Skip to main content

Unschooling Parents Don't (Actually won't) Do Anything

I hear it a lot on the internets, “Unschooling parents are a bunch of people who don’t do anything for their kids.”  Only occasionally is that statement true.  I’m here to point out though, that even when it is true it’s slightly inaccurate in it’s wording; it’s not that us unschooling parents don’t do anything, it’s that occasionally we won’t do anything, and when we won’t, it’s one of the best teaching techniques out there.

Five year-old No. 2 has been quite clear with us, he’s not interested in being taught much of anything.  Counting?  Not really interested.  Reading?  Yeah, he’ll stand there, and listen to what you tell him the words are, but you can’t make him look at the letters.  He’s going to learn when he wants to learn.

He does, however, love books  He flips through them page after page checking out the pictures, sometimes making up the stories for himself.  He also loves being able to do most things his older sib, 7 year-old No. 1 can do, (with the the exception of reading of course).  So, when 1 uses her library card to check out her own books, 2 wants to also.  There’s only one problem, to check out books you have to have a library card.  To get one a form has to be filled out.  2 has asked us to do it, but guess what?  Like the unschooling parents we are, we won’t do it.  We’ve stubbornly told 2 that when he can fill it out on his own, he’ll get a library card.

Finally, this week, after more than a year of talking about it, 2 has decided it’s time to finally get his library card!  Yesterday morning when he asked for a library card, and got the answer he had to have been expecting, he decided it was finally time to practice his letters.  To my eyes, the sheet full of letters that he’ll need to fill out the form, letters that rapidly evolved from large to a smaller size that would fit in the form, is a thing of beauty!  Consequently, the next time someone remarks that unschooling parents don’t do anything, I’ll be sure to point out that it’s not that we don’t, but that we won’t, and that it works just like it should!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Cool Math Tricks: Deriving the Divergence, (Del or Nabla) into New (Cylindrical) Coordinate Systems

The following is a pretty lengthy procedure, but converting the divergence, (nabla, del) operator between coordinate systems comes up pretty often. While there are tables for converting between common coordinate systems, there seem to be fewer explanations of the procedure for deriving the conversion, so here goes!

What do we actually want?

To convert the Cartesian nabla



to the nabla for another coordinate system, say… cylindrical coordinates.



What we’ll need:

1. The Cartesian Nabla:



2. A set of equations relating the Cartesian coordinates to cylindrical coordinates:



3. A set of equations relating the Cartesian basis vectors to the basis vectors of the new coordinate system:



How to do it:

Use the chain rule for differentiation to convert the derivatives with respect to the Cartesian variables to derivatives with respect to the cylindrical variables.

The chain rule can be used to convert a differential operator in terms of one variable into a series of differential operators in terms of othe…

Lab Book 2014_07_10 More NaI Characterization

Summary: Much more plunking around with the NaI detector and sources today.  A Pb shield was built to eliminate cosmic ray muons as well as potassium 40 radiation from the concreted building.  The spectra are much cleaner, but still don't have the count rates or distinctive peaks that are expected.
New to the experiment?  Scroll to the bottom to see background and get caught up.
Lab Book Threshold for the QVT is currently set at -1.49 volts.  Remember to divide this by 100 to get the actual threshold voltage. A new spectrum recording the lines of all three sources, Cs 137, Co 60, and Sr 90, was started at approximately 10:55. Took data for about an hour.
Started the Cs 137 only spectrum at about 11:55 AM

Here’s the no-source background from yesterday
In comparison, here’s the 3 source spectrum from this morning.

The three source spectrum shows peak structure not exhibited by the background alone. I forgot to take scope pictures of the Cs137 run. I do however, have the printout, and…

Unschooling Math Jams: Squaring Numbers in their own Base

Some of the most fun I have working on math with seven year-old No. 1 is discovering new things about math myself.  Last week, we discovered that square of any number in its own base is 100!  Pretty cool!  As usual we figured it out by talking rather than by writing things down, and as usual it was sheer happenstance that we figured it out at all.  Here’s how it went.

I've really been looking forward to working through multiplication ala binary numbers with seven year-old No. 1.  She kind of beat me to the punch though: in the last few weeks she's been learning her multiplication tables in base 10 on her own.  This became apparent when five year-old No. 2 decided he wanted to do some 'schoolwork' a few days back.

"I can sing that song... about the letters? all by myself now!"  2 meant the alphabet song.  His attitude towards academics is the ultimate in not retaining unnecessary facts, not even the name of the song :)

After 2 had worked his way through the so…