After having seen and loved the author's TED talks, it felt a little redundant and a little too much preaching to the choir. It was an audiobook thatAfter having seen and loved the author's TED talks, it felt a little redundant and a little too much preaching to the choir. It was an audiobook that I ended up tuning out of a lot because it just seemed like anecdote after anecdote. Yes. I get it. Finding their element has led to success in people's lives. Now what? I guess the now what is the next book which I picked up first and then put down because it seemed like I needed to have read this one first. Should have stuck with that one. Ok so I didn't love it, but maybe I would have if I hadn't seen the TED talks, and I love the author and his message, so 4 stars anyway. ...more
My oldest son is currently in school due to some life circumstances, and that's kindergarten, so we haven't officially homeschooled yet. When we do, wMy oldest son is currently in school due to some life circumstances, and that's kindergarten, so we haven't officially homeschooled yet. When we do, we'll more than likely be unschooling. I find the central idea(s) of this book interesting and worth considering for anyone on the homeschooling spectrum. For that reason I'd probably recommend this book to others, but that's honestly for lack of a better book to recommend on the subject. Unfortunately, the book lacks a great deal in its presentation of the concept.
I mean, ok, I get that the author believes that a kid will benefit more from a self-directed project-based education versus traditional schooling or homeschooling. I get too that the author wants me to have tons of materials at the ready, and that I'm to have a light touch of involvement, and show I value the work and the process. Ok. But that's about all I get. Those points and similar ones are repeated not only throughout the book but multiple times over any given two-page spread. And that's the problem. The information that *is* given is repeated so much that the book becomes tedious to get through, and information that is needed to flesh out the topic is simply not there. I think this would have made for a solid article if trimmed down, but some editing and additional info is needed for it to succeed the way it could as a book.
Information I needed that wasn't there: • more on why an unschooler might benefit from pushing this kind of structure on a kid -- something that typically goes against the unschooling philosophy. The author does suggest that unschoolers should do this though, just doesn't say much on why or how to make the transition. • is making something really a necessary part of learning? And is that kind of learning really a necessary part of life? • how does one make this a part of routine if they've otherwise never imposed a routine or goal to their child's work? • how on earth does anyone give their child full access to all these materials if they also have a toddler wandering around the same space? The answer is not there, but I'm hoping it's not that I have to be non-stop managing my 3yo, overseeing, directing, and redirecting everything he does during waking hours. That's not for me. • the on-hand materials recommended seem to be virtually only art-based. Is this intentional? Reflective of a bias? For a purpose? What about having science/math/electronics/engineering materials at the ready? Woodworking? Music? Cooking? • how does anyone have the space for offering all these materials at once and all the projects that result? • it seems that I'm never to put myself forth as an information source to my child. What if I'm an expert in their area of interest? Or if not, why not begin with the knowledge I have? • how will they know that information sources exist if I never tell them about them? The library? Friends/family? Local experts? NASA? Food network stars? If I ask my 5yo where we should look for information, he's not going to know the options we have out there. • How do I model "doing" and project-based living in my own life? I mean literally what would that look like? For one thing I'm lamentably a thinker and not a doer, so I'd like to do more (as suggested) and would appreciate tips, but as far as project stuff, when I find a new topic I'm interested in, I'll read about it, watch about it, sometimes talk about it, but I'm not going to paint about it or sculpt about it, I'm probably not going to write about it either. And I'm an artist. I'm going to recreate faces, animals, and landscapes I find interesting, striking or moving, but I'm not going to make art about Leonardi DaVinci or Pompeii or nutritional science. • there were a lot of conflicting suggestions such as not praising or being coercive and yet paying extra attention to their projects to show them that you value that work (thereby getting them to do more of it) or staying out of things, yet being involved. I understand there may be a fine line, but the book blurred rather than helped me define that line.
Every page I read seemed to generate "but how" or "but why" or "please clarify" questions.
Having said all that, I do think this is a topic worth considering, and maybe others are better at coming up with their own answers than I am. And despite my lack of clarity, I am likely to take away and apply some of this in my future in homeschooling. So it's certainly worth checking out....more