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Found 4 results

  1. Another thread and a post by Ruth has really got me thinking. It seems all our subjects are so restrictive and in depth when it comes to how we do them. I have been racking my brain for weeks now trying to figure out why it seems we are spending all day doing school and not really much being accomplished. Why cant you pick a list of topics and let the child read and watch about it? I think this would really work for my kiddos but I guess I am lacking the knowledge to step out and do it. I want my kids to have more time for math not just their regular curriculum but all the extras. I want them to have more time to focus and explore in science. Both girls are excellent spellers and their writing is coming along fine. So why do I take the time out of our days to do things I don't think they need? Mainly because of the pressure I feel from other moms. I read some of the threads on here and other boards and moms are doing 3 math programs, 2-3 languages, 2 sciences multiple history and I always feel like we are lacking. So what do I do? I add more!!! This is not working! I need to find away to revamp our school days so the kiddos have more time to learn in their way. Any thoughts?
  2. Give me some ideas of how to go about this please! My son (in 3rd grade and 8 years old) is on the autism spectrum and obsessed with insects and reptiles/amphibians, he knows quite a bit by reading online and watching anything he can about them, he also reads field guides, textbooks and encyclopedias so he knows way more than I do about them. We are considering homeschooling him again because my anxiety and his about school is pretty bad (I'm not sure I can deal with the calls I get about him and he hates school) also it seems like the timing is right again. My question is how do I do interest led learning without unschooling? I am reading all I can but as of yet I haven't found a practical guide for how to do it. Background: I was homeschooled but my parents would have fallen in the "radical unschooling" category these days even though at the time they knew nothing about that. I did not have a great experience with that way of schooling and neither did any of my 11 siblings. I do not want to follow that in my children's lives but I am seeing value (for at least one of my children) in interest led learning. Edited to add: That I've looked at insect unit studies but they are too young for him and he already knows everything they usually cover.
  3. Gosh......I have to remind myself where I hang out and get some minds out of the gutter! :tongue_smilie: I posted on a thread about tea time and got some PMs......YES, I mean actual tea parties!! :lol: (but I will get to that later) I have had several people ask me to explain what interest driven education looks like in our house and after KIN's burn-out post, I thought I'd attempt to describe it. I am a minimalist in the younger yrs. Academics is limited to math, phonics/reading, handwriting......I add in beginning grammar/mechanics via copywork for 1st and 2nd grade. Bedtime stories are typically classics like wizard of Oz, The Secret Garden, etc. alternated with historical fiction or biographies (my kids love the lives of the saints, etc) Nature study occurs but it is a free-flowing type of thing not associated with school or a schedule or specific time, etc. It is simply something we do b/c we enjoy hiking, etc Once they are in 3rd grade, I talk to them about what they want to study/read via guided discussion and limited selection. For example, this yr my 5th grader really didn't get to choose her history topic b/c last yr we did early American history through pre-Civil War, so this yr was already expected to be the rest of American history. However, the reason we got so far behind last yr was b/c of bunny trails and areas she wanted to explore more. We spent weeks learning about Roger's Rangers and the life of settlers near the Canadian border. We spent time reading about the New Orleans and Napoleon and the Louisiana Purchase from perspectives that I had never read before. We read about the animosity amongst the Founding Fathers of our country, the shenanigans of Aaron Burr, the life of John Adams overseas from Abigal's perspective, etc. We sort of went wherever an interesting topic lead her to want to pursue. It was one of the best early American history studies I have ever done and I learned tons that I had no idea about. Science is more in their hands. They can pick whatever topic they want. Then either off our shelves or on the library's website, we will investigate what titles we/they have on that topic. Then depending on the age, I will select the final title for them to read or let them. History in elementary school is a combination of my reading aloud to them for about 20-30 mins and their reading silently about the same from a different book. Science is 30-45 mins of reading. I don't use writing curricula when they are young and even when they are older, I never use canned writing assignments. Writing always follows the same pattern every yr. They write one paper per week on a topic selected by me from typically science or history when they are young and also from lit when they are older. Monday is topic and gather supporting info (or details when they are younger), Tues is organizing and outlining or first 1/2 of rough draft (depends on how much they actually accomplish on Mon), Wed is either 1st or 2nd 1/2 of rough draft, Thursday is finishing whatever they need to and meeting me for revising and improving, and Fri is final draft due. By making school interest driven, we all enjoy what we are doing. Not using a separate writing program's assignments means writing is doing double duty. We don't spend huge amts of time doing experiments, etc for science. They spend more time reading whole books on the topics instead. (and sometimes they do go overboard on a topic. One child had a fascination with bees and read every book our library, I think around 15, that were on his reading level. My 5th grader this reader spent months reading and drawing/classifying birds, etc) Academics is really limited to the basic subjects.......no artist studies, no composer studies, no Latin, etc. Not until they are much older. Fun.......something that I have to make sure I make myself schedule in our days now that I have so many older kids and outside activities. We love having tea time. It can be as simple or as complicated as we make it. Sometimes we just buy refridgerator sugar dough and roll it out and cut it into different shapes and decorate them with icing, shoe string licorice, and m&ms. Other times we might make little sandwiches or have fruit. But mostly it is a time to sit and talk and relax in a fun time during the school day. (This is not a daily activity. ;)) We also love family games. I have posted before that the value of strategy games is highly undervalued. I think they help form better critical thinking skills than any curricula. But most of all.......I think the most important decision anyone can make is decide what is really critical to their view of education. It simply can't be everything. I mean what goes to the core of your educational philosophy. Start there and work forward. Anything that isn't vital drop until you have the day you want that even has time to spare and gradually add in the bonus topics you want but aren't essential. Hope those ramblings help someone. :001_smile:
  4. Okay, so I'll just say it like it is - we don't like science curriculum, at least none that we've tried up until now. The farther along we get in this homeschooling adventure, the more I'm drawn to unschooling / interest led when it comes to science. Okay, and for history somewhat, too. :) But back to science - my oldest will be in 7th grade next year, so I'm just wondering what is enough but thorough at that point? Others who are drawn to interest led for science - what have you done at this point (middle school)? If you have kids separated by 3 grade levels, do you still try to combine them? I think part of the issue, too, is that I've had some chronic health issues. I need something that doesn't take a lot of prep. work on my part. I also don't do well if I have to "do" everything with all three of them. I've gotten bored/tired out myself when science means sitting there reading something to them, setting up an experiment and doing it, and then having them do a narration or something like that. Even If I'm very upbeat and excited about it. I guess it's kind of boring, too, when that's the same kind of thing we do for history (substituting coloring pages and map stuff for the experiments). But, really, it's more than that. It just seems like there's more retention if my kids learn about and pursue stuff they're truly interested in. I've considered BJU DVD science for my 7th grader next year, but it's a bit pricey for us. I guess I like the idea of someone else teaching it. :) But then it really wouldn't go with my idea of more interest led, if that's still "ok" at the 7th grade level. I'm afraid, with interest led, that I'll have to be constantly figuring out the "next step" as everything won't be laid out. So, basically, what "should" science look like at this point? I've wondered about possibly having the girls read some kind of science textbook (but it has to be interesting and with lots of pictures) that covers a lot of areas of science. Maybe it could have some questions they could answer (doubling as reading comprehension). But then, from that, we could see what interests them the most and get library books covering those topics. Should my 7th grader be writing papers? She's more math/sciency/hands on than language oriented. I just feel like we've kind of just been winging it, so what suggestions might any of you have, pretty please? :) So far we've focused on earth/astronomy (but probably more earth), a bit of anatomy, chemistry, and physics. Even though we get library books about animals, etc., I'm thinking it would make sense to focus on life science next year. What we've done this year (3rd and 6th): - A tiny bit of Apologia Chemistry/Physics (not much at all really) - A few weeks of chemistry experiments (with a kit) - Robotics at our co-op (for about 11 weeks each semester - 50 min./once per week) - Some documentaries (they are watching one about dolphins right now as I'm typing this) - Some Bill Nye - An electronics exper. kit - Library books - Some Evan Moor science workbook (not all of it) - Playing outside/nature walks - A chosen topic that they focused on for a couple of weeks - oldest did some microscope study, including the history of the microscope, one younger studied crystals/rocks, the other studied birds - then they each gave a little oral report for the rest of us - my third graders also got a "toy" microscope that they've had fun with from time to time (it actually works pretty well - they were looking at boogers and stuff - ha ha!) Sorry so long!
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