|a few new books i ordered|
I have used curriculum, unschooled, did some sort of combo (which I guess isn't really unschooling, but I like to think it is in some way), we have had tears, we have had laughs, we have struggled, we have sailed through... but we just haven't figured it out. Maybe there isn't a "figuring it all out", maybe you just muddle through it all and pick and choose. Maybe the best thing you can do is work with each child and help them the best way you can.
I don't think there is one right way to help children learn. I have my own life experience to go from here at our house. Two of my children have started school this year, both for similar reasons... they wanted to be around more peers and they wanted to be pushed in a way that I was not pushing them. I do think that although there are some households that do great with the "no pressure" educational model, that most kids (or maybe just my household) need a push. It doesn't have to be hard core meanness, but something. And you know, I am not even sure what that something is for every child. But the parents do. And I think that maybe I have been neglectful in that area, trying to stick to the dogma of something instead of really really focusing on my kids and their needs. And since there are six of them, it can be more of a challenge... but that is ok. What isn't ok is sticking with something that isn't working just to be part of a group.
So I guess I am not an unschooler. I'm ok with that. I'm ok with putting limits on TV and computer time and having the kids play outside, do a math worksheet, practice handwriting, and reading everyday. I think I also encourage them to follow their passions, give them loads of time to wallow in their own learning, and give them all the resources I can for them to grow and flower. I think that maybe, that is the best I can do for them.