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Monthly Archives: July 2016

About Unschooling

Unschooling: it’s a state of anxious talk in the self-teaching world, collecting energetic backing from a few and concerned incredulity from others. Actually, the expression “unschooling” itself is a theme of level headed discussion, with specific gatherings crediting it one definition while others attribute it another. In any case, numerous guardians are interested about it, about what it implies as an instructive rationality, and about whether it truly is as powerful a tutoring choice the same number of case. With that in mind, we should investigate the truth of unschooling.

Unschooling is often called “child-led learning.” As this name suggests, unschooling allows children to follow their own interests at their own pace, without direction from adults. In this sense, parents act less as teachers and more as facilitators, watching to see what the children are interested in, and then providing the environment, resources, and opportunities to explore those interests.

Skeptics wonder how anything ever gets learned at all through this approach. Don’t children need an adult to constantly tell them what to do? On the contrary, adult unschoolers tend to exhibit a strong sense of self-direction and motivation, and are fully capable of setting goals and then finding the resources to achieve those goals. There are plenty of examples of unschoolers who have gone on to succeed in college and life in general.

The History of Unschooling

Unschooling is most closely associated with a man named John Holt, who coined the term in 1977. Holt was a classroom teacher who later rose to prominence by writing books about the shortcomings of the traditional education system, such as How Children Fail and Learning All the Time. He founded the magazine Growing Without Schooling, which became very popular in the homeschooling community. Holt has since passed on, but his organization Holt Associates and the website HoltGWS.com are still in operation under the direction of Patrick Ferenga.

Unschooling later inspired Sandra Dodd, educational writer and speaker, to take the concept even further and create the philosophy known as “Radical Unschooling.” Radical Unschooling families adhere to the “child-led” approach not just in the realm of education, but in every facet of life.

Unschooling Practicalities

To the uninitiated, unschooling may appear to be merely unused free time. To an unschooling family, however, the simplest daily tasks are an opportunity for learning. When children help to cook in the kitchen, for example, they learn practical reading skills (from the recipe), math skills (by using fractions to measure ingredients), and chemistry (understanding what changes happen to the food when heat is applied, etc.).

The unschooling philosophy is built on the premise that children are naturally curious, intelligent, and eager to learn, and unschooling parents trust this premise. If a child is daydreaming, then, rather than scolding him for wasting time, the parent trusts him, knowing that the daydreaming may be the precursor to a focused creative project like a painting or a novel. Unguided doodling may evolve into a comic book or a blueprint, and so on.

Unschooling parents are not neglecting or uninvolved. Quite the opposite, in fact. Unschooling parents use a number of strategies to maximize their child’s education. Some of these strategies include:

Provide a wide range of resources: Unschooling parents don’t dictate what their children learn at any given time, but they do provide resources which encourage curiosity, exploration, and self-directed learning. An unschooling family’s house will typically be filled with books, games, art supplies, musical instruments, etc., so the child has many possible directions to explore. Most importantly, the parents listen to their children about their interests, and foster growth in those fields of interests.

Travel: Unschoolers aren’t constrained to any set schedule, so they can take trips and travel to new places whenever they want. Travel is a tremendously educational experience by itself, and unschoolers gain a lot of knowledge from the cultures and places they visit.

Spend Time Outside: Children thrive in nature, and unschoolers unsurprisingly show a real predilection for learning outside. They may go playing in the woods and learn about the flora and fauna there. Or they may learn how to build simple forts from the raw materials they find. Unschoolers tend to want to take things apart, put them back together, and find mentors who can show them how to create what they want to create.

Allow Passionate Focus: It’s common for unschooling children to become incredibly focused on and passionate about a particular subject for a while. In traditional schools, the children would be dissuaded from pursuing this passion, because the schedule wouldn’t allow for it. Unschooling, however, encourages it, and children will often research a subject with deep commitment, usually far surpassing their grade level in the process.

Use Traditional Resources As Tools: When children become interested in a subject, they may choose to pursue it further. They may even choose to enroll in an online class, find a textbook, or use some educational software to achieve their goals. Traditional resources can be incredibly useful for the unschooling family, but they’re not rigidly enforced.

Cons :

Missing Puzzle Pieces: Because children choose which subjects to study, there will likely be information gaps in their education. This is true to some degree of any style of education, but it can be more pronounced with unschooling. Because the children learn to motivate and direct themselves, however, they are typically able to fill in these gaps themselves if and when they need to.

It Takes a Great Deal of Parental Commitment: Unschooling is not the same thing as permissive neglect. Parents must be highly involved in and aware of their children’s growth, and must be able to provide resources and opportunities when interests and needs change. This schooling style requires a great deal of attentiveness, spontaneity, and focus, and is not a perfect fit for every parent’s personality or circumstances.

Pros : 

Educational Freedom: Kids are free to learn and grow according to their unique personality, interests, and learning style.

Kids Actually Want to Learn: Unschoolers tend to be highly motivated, because they’ve chosen the subjects themselves and they’re actually curious about them. No more butting heads up against brick walls trying to force children to complete worksheets they’re not interested in. Furthermore, kids can stop pursuing a subject when it is no longer interesting to them.

Preparation and Monitoring is Much More Focused: Rather than planning a course of study an entire year in advance, without knowing exactly how much time a subject will take and how well the student will have mastered it by a certain time, unschooling allows parents to plan and prepare in response to the child’s interests as they develop. Parents also evaluate their child’s progress in a similar way, by being involved and paying attention to what the child has mastered as they progress.

Kids Learn to Act Responsibly in the Community and Beyond: In unschooling, a great deal of education happens while the children are interacting in the community or simply helping around the house. As such, they become much more independent and comfortable with interacting with new people of any age. They also develop a sense of responsibility, and accountability for their own education and behavior.

Pick a Right College Major Tips

pick-a-right-college-majorYou’ve quite recently experienced the strenuous procedure of picking a school and before you know it, you need to choose what to ponder! Selecting a school major is a unimaginably vital choice, and one that ought to be given abundant time and genuine thought. You will choose a course of study that will impact your life in innumerable ways.

However, don’t fuss! Despite the fact that it’s a genuine choice, regardless you have time—unless you’re as of now in your sophomore year. On the off chance that that is the situation, then you better get moving!

It’s best to begin considering majors while you’re still in secondary school. Having some thought of what you need to study will help you select a school and graph your future course. Yet, actually, with a few special cases, you don’t need to proclaim a noteworthy until somewhat later in your school profession.

The real you settle on could conceivably be specifically identified with your possible profession, however it will impact the way you approach basic considering, critical thinking and correspondence. That is the thing that makes it so vital. In any case, on the off chance that you give yourself time and truly assess how your significant will fit into your objectives for the future, you will choose a school real that is an extraordinary fit for you.

How to Approach the Process

Most incoming freshman don’t know what they want to do when they grow up. However, you probably know what interests you and what doesn’t, as well as subjects that you have an aptitude for and those that you don’t.

This is a good place to start. Are you better at math and science, or reading, writing and analytical thinking? This will set you in the right direction and help narrow your options.

If you’re still in high school, it really helps to know if you’re leaning towards liberal arts or a more technical field of study. This will help you decide what colleges to apply to. Most medium and large colleges offer hundreds of different majors. It would be impossible for them to be first-rate in all of them. Ideally you want to attend an institution has a good reputation in your field of study. This will pay off later when you’re looking for a job.

Once you start college, you don’t need to declare a major right away. Most programs have plenty of general education requirements and those classes will dominate your first two years of college. There are exceptions. Programs such as engineering, architecture and pre-medicine have very specific pre-requisites and students are urged to declare a major as soon as possible, otherwise you may be in college for more than four years.

As you complete your general requirements, you can explore different subjects, find courses that excite you and rule out some that you thought you liked. You also have the freedom to take elective classes, which can open up possibilities you never considered before.

Many students choose their first major because of a general interest in a subject, sometimes dating back to childhood. But people are often surprised to find they don’t like a subject once they see what it is like to study it rigorously. That’s why it’s a good idea to take a program for a test drive before you commit to it as a major, otherwise it may just be your first major and not what you end up graduating in.

Switching majors isn’t the end of the world either. Plenty of students change majors midway through their college careers. But it can make that career longer and more expensive. That’s why you don’t want to rush into a major.

Career-oriented Majors

Some students know just what they want to do and pursue a career-oriented major, such as business or nursing, two of the most common. These majors are focused on preparation for a specific career path. For these students, the decision is easier, but it is still wise to take some classes before you declare a major, just to make sure you really like it.

If you are considering a career-oriented major, find out more about the college’s career services. Some colleges invest heavily in these programs, often including an active alumni network, while others do not. Solid career counseling can make a huge difference in your ability to find internships and employment.

Other majors are designed to feed into a master’s degree. If this is the case, you need to be sure that you are ready for the extra commitment. If not, your bachelor’s degree may not be worth much without the master’s accompanying it.

A College Major is the Start of Your Future

As you take different classes and narrow down your options, it’s time to start thinking about your major in terms of your future. Ask yourself what kind of career you want to have.

Some majors are very specific to a career (see above), so in selecting a major you’re essentially choosing a career. Other majors are more open-ended and teach general skills like critical thinking, analyzing texts and communication. Most English majors don’t go on to become authors or English professors, but they have a broad range of skills that can be applied to many different careers.

Remember, your major will have a big influence on what you do for a living, but it is not determining your destiny. Plenty of people wind up in a career field that is completely unrelated to their major. You just never know where life will take you.

When to Declare a Major

When exactly should you declare your major? It depends on the subject, but in general sooner is better. Some students wait until the beginning of their junior year to declare and have no problems. But this can limit your options and create some headaches.

For most majors, you can declare sometime in your sophomore year. If you’ve already taken some required classes, those will count toward your degree. If you’ve spent lots of course credits on electives in other subjects, those will still count as elective credits, something you need in almost any major.

Some programs are not so flexible. Remember engineering, pre-medicine and architecture? At certain schools, the more rigorous programs like these require students to declare in their freshman year. That is because these majors have lots of very specific pre-requisites. You’re going to have to get started on those right away to graduate in four years.

Investigate the Program

Taking an introductory class is a great way to find out if you want to be an anthropologist or a nurse, but it won’t tell you everything you need to know about the program. Dig deeper and find out exactly what is required for different degrees.

If you’re still in high school, it’s not too early to start. Talk to your guidance counselor about different college majors. He or she will most likely have some literature and online resources that can give you more details about a field of study and what is involved.

If you’re already in college, an academic advisor will definitely have this information for you and it will be specific to that college. Look at the required classes. Are these subjects that excite you? Do they line up with your interests and aptitude? If you’re still in doubt, talk to other students who are taking or have already graduated from the program.

Have a Long-term Plan

Ideally, the major that you select should fit into a long-term plan for your life. That sounds like an awful lot to decide right now, but don’t worry, you can always change your plan. The important thing is that you have one. That is a much better way to navigate through college than zigzagging here and there and finally settling on something.

If you have a plan for what comes after graduation, even if that plan changes—and it almost certainly will—you’ll have a much easier time making these crucial choices.

Selecting a college major is definitely a major decision. It can be scary committing to something, but that’s what adult life is all about. If you give yourself enough time and approach the process in a thoughtful way, you will find a major that helps you achieve your goals in life.

College Plan Tips

It requires two years of wanting to satisfactorily get ready for school. Understudies without guardians or relatives ready to pay for their training must likewise invest energy finishing money related guide and grant applications. In the event that this appears to be overwhelming, there is no compelling reason to wind up debilitated. The accompanying methodologies will make school arranging not so much scary but rather more sensible. When you finish all the important strides to select in school, you can concentrate on get ready scholastically for the rigors of school courses. Anxious individuals must recall that school arranging is a multi-step prepare and can’t be finished overnight. By and large, individuals required in school arranging must be steady and intensive.

Start your college planning when you are a high school JUNIOR

# All students applying for college admission must either take the ACT or the SAT.

# Maintain a high grade point average (GPA) while in high school. College admission committees review grades from each year in high school.

# Take time to determine how big of a school you would prefer to attend, potential majors, what city or region you want to study in, and what extra-curricular activities interest you.

# If you intend to attend a school in your state or local community, review state and local newspapers and bulletin boards at libraries and city halls to locate information about college fairs and open houses.

# Take time to learn about grants and scholarships you qualify for since many programs are available for students without parents able to pay for their college tuition.

# Inquire about early deadline scholarships well in advance because many schools require applications to be returned while students are still in high school.

# While in high school, participate in extra-curricular and community service activities.

# If you do not want to become involved in extra-curricular activities during high school, you should consider organizing a service project, becoming a member of a school club, or participating in community service sponsored by your church. College admission committees are usually impressed with students involved in community service.

 

In the FALL of your SENIOR year:

# During your senior year in high school, begin to narrow the list of colleges you are interested in attending. Once you have identified a list of appealing schools, request brochures from these institutions or review their websites.

# If you have a low ACT or SAT score, re-take the test. Study guides are available to better prepare you, or you can enroll in a preparation course. In addition to increasing your admission opportunities, a higher ACT or SAT score can improve your chances of earning scholarships.

# Tour the campuses of any local schools you’re interested in attending. Many colleges and universities permit high school students to sit-in during lectures and receive a tour from current students.

# Beginning during September, set time aside each month to locate scholarships you qualify for.

# Begin submitting applications by October since most colleges and universities offer early decision deadlines.

# Many high schools, community libraries, and local colleges offer seminars or courses on budgeting and preparing financially for college.

# Once you’ve narrowed your list of schools, double check to ensure all required financial aid forms are submitted on time. Individual schools usually have different deadlines and requirements.

# Fill out a Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) form. A paper form is usually available at most community libraries and high schools, but an online form can be completed at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov. For more information call 1-800-4-fed-aid.

# Once you’ve filled out a FAFSA form, submit it as early as possible. Completed FAFSAs can be returned beginning in January during a high school student’s senior year. Since parents of high school students must provide information about their annual income on a FAFSA, it’s recommended to file taxes as soon as possible.

 

In the SPRING of your SENIOR year

# Be sure to double-check that you’ve fully completed and returned any required financial aid forms. Most schools require that the FAFSA be submitted by March 15. Even though this is the deadline, it’s recommended to complete it and submit it as soon as possible.

# Submit scholarship applications early and never after deadlines. Many schools have deadlines during the spring. Likewise, be sure to keep your eyes open for new scholarship opportunities, particularly between April through August.

# Watch for your Student Aid Report (SAR). In most cases, it will be available a month after a FAFSA has been completed and returned.

# Once you’ve been notified of what schools will admit you, contrast the financial aid rewards offered by each school. In other words, review each award, so you can effectively weigh it in your decision.

# Decide which college or university you want to attend and inform the school.

# Finalize financial aid forms and submit them to the school you’ve selected.

# Apply for student loans if necessary, and submit a final copy of your high school transcript to the school you will attend.

# Inform the colleges or universities offering you admission which you do not plan on attending.

 

Once the admission process is complete, you can begin to prepare for a very changeling, but also rewarding journey. College students have a lot of fun, but they must also spend a considerable amount of time studying. This is especially true for students receiving academic scholarships. If you receive a scholarship, do everything within your power to make sure your grades do not drop to unacceptable levels.