (one month for each year) we will get into schooling. We are in discussion about whether that will be homeschooling or unschooling. That's another great thing about this book. The title. The title is very, very apropos.
Other books we have purchased from Amazon and recommend: Free Range Learning by Laura Grace Weldon, Weapons of Mass Instruction by John Taylor Gatto, The Unschoolng Unmanual edited by Jan and Jason Hunt, Unschooling Rules by Clark Aldrich, Radical Unschooling by Dayna Martin.
One final word. To homeschool or unschool is a big decision. Within 72 hours after bringing our son home to learn we were saying to each other, "We should have done this a lot sooner." And in the last month we have discovered a huge world of support. This book, indeed, all of the books mentioned here, are a part of that support. Plus our son is showing signs of being happy that we hadn't observed in a long time. And we're all feeling better about homeschooling as each day happens.
The author had worked in the public school system before she homeschooled her own children, and she gives a lot of insights on the way schools so often discourage children and stifle their natural love of learning. I had no doubt as I read her story that her children were happy, successful, and well-adjusted individuals because of the freedom they were given all of their lives to learn in their own way, unhindered.
However, I still am left with some doubts about whether or not this would work for everyone. Were her children more self-motivated than the average child? This also took place in the eighties, before the internet, hi-tech computer games, etc. Would it be as easy today to create such a home environment conducive to learning, or would you have to have an "unplugged" household with no cable TV, no internet, and no complex computer games in order for the children to not get distracted from real learning? I notice that television is never mentioned in this book, so I wonder if this family even had one.
She definitely does not try to "whitewash" unschooling, however. At one point, her 14-year-old son tells her he's bored, and that she's responsible for his education. She gives him the choice of enrolling in public school, following a boxed cirriculum, or finding something on his own. Given that choice, he does manage to find something to study that he absolutely loves and gets back on track.
In summary, this is an excellent book for anyone interested in unschooling, and also helpful for anyone who believes that homeschooling in general is a better option than traditional schooling.