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  1. #1
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    Default Bearing witness -- amazed at how unschooling works

    I'm marveling at how my child is becoming literate on her own.

    Awhile ago, I found sheets of paper with her writing, and she had copied the first few paragraphs of Pride and Prejudice. It took her ages, but she was copying it word for word.

    She had been doing that with her Junie B. books but now I simply was amazed that she was cracking open MY books, and had an interest in adult literature and language. I mean, words are words, and that was the point I suppose, but she seemed drawn to some pretty crazy text for a six year old, lol.

    Now she's always been "writing literate" before "reading literate" -- she would always rather doodle and scribble and "pretend" writing notes, etc., rather than flip through a picture book. WE have always read TO her, but she rarely did it of her own accord. Recently though, she has picked that up. Wanting to "read" at night before she goes to sleep (incentive for me not to have to lie with her every night) etc., and boom. I noticed in a matter of DAYS she was actually reading whole sentences on her own.

    We have NEVER coached or prodded or done workbook exercises, etc. -- anything besides read to her. Bam, whole sentences are flowing from this kid's lips. Some words are wrong, but they are CLOSE (last night she thought the word "tent" was "runt". So she gets the "nt" concept at the end of words, etc).

    And I notice her writing this way now. She writes the words out as she *thinks* they should be written. They are not correct, most of them, but they are close and they make sense in the context of a 6 year old who is learning. I found a note she left for her dad: "kiss i yhta tv" which translates as "can I watch tv". I am finding similar notes around the house where she is just writing them to herself. And I recognize many of the words.

    I also find sheets of paper with math on them. She does her own: 4+4=8, etc. etc. 8 1/2 by 11 pieces of paper COVERED in these math questions that she is doing on her own. And I see patterns: 4+4, then 40+40, then 400+400... until she is in the hundred thousands.

    Now, I would sit with her when she asked, and she sometimes asked to buy those dollar store math books, and if she wanted to I'd show her how it worked. But it was never a regular thing, and so I am astounded at how much I am finding just in her room, and around the house, on scrap paper that she does ON HER OWN, without any prodding or encouraging. I'm just *finding* this stuff.

    And so I take heart that this is working. It is REALLY working. As an unschooling parent I always have doubts and fears. I love the concept and the theory and I know the ideals behind why we do what we do: "children are innate learners, they can't HELP but learn if you leave them to their own devices" etc. Yes, it's beautiful in theory, I would think... But trusting it is another story entirely.

    But I see that I *can* trust it. I see that it *is* true in so many ways.

    I'm sure we'll still have our doubts along the way; but I wanted to share with other unschoolers and homeschoolers that trusting your children DOES indeed work, and I'm bearing witness to it. And it's amazing!
    "Show me your horse and I will tell you who you are." -- Old English Saying

  2. #2
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    Cool! That stuff is amazing to see, I agree! Mine loves Junie B too LOL.
    LondonMoms has really gone downhill, ever since they started chit chatting in the home and garden forum. There is a place for chit chat, people!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by myrrah View Post
    Cool! That stuff is amazing to see, I agree! Mine loves Junie B too LOL.
    She has gotten into that “Captain Underpants“ series, by Dav Pilkey. We've read the first two to her, and last night she picked up the third one and started reading it out loud. Dh and I were looking at each other like aliens had landed in our yard. “Wtf?“ I mean, WHEN did this happen, lol!?

    You know, usually they start off with reading Dick and Jane, right?

    Now, it's not perfect. And she'll read a bit and then hand it over and say, “You read the rest“. But man, we're still absolutely floored by this sudden onslaught of literacy, LOL!
    "Show me your horse and I will tell you who you are." -- Old English Saying

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    It is amazing how much they learn just from their own motivation, curiosity and life eh.
    DD is really into pretending to read to us lately, and occasionally she really throws me for a loop wondering if she can actually read. Like the other day we were in a store she's been to maybe four times, and she pointed to a sign and said 'can we get a free cookie? it says free cookie'
    and as another lm can attest to, that's not something we were aware of being there before!
    or she'll bring me a box and ask “i play with these toys? it says it's (ds's)“ when meanwhile, i had no idea she could recognize his name.

    Meanwhile the kid can't speak with proper grammar to save her life. “i telleded him to come here and he don't listening to me!“ lol.
    DD1 age 7 DS age 11
    "I will remember you." July/10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dressage mom View Post
    She has gotten into that “Captain Underpants“ series, by Dav Pilkey. We've read the first two to her, and last night she picked up the third one and started reading it out loud. Dh and I were looking at each other like aliens had landed in our yard. “Wtf?“ I mean, WHEN did this happen, lol!?

    You know, usually they start off with reading Dick and Jane, right?

    Now, it's not perfect. And she'll read a bit and then hand it over and say, “You read the rest“. But man, we're still absolutely floored by this sudden onslaught of literacy, LOL!
    that's great!
    the magic tree house books are pretty exciting for kids, you may want to try those. although ds says he recomends starting on chapter seven, as that's where the action begins.

    amelia bedelia are really funny, she may enjoy those, too
    DD1 age 7 DS age 11
    "I will remember you." July/10
    Baby Elaina born October 28th, 2011. Making every single day that much more special.
    INTERESTED IN BUYING DVDS OF OLD KIDS' SHOWS. Mr.Rogers', Mr.Dressup, Polka Dot Door, etc

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    Quote Originally Posted by dressage mom View Post
    She has gotten into that “Captain Underpants“ series, by Dav Pilkey. We've read the first two to her, and last night she picked up the third one and started reading it out loud. Dh and I were looking at each other like aliens had landed in our yard. “Wtf?“ I mean, WHEN did this happen, lol!?

    You know, usually they start off with reading Dick and Jane, right?

    Now, it's not perfect. And she'll read a bit and then hand it over and say, “You read the rest“. But man, we're still absolutely floored by this sudden onslaught of literacy, LOL!
    That's awesome! And 'you read the rest' will fall by the wayside before you know it. Yeah they usually don't start off with chapter books!
    LondonMoms has really gone downhill, ever since they started chit chatting in the home and garden forum. There is a place for chit chat, people!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by *allie* View Post
    that's great!
    the magic tree house books are pretty exciting for kids, you may want to try those. although ds says he recomends starting on chapter seven, as that's where the action begins.
    She's not a huge fan of Magic Tree House. We've read a couple and she's “meh“. She's into potty humor. Junie B. and Captain Underpants... LOVES that stuff. The more cerebral reading is obviously being reserved for later.

    amelia bedelia are really funny, she may enjoy those, too
    We haven't tried those. I think I showed her one once but she wasn't interested in the cover, lol.
    "Show me your horse and I will tell you who you are." -- Old English Saying

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    Oh oh! Ivy and... Ivy and Bean! They are great. They are like a butch femme couple in waiting. I love them.

    eta - and they get into tons of trouble which is what has my little potty humour lover hooked too. LOL
    Last edited by myrrah; 04-09-2011 at 08:37 AM.
    LondonMoms has really gone downhill, ever since they started chit chatting in the home and garden forum. There is a place for chit chat, people!!!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by myrrah View Post
    That's awesome! And 'you read the rest' will fall by the wayside before you know it. Yeah they usually don't start off with chapter books!
    Part of her hesitancy to read on her own was that she feared I would stop reading to her entirely. She LOVES being read to.
    "Show me your horse and I will tell you who you are." -- Old English Saying

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    Quote Originally Posted by myrrah View Post
    Oh oh! Ivy and... Ivy and Bean! They are great. They are like a butch femme couple in waiting. I love them.

    eta - and they get into tons of trouble which is what has my little potty humour lover hooked too. LOL
    Oh I've seen Ivy + Bean but haven't tried those yet. Will have a peek at the library for them when we go today.
    "Show me your horse and I will tell you who you are." -- Old English Saying

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    Quote Originally Posted by *allie* View Post
    Meanwhile the kid can't speak with proper grammar to save her life. “i telleded him to come here and he don't listening to me!“ lol.
    See, but this is great. I love seeing this progress, and I think “improper grammar“ is just part of the learning curve. (Which is part of why I love Junie B., as contentious as that “grammar“ issue is with those books. She actually speaks like a child would speak at her age).

    I notice that dd still speaks “improperly“ at times, BUT that she does follow grammar rules. Just not the exceptions. Like “telled“. That makes sense to a child, because it is the way past tense is with every OTHER verb, right? “Told“ is an exception to the rule. These are the things I notice with dd, too.
    "Show me your horse and I will tell you who you are." -- Old English Saying

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    wow, thanks for sharing DM!

    I also have had some wonderful moments recently with my kids and seeing actual learning happening without me forcing it

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    Feel free to share, FE. Spread the unschooling love!
    "Show me your horse and I will tell you who you are." -- Old English Saying

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    Love, love, love it!! Thanks for sharing.
    Mom of 2 girls, unschooler, feminist, runner and just general lover of life.

    Need a doula or prenatal classes? www.babeezeinarms.com

    "Me thinks that the moment my legs began to move, my thoughts began to flow."
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    Children are not our own art products to be turned out well, but their own life work in continual process. -Jan Fortune Wood"

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    My 5yo son just started reading. He has known his letters and their sounds for a while but he just started stringing them together. That was an exciting time! Now I have 3 readers who pretty much taught themselves! We do have BOB books that they love but only when asked for. I see so much throughout the day with my children that wash away the doubt. It really is amazing to see it happen!

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