My High Schooler hates School

And then they hated math: My journey into unschooling

6807424348_d6916a33f3_zI remember the first time I called myself an unschooler. I had just read John Holt’s Teach Your Own and was impressed with his vision of an alternative educational style in which children were encouraged to learn outside of school.

He saw children as scientists, eager and capable of exploring and experimenting with the world around them. Yes, I thought, that is exactly what I wanted my children to experience.

I had visions of them spending their days wandering through nature, collecting and identifying leaves, filling notepads with their amazingly original stories, learning math, engineering, civics, and science through a year-long project of designing and building a cardboard, solar-powered city.

It was learning at its fantastical best — fun, natural, and meaningful.

Up until then, our family had already been homeschooling for about five years. We were mostly traditional, Well-Trained-Mind types with plans to cover history in four-year rotations, complete daily Saxon math drills, and crank out grammatically perfect essays, beautifully written in italics, of course.

Science was to be studied in roughly the same manner, with a four-year-cycle that closely followed the time periods of ancient, medieval, early modern, and modern times in history. Honestly, I loved the structure and academics that went along with a classical education.5913244422_382dea965c_z (1) It made for brilliant kids that read well and tested even better in standardized tests.

Unschoolers, I thought, were just a loose, disorganized, and dare I say, lazy bunch who considered grocery shopping “math” and seeing rainbows through the sprinklers “science”.

So we toiled away at endless math problems, narrations and copywork. My children were well above grade level in all subjects and had better penmanship than your average highschooler.

But there was something missing for me. As the years went by, the blasted math never ended, and my kids grew to hate it, as did I.

Some days, it took just as long trying to begin as it did to complete, and we felt forever behind (even though we weren’t) and never had time for anything fun.


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FAQ

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What are the weeks for summer school for high schoolers?

The dates for summer school varies by each school. However, summer school usually is around June and July. Which one are you attending? !

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What is the point of middle schoolers at my high school?

No point for the middle school students to be at the High School. High school is a term used in parts of the English speaking world to describe institutions which provide all or part of secondary education.

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