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2016-2017 Out-of-the-Box Planning Thread (Dare I say...with a hint of unschooling?)


Alte Veste Academy

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I would love to see your out-of-the-box plans. Anyone want to share? 

 

I have out-of-the-box plans for each kid next year. I've planned huge studies with each kid. Fun stuff!

 

When the threads for each grade were posted, I listed my plans, including these studies, but mostly it looks on paper like a continuation from this year. After I posted, I realized that these big (supposed to be almost all-encompassing) studies looked like nothing more than a blip on an otherwise traditional curriculum plan. They are good plans (FANTASTIC plans! :lol: ), but it's not the 150 degree change I was after. (I'm not brave enough for a 180, people. :tongue_smilie: )

 

I am on the ledge. Anyone want to help inspire me to jump? :D

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Hmm, my most radical plans for next year are for my 9th-grader-to-be. Gulp! And they are only radical when you compare them to most people's plans, which involve a lot of outsourcing classes, a lot of APs, and a lot of pretty traditional high school at home stuff, from what I can see on the HS board.  So, are you ready? I'm thinking of just, you know . . . doing it ourselves, following the plans in WTM with our own twist, reading the books that seem interesting to us, ramping up the writing, lots of discussion, Great Courses, etc.  But really, increasingly handing over the job of teaching herself to dd, and becoming more and more a discussion partner, paper critiquer, and cheerleader.  She's ready.  So, do I get at least one or two unschooly points?  ;)  :D

 

I know, I know, it's not much for radical - but it feels like it compared to most of the high school plans I'm seeing!

 

I'm eager to see your plans, K! You always inspire me.

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Following! Excited to see what comes up here.

 

I know we will do an extensive botany study (thinking about Guest Hollow's study) along with extensive gardening and our first try at rain water harvesting, composting, and beekeeping... 

 

For DS9, out-of-the-box is the only option... this year I haven't had time to plan well and I feel like we aren't doing enough. He is writing two non fiction books, though. 

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I'm hoping to get ds10 in touch with a marine biologist (through a mutual friend) who might be willing to do some mentoring.

 

Other than math, we're already pretty interest-directed/unschooled; my challenge is finding the right resources and supporting my kids' interests.

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I would love to see your out-of-the-box plans. Anyone want to share? 

 

I have out-of-the-box plans for each kid next year. I've planned huge studies with each kid. Fun stuff!

 

When the threads for each grade were posted, I listed my plans, including these studies, but mostly it looks on paper like a continuation from this year. After I posted, I realized that these big (supposed to be almost all-encompassing) studies looked like nothing more than a blip on an otherwise traditional curriculum plan. They are good plans (FANTASTIC plans! :lol: ), but it's not the 150 degree change I was after. (I'm not brave enough for a 180, people. :tongue_smilie: )

 

I am on the ledge. Anyone want to help inspire me to jump? :D

So, now you need to point those of us who missed them to the appropriate planning threads!  :tongue_smilie:

 

I have no out-of-the-box ideas to post. I am seriously considering sending three of mine to a charter school.  :thumbdown: I feel completely overwhelmed ensuring my high schooler gets what is needed, and frankly, I am not interested in jumping through a billion hoops to prove we did high school when it comes to apply for college. My rising 7th grader is planning on going to school in 8th because that child wants to go to high school. It is a bit of a haul for us, so sending multiple children makes the most sense. However, nothing has been determined. I do truly love teaching my children and most days do a pretty darn good job of it, so I want to dream out-of-box plans with y'all. 

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Hmm, my most radical plans for next year are for my 9th-grader-to-be. Gulp! And they are only radical when you compare them to most people's plans, which involve a lot of outsourcing classes, a lot of APs, and a lot of pretty traditional high school at home stuff, from what I can see on the HS board.  So, are you ready? I'm thinking of just, you know . . . doing it ourselves, following the plans in WTM with our own twist, reading the books that seem interesting to us, ramping up the writing, lots of discussion, Great Courses, etc.  But really, increasingly handing over the job of teaching herself to dd, and becoming more and more a discussion partner, paper critiquer, and cheerleader.  She's ready.  So, do I get at least one or two unschooly points?  ;)  :D

 

I know, I know, it's not much for radical - but it feels like it compared to most of the high school plans I'm seeing!

 

I'm eager to see your plans, K! You always inspire me. I don't dare to really plan ahead for Morgan, but whatever we do, it will end up being out of the box. She's just an out of the box kind of girl.

 

Thanks! You get insourcey points. :001_tt2:

 

DD11 is definitely out of the box. DS9 too, but in a different way, which I guess is the whole point of doing things in a less traditional way. DS13 is interesting. He loves structure, lives for a checklist, and I think I've been fooled by that. A love of order makes it seem like traditional is the way to go, but maybe the key is just to provide lots of structure no matter what curriculum or schedule we use.

 

Following! Excited to see what comes up here.

 

I know we will do an extensive botany study (thinking about Guest Hollow's study) along with extensive gardening and our first try at rain water harvesting, composting, and beekeeping... 

 

For DS9, out-of-the-box is the only option... this year I haven't had time to plan well and I feel like we aren't doing enough. He is writing two non fiction books, though. 

 

LOVE the gardening stuff!! We did lots when the kids were younger, but we've moved twice and it's harder when you are renting and know you are going to move again. Can't wait for our forever home. I would love to have the kids do the Master Gardener program with me. 

 

I'm hoping to get ds10 in touch with a marine biologist (through a mutual friend) who might be willing to do some mentoring.

 

Other than math, we're already pretty interest-directed/unschooled; my challenge is finding the right resources and supporting my kids' interests.

 

I would kill to find mentors for my kids. Thinking. Thinking... And yes to finding just the right resource. It seems like I go back and forth between Amazon and WTM all day some planning days.

 

So, now you need to point those of us who missed them to the appropriate planning threads!  :tongue_smilie:

 

I have no out-of-the-box ideas to post. I am seriously considering sending three of mine to a charter school.  :thumbdown: I feel completely overwhelmed ensuring my high schooler gets what is needed, and frankly, I am not interested in jumping through a billion hoops to prove we did high school when it comes to apply for college. My rising 7th grader is planning on going to school in 8th because that child wants to go to high school. It is a bit of a haul for us, so sending multiple children makes the most sense. However, nothing has been determined. I do truly love teaching my children and most days do a pretty darn good job of it, so I want to dream out-of-box plans with y'all. 

 

Hahahaha! I deleted the plans (from all three threads—5th, 6th, and 8th grades) and wrote how my thoughts were still under construction. :lol: But that was because it looked like 95% other stuff and 5% our great plans.

 

I think I have a very weird way of looking at homeschooling high school (except for math and science, about which I tend to have lots of daymares). I think it will be easier for me to prepare my kids for college than to prepare them for high school.

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Tomorrow is February....I'm inclined to listen in on this thread! ;) something radically out of the box sounds amazing ... But I'm not sure I have the guts to take the leap...

 

I'm listening in too! Sounds so nice about now.

 

I love to plan in February. I think it helps me avoid burnout. :) 

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Alright, I will post the basic skeleton of my plans later. Y'all post something too. Something gutsy. You don't have to follow through 100%, just 25% would be a step in the right direction, no?! :D

 

If there were no repercussions and your kids would be 100% prepared for college regardless of what you did, what would you do with them next year? 

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Our year is so boxy next year. I think the older my girls get the more I freak out about just doing our own thing. I do plan on some fun insect and animal studies for my twins who will be in kinder. Far from formal, more like wild kratts and using our zoo membership and maybe drawing at the zoo (one of my twins loves to draw). Since my girls are studying the middle ages next year I also want to go to Medieval Times and maybe do some Knight stuff with my boys. Add in some pirates and hopefully it will be a really fun year. I don't really want it to be super educational just a fun way to start off *school* . I'm thinking also maybe learning a little bit of fencing although with 5yo twins I can see that getting out of hand lol.

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Alright, I will post the basic skeleton of my plans later. Y'all post something too. Something gutsy. You don't have to follow through 100%, just 25% would be a step in the right direction, no?! :D

 

If there were no repercussions and your kids would be 100% prepared for college regardless of what you did, what would you do with them next year? 

Ooo, can I like this a million times?! I will have to think on that beast.

 

In the meantime, I mostly feel like my kids are well prepared and we have done a good job. I just want to be out of the nagging role in high school. I think that is mostly due to my particular child and the personality. We are dealing with some classic ADHD stuff and some LDs. That just makes everything seem so much bigger. Like I keep wondering, "Are we doing enough for writing?" And more than that, I am keenly aware of how pulled I am with my wide age range. I know everyone is getting a solid education, it just seems to be taking so of me. That probably sounds super selfish, but there it is. I really just want time to clean and organize my house and feel on top of my children's education.

 

Ok, now I am going to dream on what we would do next year...

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Ooo, can I like this a million times?! I will have to think on that beast.

 

In the meantime, I mostly feel like my kids are well prepared and we have done a good job. I just want to be out of the nagging role in high school. I think that is mostly due to my particular child and the personality. We are dealing with some classic ADHD stuff and some LDs. That just makes everything seem so much bigger. Like I keep wondering, "Are we doing enough for writing?" And more than that, I am keenly aware of how pulled I am with my wide age range. I know everyone is getting a solid education, it just seems to be taking so of me. That probably sounds super selfish, but there it is. I really just want time to clean and organize my house and feel on top of my children's education.

 

Ok, now I am going to dream on what we would do next year...

 

Yay! Dream!

 

I totally get the particular kid personality thing. That's my oldest, definitely ADHD. He's maturing pretty nicely though. This year he's been much more of a self-starter than ever before. He's one I think would benefit most from staying with me through high school though. A paradox.

 

DD doesn't want to go to school now, but she says she does want to go to high school. She will do fine no matter what. I have exactly ONE kid I can say that about, and it's her. LOL

 

There are precisely 3 years and 3 months before my first and last kid, so I don't have to deal with such a huge range. I'm sure that is a big challenge. 

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Well, I only have a young child, and she is very academically oriented overall, so even my out-of-the-box plans feel very low risk. We recently started a system where we choose only four subjects at a time and switch out the subjects every six weeks or so. Of those four subjects, one is always Spanish (by mutual agreement), I choose one other, and DD chooses two. Since we don't plan more than about a session ahead, I have absolutely no idea what next school year will look like.

 

The current session, this has resulted in:

-Spanish

-Chemistry - one of her choices - primarily using Ellen McHenry and a Thames and Kosmos kit

-Art - also her choice - using a big variety of stuff

-Science - my choice - a big mush of odds and ends I had previously planned to do from BFSU and wanted to clear off my list

 

Next session, starting in two weeks, is a five week trip to Honduras for Spanish immersion and won't have any other academics.

 

The session after that, the rough plan is:

-Spanish - mostly with Homeschool Spanish Academy because she's outpacing me

-Botany - her choice - mostly using the ASK Seeds kit and Ellen McHenry

-Math - my choice - back to Beast Academy

-either Typing or MCT Town with an emphasis on paragraph writing - she knows she wants to choose one for this session and one for the summertime session as she really wants to take her first online class next fall and these skills are needed

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This is a bad thread for me to wade into because I so badly want to be an out of the box, unschooly homechooler, but I just. can't. let. go.

 

So to answer your question of if there were no college looming or high school and I could be totally free....

 

Dd 12 would want to study mythology all year long and do nature study for science. I'm putting the finishing touches on a fairy tale lit study I plan to do with her that compares modern retellings with traditional fairy tales and look for similar concepts and differences, etc. 

 

Dd8 would want to do an engineering building unit and study animals.

 

As a former history teacher I really feel like I need to force my kids to study history, but neither of them are that interested. If I could totally let them take the lead the above are what they would study.

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My rising 6th grader will get the most out of the box schooling this year. She very thoughtfully, and with great detail, informed me that she'd like to study European history with a strong emphasis on royalty and Ireland. And it MUST have activities and hands on projects. MUST sort of must. I've never built that focused of a history course before. I'm daunted and looking forward to it all at once. We've narrowed down that we'll most likely be using the Young Oxford History of Britain and Ireland as our main spine. I ordered a reference for myself to use (someone conveniently condensed Churchill's histories into one volume), and there are LOADS of fun literature options to pair with this. Activities though?? Oof. Not my specialty. The quirky paper dolls like King Henry VIII and all six of his wives or Shakespeare characters did interest her. Making silly paper shields and such is not what she has in mind, and I've no patience for embroidering fancy Celtic knots. She has taken up sewing this year, so perhaps making period clothes for her American Girl doll and/or herself.

 

The same kid is also very certain she will study biology this year, but needs a somewhat asynchronous course. Again, it must have worthwhile activities, but here I can at least toss her into siblings' high school bio experiments. I found a more "living" high school textbook that's conceptual flavored for a spine. Then we can add stuff like Blood and Guts, caterpillars, Sea Monkeys, and such.

 

The 8th grader wanted high school biology, and since Build Your Library has a history of science course that nearly made him drool, there's no need to build much here.

 

The 3rd grader insists she needs real curricula for science, when I'd just read a pile of Burgess books, color pictures of kewl birds, watch Attenborough, and take nature hikes. She is prepared to make a royal stink about this, and she's the most stubborn person in the house. Perhaps this is showing my age but it's not worth the tangle. LOL Otherwise I was thinking of Prairie Primer, but we've got a fabulous set of ancient history books and supplies in the house, and she's a great age to take advantage of them. And the next youngest sibling isn't quite ready to do a Narnia year. So there's that.

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We are focusing a lot on music and art this year. That's kinda more outside the box, a little. We also take field trips and call them school days. Am I getting closer? Lol

 

But really, I want my dd11 do a literature course on horses next year and calling it...literature for seventh grade. ;) I also am letting her take equine science for science this year, along with her riding lessons. She is very into music playing the piano, clarinet, and starting the violin now. I will get her a basic math next year to get it done, but really hoping to indulge her passions.

 

 

I want my son who is 9 to get out in nature more, and notebook, draw, and experiment on things. The sitting at the desk type of learning just burns his enthusiasm for learning. He loves to read and draw. He is taking art lessons once a week, and they are really great for him. Maybe I can let him join a chess club or something.

 

My dd13 is entering high school with visions and working towards getting her associates degree and graduating high school at the same time. It's too late for her to be unschooly. I do plan on using oak Meadow for her for 9th and 10th grade, so hopefully that will be a little more artsy fartsy and creative for her.

 

My ds who is 4 is truly my last chance at enjoying this young age and indulging his likes and dislikes. I am really thinking on enjoying oak Meadow with him next year. Letting him be read to a lot by me and his siblings, and just letting him be a kid.

 

 

I want to start reading a loud to my kids. I would love if they would draw a picture in a notebook as I read a loud. Something that sparked their interest in what I was reading. Then write a sentence or two about it. That's sounds fun.

 

I need to think more about all this.

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My DS is little, so we are still working on the basics, but I plan to put together a cryptography study in the near future. He also takes guitar lessons, so I am think of putting together some kind of guitar appreciation study, across a wide variety of musical genres. ETA: We are also doing home-brewed Canadian and California history next year, with field trips galore!

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I was thinking about going out of the box. Just do math and eltl, and throw all my other plans out the window, and using the library and interests for everything else. But I don't know that that would be a great idea for us. I think my kids would skim topics and not go for any depth. That's not something I value.

 

Now last year was a radical year,and everyone turned out just fine. I sent them to German public school a grade level behind, so literally the only thing they learned was German. No history, science, math, or literature since they couldn't understand it and the math was a repeat. The cultural experience was completely worth it, but I also learned that a year doing little to no school is not the end of the world like it might seem.

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Alright, I will post the basic skeleton of my plans later. Y'all post something too. Something gutsy. You don't have to follow through 100%, just 25% would be a step in the right direction, no?! :D

 

If there were no repercussions and your kids would be 100% prepared for college regardless of what you did, what would you do with them next year? 

 

If we could...

  • NACLO puzzles...he would spend more time on these computational linguistics puzzles than he has been able to this past year.
  • Finish all the unread living books for bio, chem and physics in our bookshelves.
  • Take even more time to expand on his sci fi studies. Great Courses just added a new sci fi title too! So timely but for now, he just doesn't have the time to fit in the timely! :crying:
  • Sign up for more workshops and classes at a well known jazz school near us (if I can afford it).

Edited because Ack! I didn't realize this was the K-8 board.  I've kept the more board-appropriate ideas intact.

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Wanted to add something we started this year that is unboxy... I print up 3-4 prints from a famous artist and put them in places around the house that the kids see often like the fridge, in the bathroom, on our whiteboard and I leave them for 2-3 weeks then change them out. I also pick a composer and play them for the week while we work. It's been a nice way to add artist and composers without actually adding to their workload.

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Alright, I will post the basic skeleton of my plans later. Y'all post something too. Something gutsy. You don't have to follow through 100%, just 25% would be a step in the right direction, no?! :D

 

If there were no repercussions and your kids would be 100% prepared for college regardless of what you did, what would you do with them next year?

I think this is a fun question I want to ponder a little longer. My first thought is a year of projects. Build something out of wood (furniture), paper mache (piñata), metal (I want a large metal chicken), glass (something to hang in my window), clay. memorize and perform a play, go camping for a week while studying constellations and fire-making, make and sell a craft at a fair, build a family website, take German together (we might do this), take karate together, go to the zoo and museums, volunteer somewhere...

 

Eta: build a robot, make candy, take apart and put together a radio,

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Unschooly is sort of where we dwell. Ds likes structure something extreme. He chooses to school 6 days a week so that they all feel the same. He is a freak - but an incredibly cute one! Next year will be Great Courses. Lots of them. Ds asked if we could just read books and do Great Courses. ::Swoon::: how lovely!

 

There will be spines, but mainly Ds likes when I fill OneNote pages with stacks of audio lectures, movies, books, quizes (like Khan for example), and he just has at it. It is a bit of an inbetween year. Somehow it seems that everything will be finishing up around Christmastime. Don't know how that one happened.....

 

Spines:

Science - finish E.O. Wilson Life on Earth; begin Art of the Catapult. I also have a book called Chemistry of Homemade Explosives. I am sure this means I am on an FBI list somewhere, but it is a really cool!

Spanish - Finish Duolingo; begin Babbel

Japanese - begin vocabulary learning and Hiragana/katakana spelling

Math - Finish AoPS Algebra/Geo; complete Khan to mastery of both

English - MCT (I have been bad about this getting done enough)

History - Speilvogel and Roman Roads Year 2

Lukieon Latin 1

 

The above give me something to put on transcripts. They are not the important stuff. They sure look all traditional, though. Ha!

 

Important Unschooly Fun Stuff

 

Spanish: keep writing with his native speaking penpal. We are going to Costa Rica for a month to practice Spanish and see both the rain forest and barrier reefs before it is too late.

 

Science: continue non profit environmental work, lobbying, creating coalition stucture, and mobilizing youth. Watch Technology of Greeks and Romans Great Course. Blow stuff up with above mentioned book. Try not to get caught by FBI or wind up in Emergency Room.

 

History: State Senate Page. Listen to Middle Ages Great Course, Chaucer Great Course, and a couple philosophy cousres

 

English: Reading and reading and reading. Perferably in jammies. Perferably with the dog on the couch snuggling. Working on SAT vocab (ds finds words and roots really fun).

 

Math is just math. Ds does it, but does not get geeked out. He is highly musical, however. Next year I might show him how a guitar fret board works and how various composers created ratios with the sound. We can compare TuPac, Kurt Cobain, and Beethoven.

 

Art: studying all the neat works for AP Art History. How to Look At and Understand Great Art Great Course. How to Listen to and Understand Great Music Great Course.

 

Who knows! Something else might strike a bit of fancy. In general, mornings are time with spines and afternoons are free for alls!

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As I imagine things right now, we will do core work in the mornings (9-12 for DD and younger DS, 8-12 for older DS, all with some nighttime reading), and I will let them have the whole of every afternoon for their topics/projects. The writing core work will involve their projects whenever possible. Going to have to find a time to move current events. The dinner table probably... :lol:

 

DS9 (will be 10), 5th grade:

 

Morning Core Work:

Language: Brave Writer Lifestyle & Faltering Ownership, Arrow/Boomerang guides

Math: Beast Academy (as the rest is released) and fun math supplements

Science: RS4K Exploring the Building Blocks of Science 5

History: second half of American history with Hakim

Foreign Language: Rosetta Stone Spanish

 

Afternoon Project: For his big project, he wants to do two things which may evolve separately or together. He wants to have more time for movie making (stop-motion, animation, documentaries, live action—everything). To inspire him, I got The Imaginary World of...DS9! He likes to use both clay and felt creatures for movies, and I thought this book could serve as an idea generator. He can invent a world, build it in clay and/or felt, then make movies about it all. (This book is so cool I will probably get three more copies for DS13, DD, and me.)

 

He also wants to study animals and their environments. He loves science and nature, so I could see this becoming a beginning course in environmental science, ecology, and biology all rolled up into one. He's a big reader, so I'm going to let him pick through an assortment of animal books, both fiction and non-fiction. I'm sure he'll come up with some animal projects, and I can see him making movies about them too. We are volunteering at the Humane Society and I am going to see if he can volunteer with me at the zoo if we have one after we move.

 

DD11, 6th grade (who has a very early fall birthday and could just as easily be considered 7th grade but isn't because I want her for as long as possible...):

 

Morning Core Work: 

Language: (with DS13, this is an advanced area) IEW Elegant Essay and Windows to the World followed by Oak Meadow The Hero's Journey (with some Excellence in Literature: Intro thrown in), IEW Speech Boot Camp, AG reinforcement

Math: continue (tortoise-style, LOL) with Jacobs Algebra/Foerster's supplement and Mathematics: A Human Endeavor

Logic(ish): Lauren Ipsum 

Science: RS4K Exploring the Building Blocks of Science 6

History: second half of American history with Hakim

Foreign Language: Rosetta Stone Spanish

 

Afternoon Project: An enormous study in creativity! She wants to study color as a starting point. The Secret Language of Color (INCREDIBLE book!) and The Brilliant History of Color in Art have been the major inspiration for this. She wants to expand the study of color to art and design—visual arts, computer graphic design, animation, fashion/pattern design and sewing, interior design, etc. This is it for her. I can easily see this study spanning grades 6-8 for her. I have so many books wish listed for her it isn't even funny.

 

For visual art, she wants to increase her skills in acrylic painting, watercolors, pastels, and mixed media in particular. She also wants to study the art of illustrating children's books and try her hand at writing some. I've got some resources on illustrators for her. I'm going to have her create a gallery at the Google Art Project site and try to sneak in just a smidge of art history (she is sadly not a fan).

 

She is going to start a blog and later a web site for art. She will continue with The Virtual Instructor and Adobe Creative Cloud (she is learning these apps inside and out). She already has some of Adobe's Classroom in a Book series and will also be using Lynda.com.

 

She is also going to use Craftsy.com for some specific art and sewing classes. I am considering giving her a wardrobe budget instead of doing our typical shopping runs and see what kind of wardrobe she can turn out for herself by designing/creating clothes for herself. For Christmas, she got a serger to go with her sewing machine and an adjustable dress form, so she's ready to go.

 

DS13, 8th grade: 

 

Morning Core Work: 

Language: IEW Elegant Essay and Windows to the World followed by Oak Meadow The Hero's Journey (with some Excellence in Literature: Intro thrown in), IEW Speech Boot Camp, AG reinforcement

Math: continue with AoPS

Logic: A Workbook for Arguments, Thank You for Arguing

Science: Oak Meadow Biology with Lab (or maybe Derek Owens Physics? His decision. He LOVES physics. He chose OM Bio though because he's enjoyed their geography this year.)

History: second half of comparative American history

Foreign Language: finish Latin Prep, start Oak Meadow Spanish I (if I can figure out how to enroll...)

 

Afternoon Project: A study of play! He wants to do continue woodworking/toy-making, create new toys/puzzles of his own design, and set up an Etsy store. I might have him go through IEW's Micro Business for Teens or, at the very least, a book or two on selling through Etsy. He would also like to set up a web site but not a blog, so I think maybe he'll just stick with Etsy for a while. I bought him a domain name for the future whether it happens next year or not. 

 

He's starting to work on inventing board games (LOVES board games!) and wants to dive deeper into programming and study video game design. He has also expressed interest in studying park/playground architecture and green outdoor play spaces, maybe landscape architecture. Ultimately, he'd like to be the Tree House Master guy. I am going to have him read some books on sustainability to inform his future business practices. ;)

 

I haven't listed PE or music because I'm mentally going to take them out of school and put them into life/hobbies where they belong. They play a combo of guitar, piano, and drums. Music is good and fun. They all swim and my two older kids are going to do triathlon training with DH. Done!

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She has taken up sewing this year, so perhaps making period clothes for her American Girl doll and/or herself.

 

The 3rd grader insists she needs real curricula for science, when I'd just read a pile of Burgess books, color pictures of kewl birds, watch Attenborough, and take nature hikes. She is prepared to make a royal stink about this, and she's the most stubborn person in the house. Perhaps this is showing my age but it's not worth the tangle. LOL Otherwise I was thinking of Prairie Primer, but we've got a fabulous set of ancient history books and supplies in the house, and she's a great age to take advantage of them. And the next youngest sibling isn't quite ready to do a Narnia year. So there's that.

 

I vote American girl historic doll clothes! 

 

The real curricula made me chuckle. I had the same problem here. DS13 has been doing "real science" for a while and I was tired of hearing about it. Hence the RS4K. Uncle! 

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Well, I only have a young child, and she is very academically oriented overall, so even my out-of-the-box plans feel very low risk. We recently started a system where we choose only four subjects at a time and switch out the subjects every six weeks or so. Of those four subjects, one is always Spanish (by mutual agreement), I choose one other, and DD chooses two. Since we don't plan more than about a session ahead, I have absolutely no idea what next school year will look like.

 

The current session, this has resulted in:

-Spanish

-Chemistry - one of her choices - primarily using Ellen McHenry and a Thames and Kosmos kit

-Art - also her choice - using a big variety of stuff

-Science - my choice - a big mush of odds and ends I had previously planned to do from BFSU and wanted to clear off my list

 

Next session, starting in two weeks, is a five week trip to Honduras for Spanish immersion and won't have any other academics.

 

The session after that, the rough plan is:

-Spanish - mostly with Homeschool Spanish Academy because she's outpacing me

-Botany - her choice - mostly using the ASK Seeds kit and Ellen McHenry

-Math - my choice - back to Beast Academy

-either Typing or MCT Town with an emphasis on paragraph writing - she knows she wants to choose one for this session and one for the summertime session as she really wants to take her first online class next fall and these skills are needed

 

I really like this. Very cool idea for your rhythm! 

 

This is a bad thread for me to wade into because I so badly want to be an out of the box, unschooly homechooler, but I just. can't. let. go.

 

So to answer your question of if there were no college looming or high school and I could be totally free....

 

Dd 12 would want to study mythology all year long and do nature study for science. I'm putting the finishing touches on a fairy tale lit study I plan to do with her that compares modern retellings with traditional fairy tales and look for similar concepts and differences, etc. 

 

Dd8 would want to do an engineering building unit and study animals.

 

As a former history teacher I really feel like I need to force my kids to study history, but neither of them are that interested. If I could totally let them take the lead the above are what they would study.

 

Maybe an elective? I know how you feel. I sense my time is slipping away now. But even still, my morning core listings are very traditional. 

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We are focusing a lot on music and art this year. That's kinda more outside the box, a little. We also take field trips and call them school days. Am I getting closer? Lol

 

But really, I want my dd11 do a literature course on horses next year and calling it...literature for seventh grade. ;) I also am letting her take equine science for science this year, along with her riding lessons. She is very into music playing the piano, clarinet, and starting the violin now. I will get her a basic math next year to get it done, but really hoping to indulge her passions.

 

 

I want my son who is 9 to get out in nature more, and notebook, draw, and experiment on things. The sitting at the desk type of learning just burns his enthusiasm for learning. He loves to read and draw. He is taking art lessons once a week, and they are really great for him. Maybe I can let him join a chess club or something.

 

My dd13 is entering high school with visions and working towards getting her associates degree and graduating high school at the same time. It's too late for her to be unschooly. I do plan on using oak Meadow for her for 9th and 10th grade, so hopefully that will be a little more artsy fartsy and creative for her.

 

My ds who is 4 is truly my last chance at enjoying this young age and indulging his likes and dislikes. I am really thinking on enjoying oak Meadow with him next year. Letting him be read to a lot by me and his siblings, and just letting him be a kid.

 

I want to start reading a loud to my kids. I would love if they would draw a picture in a notebook as I read a loud. Something that sparked their interest in what I was reading. Then write a sentence or two about it. That's sounds fun.

 

I need to think more about all this.

 

My oldest DS is doing OM Geography this year and loved it so much he asked for their bio next year. I'm planning on using a few other things if they stick around for high school. I really like the vibe of the curriculum. A couple of years ago I looked at the younger grades (4th and up anyway) seriously, but at the time I combined my kids so much that it wouldn't work for me. I loved it though. Just absolutely loved it.

 

My DS is little, so we are still working on the basics, but I plan to put together a cryptography study in the near future. He also takes guitar lessons, so I am think of putting together some kind of guitar appreciation study, across a wide variety of musical genres. ETA: We are also doing home-brewed Canadian and California history next year, with field trips galore!

 

Cryptography is cool! And guitar is the best. I'm still trying to convince DH to get the kids to form a band. :lol:

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I was thinking about going out of the box. Just do math and eltl, and throw all my other plans out the window, and using the library and interests for everything else. But I don't know that that would be a great idea for us. I think my kids would skim topics and not go for any depth. That's not something I value.

 

Now last year was a radical year,and everyone turned out just fine. I sent them to German public school a grade level behind, so literally the only thing they learned was German. No history, science, math, or literature since they couldn't understand it and the math was a repeat. The cultural experience was completely worth it, but I also learned that a year doing little to no school is not the end of the world like it might seem.

 

Maybe the depth thing is part of it for me. This year I'm seeing DD start to blossom and take ownership of this learning. DS13 has made enormous strides in personal responsibility and gets his work done, taking it seriously, many times even joyfully. DS9 has always been a depth guy. He was born a 40 year old in a newborn body. LOL The German immersion sounds incredible. For five minutes last month we thought we might be moving back to Germany this year. I spent too much of that 5 minutes on Duolingo and then got frustrated we weren't going back. :lol: It's a gift you gave your kids though! So cool!

 

If we could...

  • NACLO puzzles...he would spend more time on these computational linguistics puzzles than he has been able to this past year.
  • Finish all the unread living books for bio, chem and physics in our bookshelves.
  • Take even more time to expand on his sci fi studies. Great Courses just added a new sci fi title too! So timely but for now, he just doesn't have the time to fit in the timely! :crying:
  • Sign up for more workshops and classes at a well known jazz school near us (if I can afford it).

Edited because Ack! I didn't realize this was the K-8 board.  I've kept the more board-appropriate ideas intact.

 

Those puzzles hurt my head. :lol: They're great though. I so hear you on finishing the books on the shelves. Never going to happen here. :( I too struggle with what we'll never do. And don't edit. I put it here hoping it would get the most looks. The kids are all going to end up older later anyway. :tongue_smilie:

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Wanted to add something we started this year that is unboxy... I print up 3-4 prints from a famous artist and put them in places around the house that the kids see often like the fridge, in the bathroom, on our whiteboard and I leave them for 2-3 weeks then change them out. I also pick a composer and play them for the week while we work. It's been a nice way to add artist and composers without actually adding to their workload.

 

Nice. And it's stuff like this—the strewing, the rich environment I work hard to provide—that makes me feel like I should be able to relax more. Half of what they know I can't figure out how they learned anyway. They are starting to teach themselves so much.

 

Unschooly is sort of where we dwell. Ds likes structure something extreme. He chooses to school 6 days a week so that they all feel the same. He is a freak - but an incredibly cute one! Next year will be Great Courses. Lots of them. Ds asked if we could just read books and do Great Courses. ::Swoon::: how lovely!

 

There will be spines, but mainly Ds likes when I fill OneNote pages with stacks of audio lectures, movies, books, quizes (like Khan for example), and he just has at it. It is a bit of an inbetween year. Somehow it seems that everything will be finishing up around Christmastime. Don't know how that one happened.....

 

Spines:

Science - finish E.O. Wilson Life on Earth; begin Art of the Catapult. I also have a book called Chemistry of Homemade Explosives. I am sure this means I am on an FBI list somewhere, but it is a really cool!

Spanish - Finish Duolingo; begin Babbel

Japanese - begin vocabulary learning and Hiragana/katakana spelling

Math - Finish AoPS Algebra/Geo; complete Khan to mastery of both

English - MCT (I have been bad about this getting done enough)

History - Speilvogel and Roman Roads Year 2

Lukieon Latin 1

 

The above give me something to put on transcripts. They are not the important stuff. They sure look all traditional, though. Ha!

 

Important Unschooly Fun Stuff

 

Spanish: keep writing with his native speaking penpal. We are going to Costa Rica for a month to practice Spanish and see both the rain forest and barrier reefs before it is too late.

 

Science: continue non profit environmental work, lobbying, creating coalition stucture, and mobilizing youth. Watch Technology of Greeks and Romans Great Course. Blow stuff up with above mentioned book. Try not to get caught by FBI or wind up in Emergency Room.

 

History: State Senate Page. Listen to Middle Ages Great Course, Chaucer Great Course, and a couple philosophy cousres

 

English: Reading and reading and reading. Perferably in jammies. Perferably with the dog on the couch snuggling. Working on SAT vocab (ds finds words and roots really fun).

 

Math is just math. Ds does it, but does not get geeked out. He is highly musical, however. Next year I might show him how a guitar fret board works and how various composers created ratios with the sound. We can compare TuPac, Kurt Cobain, and Beethoven.

 

Art: studying all the neat works for AP Art History. How to Look At and Understand Great Art Great Course. How to Listen to and Understand Great Music Great Course.

 

Who knows! Something else might strike a bit of fancy. In general, mornings are time with spines and afternoons are free for alls!

 

I really like your Important Unschooly Fun Stuff! Especially the stuff in jammies. :D Overall, I think it's a great balance. 

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If there were no repercussions and your kids would be 100% prepared for college regardless of what you did, what would you do with them next year? 

 

Go Wwoofing!

 

 

But since there would be repercussions, we're not. The most out of the box thing we're doing is learning about edible weeds. It's cheap, anyway.

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The comment about the worth of even accomplishing 25% of the out-of-the-box plans is so good for me right now. This school year we had elaborate plans that haven't quite happened the way we expected... We have a 13 month old in tow, so we'd planned on core schooling afternoons and making mornings all fun school. Made some beautiful schedule and pin boards and all... Monday was supposed to be "Farm School" where we went and shadowed/helped a local urban farming family we know in preparation for buying an acerage (which we are in contract on now!!). Tuesday was "School of the Spirit" which is hard to explain... Basically we paint and color and worship and talk extensively about random musings like what "Love is patient" actually looks like in real life, for us. Wednesday was "Nature study" in a more formal way including journaling and oldest working on her herbarium. Thursday was "Outdoor Survival" (in the woods behind or house) which all three are kind of obsessed with, led by DS9. He is quite the expert on edible plants and grubs, how many calories each will give, the best places to build shelters, etc. Friday was indoor baking (recent mini obsession with Great British Baking Show) and crafting (working on colonial cross stitched Sampler to go with American History).

 

Well, we ended up traveling extensively with dh for work and rarely being home, and even to say it's happened 25% of the time would be an exaggeration... But it has happened! And for that, I guess we can celebrate :-)

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Most of our out-of-the box learning is not going to be related to school.  We'll be planting our first large garden this summer.  Oldest dd is buying chickens and will sell the eggs.  We'll continue to identify the plants on our new property and start using some for eating, medicine, etc.  Oldest dd will be moving on from the saint biographies and catechism series we've been using to reading books by the saints and other adult resources.

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I've decided to box up my Rod and Staff and Abeka science books.  I have always kept them around as a crutch....just in case.  If I buy anything for science next year it will be things like Human Body models to put together or those Engino kits or Snap Circuits.  That and books like you'd find on the guesthollow.com list.  We have been DOING things (like working on small engines) and reading living books.

 

Language Arts is becoming copywork, dictation, narration with a year of Easy Grammar thrown in there at some point.

 

Math for my youngers is looking more and more Montessori/manipulative based.  

 

My teens are involved (always have been) in home businesses.  Right now they are trying to figure out if they have a future in storage shed building.  They have one storage shed and two buyers.  :lol:

 

There are some other things on the burner that they're working on.

 

I think I am skipping buying much next year except for what I mentioned above and maybe another Kindle to read/listen to books.  I've been picking classics we never get around to reading for them to listen to....and then if there is a movie version, I let them watch it after they listen to the book.  I never make them "study" the books but they come away with an amazing amount of knowledge about the stories.

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What a great topic!  I know I want to find DS6 a penpal.  I want to keep following all of your amazing ideas.  I would love for Robby to get a chance to work on a long term project with a mentor.  He was working on his business plan to sell t-shirts, but my husband had another idea that Robby was very excited about.  Both might get accomplished, but they will definitely take time.  

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Alright, I will post the basic skeleton of my plans later. Y'all post something too. Something gutsy. You don't have to follow through 100%, just 25% would be a step in the right direction, no?! :D

 

If there were no repercussions and your kids would be 100% prepared for college regardless of what you did, what would you do with them next year? 

So far at my house, my boys (especially....I do have girls, too) are the hands-on ones who will be fixing your transmission and your diesel trucks.  They're the ones who will be selling you a lawn mower when you need one....and fixing yours when it breaks.  I just have those sorts of children.  

 

It has been working well to let them totally develop those "out of the box" talents.  The repercussions have been phenomenally GOOD.  :)

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If there were no repercussions and your kids would be 100% prepared for college regardless of what you did, what would you do with them next year? 

 

Since it is just a theoretical question, let's dream that I only have one kid - eldest. I'd let her drop everything except foreign language & math. I'd strew math books of all types & help her with whatever fancy she had for that for whatever amount of time each day. We'd do EdX courses together for Italian and Czech (if we could fine one). I'd teach her French and we'd learn Greek together. She'd read all she wanted in her free time. She'd learn programming from whatever we could find that she's interested in. She'd research & write on whatever topics in Country Music that she was interested in. (Okay, that last part would be pure fantasy on my part. She'd spend hours on Country Music, but never would a pen touch paper. She hates writing.)

 

She would love it & we'd both learn a ton.

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Ok, I'm guessing mine won't look too out of the box either, but they sure feel that way.

 

I watched this Julie B. periscope last night (And I've seriously been, well I was going to say a bad word but instead I'll say "recommending," this poor woman out all over these boards.  I'm sorry but she's speaking directly to ME, I can't help but share. ) https://katch.me/BraveWriter/v/79dc0b3e-2282-32fe-8c4d-209e1fc37adb

 

When she said her boys were  "just ready to be turned loose," it was like YEEEEEESSSSSSSS! Preach it to me!

 

I'm starting to GET what my son needs, and it's not what *I* want!  :lol:   But! What do I want?  I want for him to be happy and fulfilled and it does not look like I dreamed it would.  I am ACCEPTING this.  Whoa.  WHOA. :hurray:

 

He's been working really hard on a DJ project.  He doesn't know if he wants to perform yet, but he's INTO it, and I'm letting him loose.  What we will be starting next week, and continuing on next year, is a morning basket/meeting sort of thing, some grammar, math and Spanish, and then, "Go kid, be curious, figure stuff out!"

 

Our morning basket for this year will have:

- our current read aloud

- poetry (also poetry tea times, die hard Julie B fans here.)

- idioms

- random history books, I'll prob read SOTW to the youngers

- geography in some capacity?  something fun, maybe a fact a day type of thing?  still looking.

 

Older DS will probably do Crocodiles & Coconuts, MCT Lit level, SYRWTL Spanish, and some free writing, along with his projects.

 

Youngers will be doing Jot it Down, Miquon and lots of time outside.

 

 

That's the least I've ever planned!  Love reading everyone else's plans! :lurk5:

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I'm starting to GET what my son needs, and it's not what *I* want!  :lol:   But! What do I want?  I want for him to be happy and fulfilled and it does not look like I dreamed it would.  I am ACCEPTING this.  Whoa.  WHOA. :hurray:

 

:hurray: This was me too. What he wants is not what I want. But once I embraced what he wanted and needed, I just couldn't look back anymore. It's so much more meaningful and feels so right!

 

We went crazy over this idiom book by Jag Bhalla. It's hilarious. Your son might love it (but it's not age appropriate on every page).

 

Really sparked some interesting discussions and we were also doing Excavating English at the time and had also just started on our linguistics fixation through NACLO so it was all so very, very fun for a while, talking about the origins of languages, English words and English and international idioms.

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I can't stop thinking about this thread and dreaming for my kids! 

 

So now I'm thinking there needs to be some kind of homeschool dream specialist that takes your kiddos strengths/goals/desires and explores how to implement them into some amazing out-of-the-box school plan! Anyone want to be the forerunner? Help me dream for my kids and I'll help you dream for yours? 

 

DD11 lives for reading, French, baking, crafting, art, and horses... BUT she's really gifted at math/logic/engineering as well. Ha! How to tie those all together? Or maybe just focus on a few every year? I know next year she'll take a high school French course online and keep working with her tutor to grow her fluency... 

 

DS9 loves history, nonfiction, the outdoors, and is a natural entrepreneur. Last year at private school, he started his own football league, made all the posters, fundraised by selling fruit snacks to kids at break, bought jerseys, recruited players and coaches, created the official rules... We even ended up making football cards with each boys' stats and photo :-). How can I utilize these skills for school? There must be a way! Maybe spend the semester working on building a home business, like a poster mentioned above? 

 

DD7 is LOVES other cultures and wants to be a doctor/missionary. We just found out she's dyslexic, so academics have been more difficult for her than her older siblings, but she is sooo determined and hard working. She also has incredibly good fine motor skills and athleticism. Would a year of studying human anatomy and world missions be in order? 

 

I agree with the above too, LOVING hearing all your thoughts!

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Ok..here goes....

 

6th grader currently does math and spelling. The rest, he does as he wishes. He has a lot of interests. He loves the show How the States Got Their Shapes. And he loves Parks and Rec. This has led to discussions on how the government works. It has been great!

 

8th grader prefers more structure. He is doing Latin, from books he picked (Memoria Press), Geometry now and Algebra 2 in the fall, Outsourced history and lit. Science did not work out so we will do something in the summer in a block kind of schedule. So really, it is the younger one who is largely "unschooling" or "child led schooling."

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Oh, good thread, this is the kind of thread I meant to start but me with my rambling always end up turning discussions I want to have into monologues...

When the threads for each grade were posted, I listed my plans, including these studies, but mostly it looks on paper like a continuation from this year. After I posted, I realized that these big (supposed to be almost all-encompassing) studies looked like nothing more than a blip on an otherwise traditional curriculum plan. They are good plans (FANTASTIC plans! :lol: ), but it's not the 150 degree change I was after. (I'm not brave enough for a 180, people. :tongue_smilie: )

This is how I felt as well posting my plans- as a chunk of what we do looks entirely normal but that is a fraction of our day and not our big focus. 

 

Our out of the box work, let's see dd is an aspiring baker and seamstress. She has weekly sewing classes and the teacher is phenomenal. My dd just loves talking to the old ladies that come in and they all love seeing her handiwork. The classes are at the local sewing and quilting shop. I wasn't really looking for it but it has been such a great opportunity. Her first aspiration was to have a baking shop, she's had some ideas taking it further than just doing all our baking here but we've not been able to make them come to fruition yet anyway I bought her a new baking book for Christmas and there is some thought of maybe trying to start to sell at the Farmer's Market but we have recipe testing and such to work on for that- we'll see how that progresses. 

 

My son is Mr. Laidback his big interest are Scouts, TKD and Robotics. Robotics generally consumes the Fall. For Scouts he has started Merit badge work but there is no particular plan so far, right now he is working on his cooking badge. He has to do all this work on meal planning, budgeting and cooking, it is crazy involved. I'm not sure what he will work on next. So his project time is generally practicing TKD, merit badge work, robotics or reading. Oh, and him and dh have also started D and D together, they have a weekly game night at the local game shop so he has been studying up on this as well(they actually have D&D textbooks, seriously). He is my in house techy- I make him figure things out for me when I'm too busy(ahem) lazy to do so myself. I've thought about some classes for him. (we're making sure to cover the full range of geekdom)

 

My 2 youngest daughters are in the prime time of imaginative play right now and join in with everything. My 6yo does some hand-sewing and they are talking about having some classes for the younger ones. 

 

My big focus is the great outdoors- edible plants, identification of local plants and animals and just being outside and taking advantage of various activities of the local nature centers. I'm working on educating myself and we are spending as much time as possible outside. I think there is something about being outside that is necessary for us, like the myriad of vitamins we get from various foods we just don't understand the depth of enrichment from nature- I think it is healing and life affirming.

 

My other big focus is physical fitness I'm training in Aerial Silks (among other things- I love all things circus) and we have lots of family fitness times. Ds is crazy strong, dd1 is crazy flexible. Anyway, so we all work on various skills together- handstands, backbends, acrobatics, etc. Ds is an aspiring parkour enthusiast- I've been researching plans for various things to build but as of now we look for things to climb and such and generally serve as a bad example at the playground :)

 

Curriculum wise I'm most excited about Cover Story for ds- I don't know that we will follow it exactly but I'm happy to have the framework to have ds explore creative writing (which he seems to love). Dd1 is a git-r-done girl with her curriculum- she will be continuing with her Horizons math, Rod and Staff Spelling and adding in Treasured Conversations next year- she is a speedy and generally independent worker and likes things that are straight forward. Ds is starting to blossom with some independence, loving checklists and is a big time reader so I'm excited to do BYL Gr. 7 with him. He is picking up speed too but I'm not adding on to his list too much. We are also continuing some group study time, continuing our cultural studies around the world, poetry study, lit and all our nature study work. TBH dd1 can do her seat work in a couple hours at most, ds is about 3 hrs maybe, and dd2 about 1 hr. 

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Another thing that is out of the box that we are doing right now is that my 6th grade dd knows my expectations for the week but she can do them at her own pace.  This means that some days she'll do two days worth of work on one day so she can have the next day free to pursue her interests (mostly baking, crafts, art, reading, and writing).  Or she'll do all of one subject in a day and not have to do it for the rest of the week.  It has made her more motivated to get her work done and she has more time to do the things she wants to do.

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If we were to just do things without any concern for future expectations I think our days would look as follows:

 

DD's dream year - would work on her fashion designs.  She loves to design clothes on paper and make things (handsewing and machine sewing) and moving from designing things to actually producing those things would be delightful for her.  She would also like to do more cooking and baking and spend a couple of hours a day drawing, sketching and painting, a couple of hours a day reading, a couple of hours a day writing (anything from poems to comics to novels to letters to opinion pieces).  She would also like to spend a lot of time on the trampoline, a lot of time hiking and biking and swimming.  Continue with piano, Girl Guides, pottery, art classes and possibly horseback riding.  Would like to spend a couple of months in the winter travelling to the west coast to visit family and friends.

 

DS's dream year - would find a mentor and would start working in the field on scientific endeavours relating to frogs, snakes, small mammals, insects etc.  He would also like to find our more about evolution, create his own science experiments and wonder about nature and weather.  He would love to read, try pottery, swim, bike, hike and trampoline.  Would also like to travel to the west coast in the winter to visit family and friends.  Would like to learn to whittle.  Would like to learn some outdoor survival skills and how to set things on fire.

 

I notice that math and grammar are nowhere on their dream lists.  

 

Just writing it down, I think it would be absolutely awesome to just do this next year.  Skip all the things I wrote down in the 4th and 5th grade planning threads, and just do the above.  

 

Although I might still make them do math.  I can't help it.  I need a plan.  I need boxes to check.  I just can't let it all go.

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I am loving all of the responses! I was kind of afraid this thread would end up with crickets chirping. :)

 

Unfortunately, I woke to a sleety day with the beginnings of a migraine and had to drive out to get fasting blood drawn. By the time I was back home, it was (is still) a full on migraine and I'm extremely light/screen sensitive. I just wanted to post to say keep posting! I will be back when the screen doesn't make me want to hurl. ;)

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