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My Cousins Say They Practice Unschooling But They Actually Don't? Is This Legal?

My Cousins Say They Practice Unschooling But They Actually Don't? Is This Legal?

Postby Terrance » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:43 am

Beforehand, I just want to say that I do go to public school, I understand and have read about home schooling and unschooling. I'm fine with people using different educational techniques, but my cousins are an exception.

My cousins are 12 and 10, they don't go to a traditional school setting. My aunt says she unschools them. I've read that unschooling has no standardized tests or grades. The children learn at their own pace, through non-traditional ways. I'm completely fine with parents that do practice this, I have no problem with it. But my cousins don't do that either. They literally wake up, eat, play computer/video games, watch tv, then go to bed. All day. Everyday. They aren't taught basic manners, social skills, or basic skills that their age requires. I don't expect them to be genius's, but the 12 year old can't even spell basic first grade words like "because" or "them". They do have friends who partake in homeschooling, but they seldom see them.

My aunt tries to justify it by saying how she takes them to the Detroit Zoo (we live in Michigan by the way), and the Henry Ford Museum. I've gone with them to those places before. She doesn't teach them or explain to them the animals or history about locations. She just takes them on certain rides and attractions without taking any knowledge in. It concerns me because they are family and I do care for them. It's just that I feel they are being stripped of their right to an education. They won't be able to attend a college at this rate, and I want what's best for them. They are almost attached to their mom's hip, they never go places without her and clearly can't function without her standing behind them to encourage/direct them. It scares me. I'm just wondering if this is even legal to do to them, if it's basically abuse?

I know homeschooling and unschooling is legal because you are getting an education, but what my aunt does is far from those. You can't get a job if for 18 years all you know how to do is play Nintendo games.Yet they family sees nothing wrong with it. I'm not saying I want to force the kids into going to a public school, but they DESERVE to learn something beneficial! I don't want them to NOT be happy, but it doesn't seem right to me.

Any advice from parents?
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My Cousins Say They Practice Unschooling But They Actually Don't? Is This Legal?

Postby Arrigo » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:44 am

You're right. It's appalling. Call social services. That's about all you can do.
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My Cousins Say They Practice Unschooling But They Actually Don't? Is This Legal?

Postby Orland » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:48 am

You are right.
These kids deserve better.
Think of the future they face if they go out into the adult world without a basic education.
You could call the state of Michigan Child Support at 1-866-540-0008.
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My Cousins Say They Practice Unschooling But They Actually Don't? Is This Legal?

Postby Reyhurn » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:59 am

Homeschooling is legal in Michigan, as would be unschooling.
The laws do not stipulate how it is to be done.
There are requirements though...

"Instruction must include mathematics, reading, English, science, and social

studies in all grades; and the Constitution of the United States, the

Constitution of Michigan, and the history and present form of civil

government of the United States, the State of Michigan, and the political

subdivisions and municipalities of the State of Michigan in grades 10, 11,

and 12."

That would mean at the very least they would be reading (unfortunately video hint magazines count!), speaking properly and writing letters or stories.
They may make up stories when they play games.
Could they write them down to share with you? Math is harder.
Most kids don't volunteer to do math until they are old enough to realize they will need it for something in life.
Take them shopping and have them pay cash.
They have to figure how much they can spend, and how much change.
Science can be reading books about dinosaurs, or planting a garden.
Social studies might just be visiting an airport and learning about pilots.
It isn't hard with just a little effort.

I have homeschooled for over 18 years and have seen some unschooling success stories, and some failures. The sad thing is the loss of so many years of great literature that is age appropriate.
I knew a girl who learned to read in middle school.
She was mad she couldn't find anything but "baby" books to read.
She did end up going to high school, and managed to do fine.
Not well, but fine.
Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do.
Testing is not required (nor should it be).

All you can do is talk to our aunt.
See where she sees her children in a few years.
Ask her if they do indeed know how to read, write and do basic math.
By 10 and 12 they should.
Ask the children if they have ever thought of what they might like to do when they grow up.
Help them to see what they need to know before that can happen.

Can you get involved? Like take them to the library? Give them book store gift cards as gifts.

I would hesitate to phone the state.
It isn't abuse so much as educational neglect.
Talk to your aunt.
Have your mother or father (her sibling) talk to her.
What does she do all day?

They may indeed be doing more than you know about.
Many unschoolers are learning when others think they just do nothing all day.
Cooking is education.
Tending pets too.
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My Cousins Say They Practice Unschooling But They Actually Don't? Is This Legal?

Postby Rek » Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:07 pm

I get what some of you are saying, but my aunt still doesn't do these things. She doesn't encourage them to read, explore, or think about their future. My aunt is on facebook all day, literally. The kids have no motivation to be educated. And as for going to a library, its a great suggestion, but as mean as this sounds....its hard to take them in public. They have no manners, really. And to the shopping and teaching them about money spending, they would never try. If they are asked to do something by another person they absolutely refuse. If their mother asks they fuss until she does the task herself. My mother and I have asked them questions about their futures too. My aunt basically wants them with her, and my cousins have even said that they will stay with their mom at home forever. What bothers me is that she isn't giving them he chance to be independent and to make a life of their own! I'm not too ready to call the state because she loves her kids, she does. I don't want family dr
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My Cousins Say They Practice Unschooling But They Actually Don't? Is This Legal?

Postby Becher » Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:13 pm

It's not right, and it's also not quite legal.

You can report her to Social Services, and they can launch an investigation into what's going on in the household all day.
While it's not officially abusive, completely neglecting a child's education is no small matter.
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