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

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Actually Disney tiered ticket prices, which is even more interesting!!

 

Yes, they did.  We are interested to see what it does to crowd levels. DH writes for a Disney blog and ALL the Disney blogs are getting hammered with comments since the announcement.  

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Care to share which one?

 

He writes for Disney Dining.  He submits articles sporadically since he also has a full time job in financial fraud investigation.  

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So, since I shared here, Ds decided to put a nice wrench in plans. After much thought, he has told me what he really wants resembles a modified version of the Robinson curriculum. To which I went 😳 Because that is so very much not like what I would ever think.

 

Apparently, we are going to try doing something like the following for the rest of this school year to see if it a style Ds wants for next year. I am dubious, but not wanting to squish his personal exploration

 

Morning:

45 minutes of AoPS math which he does independently (unless there is a major glitch)

1 hour of independent reading a classic novel and use of a study guide (chosen from a short list)

1 page of writing daily whatever he choses

1 short paragraph of Spanish composition or copywork with translation

Spanish flashcards, Japanese flashcard-ish app, Latin Flashcards

 

Afternoon: (when I get off work)

biology video and discussion OR Chemistry experiment

(If this is no doable on a certain day, he will read his Biology/Chemistry text for an hour in the morning)

Lukeion Latin 1

Environmental organizing projects (many of these still require assistance since they are dealing with adults who don't work with kids often)

 

 

So he basically wants to independent study his mornings and have mild supervision or discussions in the afternoon while he does more project based learning. He says he wants to start slowly outsourcing for APs but needs help scaffolding that and Robinson seemed good for that. Uh...okay kid. I don't know if it will work, but I can keep y'all posted.

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I know, I'm really late to this discussion. But having flirted with interest-led/unschooling for years now, we've officially headed off the rails, out of the box... except for math and language arts.

 

Currently, what this looks like is math and writing (spelling also for dyslexic dd) most days (4-5x weekly). I also read out loud almost every day, from a variety of books, based off current interests.

 

We're watching Downton Abbey, documentaries, plagues, and currently Anne Frank: The Whole Story for history

 

The kids are reading everything they can find on black holes (ds) and animals (dd) for science, plus we garden, do Citizen Science projects, etc. We're reading about micro-climates and DNA as well.

 

Ds is also spending an entire day a week this spring helping rebuild a 1940 Ford truck from the frame up.

 

Dd spends an entire day a week at my mom's, where she works on sewing and art projects, and sometimes baking projects too. She also volunteers weekly as a puppy petter, helping puppies that will be guide dogs get used to people.

 

Next year, it will be more of the same, plus possibly a lit study based off the show Once Upon a Time. And a little more focus on life skills.

 

Ds may be taking his first auto shop class at the junior college next fall, or astronomy and ???. He took Machine Tool Technology and 3D art earlier this year and loved it! He also wants to learn to weld, and to sew.

 

Dd wants to volunteer at the wildlife rescue center, now that she's old enough. That means we may also be fostering some wildlife next year! She's getting good at sewing dresses for her dolls, so might work on some more fashion design, and eventually, sewing for herself.

 

And we're expanding the garden, putting in rainwater caches/cisterns, and things of that sort.

 

Here's my recent blog post on what it looks like over a week. And I updated my signature to reflect current studies and books.

Edited by momto2Cs
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I'm glad to see this thread is still going, I need help!

 

DS 9 and I had a learning meeting today.  I explained my non-negotiables (math and writing, reading is too but it's a non issue with 3 voracious readers.) then I asked him what else he wants to learn.  He communicated that he's interested in so many things, he just doesn't want to write about them or read boring books about them.  Understood. :)

 

He decided to keep music at the core of our school, he plays around in garage band on on his DJ mixer and listens to music.  He plays the double bass which he's kind of sick of, but he loves the Suzuki program so he agreed to stick it out a little more (and actually practice!) to see if he can get over the hump of having to pay so much attention to mechanics and move on to songs he's interested in playing.

 

He's also been asking a lot of geological questions lately and expressed a lot of interest in exploring that more.  I don't know where to start with that!  Any ideas?  He wants to know about continental drift and plate tectonics.

 

Also....my 5 year olds!  I really was not planning much for them, just Jot it Down and SM.  I had toyed with maybe doing SOTW but decided against it.  I'm over it and older DS never really liked it.  This is what I would like to have a loose plan for

 

DD -  loves geography.  She wants to travel to Brazil, Africa and Paris. I was thinking of maybe those Little Passport things but I would obviously need more.  We have a pretty good library system, but I like to have reference type books for topics they are interested in.  Any suggestions?

 

DS -  OBSESSED with Minecraft.  I know there are some programs that use Minecraft for history and things like that but I don't know we really need that kind of thing for 1st grade. He's my mathy kid so I'm also on the lookout for fun math supplements. 

 

For the twins I don't plan on anything too in depth unless they really want to go on rabbit trails. I'm just concentrating on transitioning them to home schooling from Montessori.

 

I really want to do a morning basket too, with FUN stuff that they will be excited about. 

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On the topic of un-schooling, has anyone looked into the thinking tree journals? 

 

I have looked at these so many times. They are really cool! I just don't know where they would fit in to the stuff we do and already love. My challenge is that, for me, they are too little on their own and too much to add to all that we already do. I think if I were more of an unschooler or if I were going through a challenging season (illness, new baby, move, etc.), they would be a better fit. Or maybe something to keep kids working in the summer?

 

He decided to keep music at the core of our school, he plays around in garage band on on his DJ mixer and listens to music.  He plays the double bass which he's kind of sick of, but he loves the Suzuki program so he agreed to stick it out a little more (and actually practice!) to see if he can get over the hump of having to pay so much attention to mechanics and move on to songs he's interested in playing.

 

Being interested in the songs you play is IT for my kids. And just makes sense to me anyway, rebel that I am. LOL When we took a break in guitar lessons for a move a while back, oldest DS just started to print up sheet music from the internet and played amazing things with so much more heart than he ever did for his lessons. So we're just letting him go with it. You should hear his Concerning Hobbits.  :001_wub:

 

He's also been asking a lot of geological questions lately and expressed a lot of interest in exploring that more.  I don't know where to start with that!  Any ideas?  He wants to know about continental drift and plate tectonics.

 

Don't know if it counts as a "boring book" but my kids all love encyclopedias as a spine and just read further as they find things interesting. DK's Earth book has always been a huge favorite. Also, nature study is great for geology, and this series of books is good for exploring your own local geology.

 

Also....my 5 year olds!  I really was not planning much for them, just Jot it Down and SM.  I had toyed with maybe doing SOTW but decided against it.  I'm over it and older DS never really liked it.  This is what I would like to have a loose plan for

 

DD -  loves geography.  She wants to travel to Brazil, Africa and Paris. I was thinking of maybe those Little Passport things but I would obviously need more.  We have a pretty good library system, but I like to have reference type books for topics they are interested in.  Any suggestions?

 

DS -  OBSESSED with Minecraft.  I know there are some programs that use Minecraft for history and things like that but I don't know we really need that kind of thing for 1st grade. He's my mathy kid so I'm also on the lookout for fun math supplements. 

 

For the twins I don't plan on anything too in depth unless they really want to go on rabbit trails. I'm just concentrating on transitioning them to home schooling from Montessori.

 

I really want to do a morning basket too, with FUN stuff that they will be excited about.

 

For morning basket, if they like memorizing (mine do), keep lots of poetry around for that and also maybe institute the BW teatime if you don't already. It's when we do poetry, and it's perfect after lots of bookwork. 

 

For the geography study for your DD, I don't know if she's too young, but we've never had more success with cultural geography than we did when using travel guides. Great pictures. Short snippets of writing. Well organized. Usually with companion web sites that are kept updated these days. 

 

I can't help with Minecraft. Every time I tried to incorporate it into school, it was too much play and not enough learning. And I did try, really...I did...  :banghead:

Edited by Alte Veste Academy
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He's also been asking a lot of geological questions lately and expressed a lot of interest in exploring that more.  I don't know where to start with that!  Any ideas?  He wants to know about continental drift and plate tectonics.

 

DS -  OBSESSED with Minecraft.  I know there are some programs that use Minecraft for history and things like that but I don't know we really need that kind of thing for 1st grade. He's my mathy kid so I'm also on the lookout for fun math supplements.

 

They're different kids, but maybe they'd want to explore this together?

 

http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/603046-fyi-great-britain-geology-with-minecraft/

 

For your 9yo, is there a geology or fossils or something club in the area? Mentioning fossils because people who go looking for fossils tend to know stuff about the different layers of rock as well, and would probably know where in your area there might be places to take field trips to (quarries open to the public or w/e). And with continental drift, fossils in eastern South America are similar to those in western Africa, etc.

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I had all of our books planned out for this next year and then I asked my kids what they wanted to learn about. Much to my surprise they have given me a very comprehensive list that I now feel is important to incorporate into our schooling experience.

Both girls asked to try out classical conversations this next year and my MIL, in her eagerness to have me shuffle my kids off to anyone else for their schooling, has paid for it. We will use this as a springboard for covering some of the other topics the girls have chosen. I will be somewhere in the middle of CC being our core and it being supplemental. 

We are also utilizing another once a week co-op but strictly for fun classes like cooking and a hands on science class. Again this is at the request of the kids.

Fridays the older ones will be doing First Lego League which is robotics and computer programming. 

Wednesdays we will work on a Frontier Girls badge with friends.

Thankfully, both of those last two things are here at my house so no big deal. There are so many awesome resources for homeschoolers around us, the one catch is that everything is in different locations. My only homeschool complaint. 

Other than that, I plan on letting them pursue their interests within their writing and reading. We do like lapbooks so they will do some of those. My younger DD asked to do physics so I got her a LOF book she works through, usually on Fridays. My oldest wants to learn consumer math so I found one for her as well. Little man asked for airplanes.

My main focus with my son is fluent reading. He is a late bloomer, but flying through it now. He is typical boy in wanting to spend most of his time playing with Lego and taking stuff apart. His daddy brings him home broken electronics regularly. He is also very interested in circuits so he plays with a kit that does that often. He's not quite old enough for FLL so his uncle who helps me teach it, comes over on Fridays and does some private build and program time with him. He knows almost as much as the 9-15 year olds who are in the FLL group LOL

Mostly, I want my olders to be able to start pursuing specialty topics that interest them so they can start honing in on what excites them. I had no idea what I was good at or wanted to do when I graduated because every time I got interested in something we had to move on. I was certainly a jack of all trades master of none poster child.

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I wanted to come back and update our plans.  DS and I had another learning meeting on our last day of school, and he had these ideas:

 

- Chemistry -  at least 2 experiments a week (I would like to beef up our MEL science kits with some books, but I don't know where to start.  I showed him Real Science for Kids Chemistry and he turned up his nose.)

 

- He wants a subscription to National Geographic and he will "look up more information about what interests him"

- cooking - he didn't really get into this much, but I think I'll incorporate some of it into "chemistry experiments." :lol:

- astronomy - he has a telescope that he wants to get out and use

- sociology - he's taking "Sociology with a Wizarding twist" from Athena's

 

What I'm not set on:

Writing - We were going to try Kids Write Basics from Bravewriter.  Not sure if it will be worth it

Math - Deciding between moving on to Crocodiles & Coconuts after JA or doing AoPS.  Leaning AoPS because I'd like him to be able to switch to an online at some point. (sooner rather than later!)

Spanish -  He's done with GSWS and I need something else. (he does Duolingo as well)  looking at Home School Spanish Academy and Rosetta Stone.  any opinions?

 

I'm not even sure what I wrote here. :leaving: :laugh:

Edited by Runningmom80
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Ok, I think I have it figured out for real now.  I have to keep reminding myself to stop adding everything that *I* think looks cool.  Easier said than done!

 

DS 9 1/2

 

Math: I decided to stick with the Arbor books.  He likes them and I'm afraid to throw a wrench in something that works.  He wants to do more LoF, much to my dismay, but if he's asking, it's worth a shot. Kahn Academy will be in there somewhere too because he likes it.

Science: MEL Chemistry sets and supplemental books / National Geographic rabbit trails / Astronomy

Social Studies: Harry Potter Sociology / Horrible Histories / Horrible Geography

Spanish: Duolingo and spanish readers

Handwriting & typing with getty dubay and KWT

Writing:  pretty sure we will do the 6 week Kidswrite basic and then just BW lifestyle stuff.  I was going to buy Faltering Ownership but I don't think I want to make him do those projects, I'd rather he have more control over what he writes

Lit: my list compiled from AO, great books academy and the Mensa excellence in reading list

Art: classes at the art museum / cartooning this summer

Music: Double bass and hip hop for life :laugh:

PE: swimming

 

DD & DS 6

(This will mostly look like us reading books and making art.)

Math: Singapore

Language Arts: Jot it Down

Lit: my list compiled from AO, great books academy and the Mensa excellence in reading list

Handwriting: Italics and cursive

Science: Nature Journaling

Geography: books and possibly some Montessori maps

Spanish: this is the only thing I don't have figured out

Art: art classes, sewing, pin punching and metal insets (Montessori materials that they love)

 

 

I think it looks pretty out of the box. I think we have a good mix of planned and unplanned. 

 

ETA:  I forgot about morning basket!  This will just be random fun stuff, I don't need it to be mini school, just something we can all do together since older DS will be pretty independent of the twins.

 

Edited by Runningmom80
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Well, the changes are not as major as I thought, at least for my younger two. I was thinking something was very different for DS10, but that is probably because I've spent so many hours perusing books for him. 

 

DS10 (5th grade): His plans have basically stayed the same. I added Phonetic Zoo though.

 

DD11 (6th grade): Her plans are the same except that we are not going to do OM Hero's Journey. We will just continue reading great books and focusing on Socratic discussion for literature. I am having so much fun picking art and design books for her. Part of her design study is going to be redecorating her room after our move this summer. 

 

DS13 (8th grade): Same change as DD for literature. DS and I have had so many good talks the past few months. I am seeing huge growth in maturity and goal setting. He has a tentative career goal (that we both recognize may change) which is helping him understand how his current schoolwork and work ethic will affect his future choices. A very good thing! 

 

Except for ruling out OM HJ, his language, math, logic, and history choices have remained the same. He has decided that he would like to try a few AP courses, so he'll be taking AP Environmental Science (instead of OM Biology), AP Human Geography (which I might spread over two years because this is a favorite subject here and I love the idea of covering it thoroughly and adding in fun extras), and AP Computer Science Principles (through code.org, his most eagerly anticipated class for next year). He wants to drop Latin and focus on Spanish.

 

He has decided to enjoy his woodworking hobby this summer (for the first time ever, we are taking three glorious months off!), increase his skills, and maaaaaybe set up an Etsy shop, only selling seasonally, as school allows. He has chosen not to have an unschooly afternoon project but is excited about next year. He is my schedule-loving, list-loving, box-checking boy, so I guess I should have anticipated that he would be most content with his hobbies separate from his official school work. I was going to encourage him to stick with his old plan or at least work it into a block schedule, but I know this kid thrives on rigorous, scheduled coursework. So woodworking and toy design will stay on a hobby status, although I think Game Design can probably be worked into his 9th grade course load. I have Fine Woodworking and Entrepreneurship pencilled in as high school electives though. 

 

Our afternoon tea time is going to be a mix of current events, geography, logic, debate, and, of course, poetry.

 

 

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Ok, I think I have it figured out for real now.  I have to keep reminding myself to stop adding everything that *I* think looks cool.  Easier said than done!

 

DS 9 1/2

 

Math: I decided to stick with the Arbor books.  He likes them and I'm afraid to throw a wrench in something that works.  He wants to do more LoF, much to my dismay, but if he's asking, it's worth a shot. Kahn Academy will be in there somewhere too because he likes it.

Science: MEL Chemistry sets and supplemental books / National Geographic rabbit trails / Astronomy

Social Studies: Harry Potter Sociology / Horrible Histories / Horrible Geography

Spanish: Duolingo and spanish readers

Handwriting & typing with getty dubay and KWT

Writing:  pretty sure we will do the 6 week Kidswrite basic and then just BW lifestyle stuff.  I was going to buy Faltering Ownership but I don't think I want to make him do those projects, I'd rather he have more control over what he writes

Lit: my list compiled from AO, great books academy and the Mensa excellence in reading list

Art: classes at the art museum / cartooning this summer

Music: Double bass and hip hop for life :laugh:

PE: swimming

 

DD & DS 6

(This will mostly look like us reading books and making art.)

Math: Singapore

Language Arts: Jot it Down

Lit: my list compiled from AO, great books academy and the Mensa excellence in reading list

Handwriting: Italics and cursive

Science: Nature Journaling

Geography: books and possibly some Montessori maps

Spanish: this is the only thing I don't have figured out

Art: art classes, sewing, pin punching and metal insets (Montessori materials that they love)

 

 

I think it looks pretty out of the box. I think we have a good mix of planned and unplanned. 

 

ETA:  I forgot about morning basket!  This will just be random fun stuff, I don't need it to be mini school, just something we can all do together since older DS will be pretty independent of the twins.

 

I agree that it is so easy to add things in. It is much harder to do them. It's interesting because I feel like we did so much when the kids were younger, but I find myself having to whittle everything down as they get older. I realized it's because back then everything was at a much more shallow level. Now everything is deeper, so subjects take more time. 

 

I think your plans look good. My philosophy is always stick with something they like! Those Horrible books are the best. So much learning, so painlessly! That music sounds great! LOL

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Harry Potter Sociology??? Can you tell me more about this please? A quick internet search didn't help too much. Thanks!!

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Math and LA. That's it. The kids read, bake, play, garden, climb, craft, write, you name it. Enrolling my 13-yo with American School so she can just get it over with - and so I don't have to be her 'teacher' (ah....hormones).

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Oh, I did forget that I got OM Environmental Science for DD. I think she'll really enjoy it, and she and DS13 can enjoy some of the same resources, particularly current events discussions and documentaries. I like that OM gives so many interesting assignment choices. Right up her alley!

Edited by Alte Veste Academy
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Oh, I did forget that I got OM Environmental Science for DD. I think she'll really enjoy it, and she and DS13 can enjoy some of the same resources, particularly current events discussions and documentaries. I like that OM gives so many interesting assignment choices. Right up her alley!

 

Am I right in thinking this isn't a "lab" science?  I know I've looked at it in the past but it's been awhile.  I always look at OM, drool, then back away . . . 

 

ETA: I realize this doesn't matter pre-high school, I'm asking for my own selfish purposes.

Edited by Chrysalis Academy
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Am I right in thinking this isn't a "lab" science? I know I've looked at it in the past but it's been awhile. I always look at OM, drool, then back away . . .

 

ETA: I realize this doesn't matter pre-high school, I'm asking for my own selfish purposes.

There is a Quick Lab and a Skills Practice Lab in each chapter, but I'm not sure they are sufficient to claim it as a lab science. However, I ordered 3 different lab books to plan for older DS's environmental science, and that would be an easy enough way to make this a stronger course.

 

I love OM. If I didn't combine my three for so much, it's something I would have used more in the early years. We did OM Geography last year, which was a good way to build on our geography/current events fetish. DS13 likes textbooks though, which I should have realized early on because he has always had an affinity for "fact books" like DK and Usborne. I like the interesting assignments and projects in the OM lesson plans, and I know DD will too. The question will be how she responds to the textbook, but the subject is interesting to her. I can work with her on note taking and outlining the text while assigning lots of interest led supplemental reading. She is my speed reader, and when she finds her reading niche, she is in the zone. I'm thinking any conservation about wild cats... LOL

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(I'm cross posting my response to my planning thread on the AL board here, because I think it's also relevant in this thread.)

 

I will say that I've had a sort of epiphany about the whole "unschooly' dream I constantly have.  I watch Julie Bogart scopes and she talks a lot about unschooling, and how it was great for some of her kids.  However, she also mentioned that when she went back to college, it felt so nice that the prof had done all the work to gather the information and present it to her.  She didn't have to do the leg work, she just had to sit back and learn.  It was a light bulb moment for me because I think some, if not most of DS struggle with school (as in not wanting to do it) comes from my lack of proper planning in order to make the material engaging.  Early on, I did the legwork, and he still didn't enjoy it, so I think I got kind of lazy about it.  My goal this year is to try to really get into teaching the material, and see how that changes our home school.  I'm under no delusion that it will make anything easy, but I see now where I've dropped the ball a bit. (DS is fine academically, so I'm not beating myself up over this, just noticing and correcting. :))

 

 

So my turmoil here is following his interests, but also making sure something gets done.  He is not a "go getter" at all when it comes to academics.  We had a relaxed year this past year, and he didn't delve into any subjects besides music.  I'm very supportive of his passion for music, but I do want him to learn science! lol I think I feel guilty these days planning on curriculum, because I don't want to stifle him.  That being said, I need to see some progress some times.  I guess it's a balancing act and I have to be ok with walking the line.

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There is a Quick Lab and a Skills Practice Lab in each chapter, but I'm not sure they are sufficient to claim it as a lab science. However, I ordered 3 different lab books to plan for older DS's environmental science, and that would be an easy enough way to make this a stronger course.

 

I love OM. If I didn't combine my three for so much, it's something I would have used more in the early years. We did OM Geography last year, which was a good way to build on our geography/current events fetish. DS13 likes textbooks though, which I should have realized early on because he has always had an affinity for "fact books" like DK and Usborne. I like the interesting assignments and projects in the OM lesson plans, and I know DD will too. The question will be how she responds to the textbook, but the subject is interesting to her. I can work with her on note taking and outlining the text while assigning lots of interest led supplemental reading. She is my speed reader, and when she finds her reading niche, she is in the zone. I'm thinking any conservation about wild cats... LOL

 

I need to revisit OM.  I tried a complete year a few years ago and it was a flop.  Maybe I need to just pick and choose our subjects.

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The title of this thread makes me feel silly now, as DS13's year is shaping up to be the opposite of unschooling. Traditional mornings and unschooly, project-focused afternoons for DD11 and DS10, and rigorous, traditional days for DS13.

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I need to revisit OM. I tried a complete year a few years ago and it was a flop. Maybe I need to just pick and choose our subjects.

OM below the high school level is tricky for me. I love the assignments, but I don't like that the spine reading is contained in the OM text because, frankly, I can find more interesting books for that. Still, I might have been able to get over that if my kids were separated for content.

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OM below the high school level is tricky for me. I love the assignments, but I don't like that the spine reading is contained in the OM text because, frankly, I can find more interesting books for that. Still, I might have been able to get over that if my kids were separated for content.

 

I have read this type of thing through the years so hopefully by high school DS forgets about his second grade OM experience. :laugh:  (He was begging for Evan-Moore Daily Science if that tells you anything!)

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The title of this thread makes me feel silly now, as DS13's year is shaping up to be the opposite of unschooling. Traditional mornings and unschooly, project-focused afternoons for DD11 and DS10, and rigorous, traditional days for DS13.

 

No, I think it's still very appropriate!  You said "a hint of unschooling."  You have more than a hint there. :)

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(I'm cross posting my response to my planning thread on the AL board here, because I think it's also relevant in this thread.)

 

I will say that I've had a sort of epiphany about the whole "unschooly' dream I constantly have. I watch Julie Bogart scopes and she talks a lot about unschooling, and how it was great for some of her kids. However, she also mentioned that when she went back to college, it felt so nice that the prof had done all the work to gather the information and present it to her. She didn't have to do the leg work, she just had to sit back and learn. It was a light bulb moment for me because I think some, if not most of DS struggle with school (as in not wanting to do it) comes from my lack of proper planning in order to make the material engaging. Early on, I did the legwork, and he still didn't enjoy it, so I think I got kind of lazy about it. My goal this year is to try to really get into teaching the material, and see how that changes our home school. I'm under no delusion that it will make anything easy, but I see now where I've dropped the ball a bit. (DS is fine academically, so I'm not beating myself up over this, just noticing and correcting. :))

 

So my turmoil here is following his interests, but also making sure something gets done. He is not a "go getter" at all when it comes to academics. We had a relaxed year this past year, and he didn't delve into any subjects besides music. I'm very supportive of his passion for music, but I do want him to learn science! lol I think I feel guilty these days planning on curriculum, because I don't want to stifle him. That being said, I need to see some progress some times. I guess it's a balancing act and I have to be ok with walking the line.

Yes, yes, yes! This is my oldest DS. He craves structure, but it doesn't end there. For his own interests, he is self starting. For discrete school subjects, if I structure his days and assignments, he is happy enough—compliant and will do the work. BUT...it is when I make his days relational, with some kind of shared experience (reading aloud, watching documentaries, doing labs together, discussion, discussion, discussion) that he is happy, going from compliant to fully engaged.

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Yes, yes, yes! This is my oldest DS. He craves structure, but it doesn't end there. For his own interests, he is self starting. For discrete school subjects, if I structure his days and assignments, he is happy enough—compliant and will do the work. BUT...it is when I make his days relational, with some kind of shared experience (reading aloud, watching documentaries, doing labs together, discussion, discussion, discussion) that he is happy, going from compliant to fully engaged.

 

This is the goal.

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So my turmoil here is following his interests, but also making sure something gets done. He is not a "go getter" at all when it comes to academics. We had a relaxed year this past year, and he didn't delve into any subjects besides music. I'm very supportive of his passion for music, but I do want him to learn science! lol I think I feel guilty these days planning on curriculum, because I don't want to stifle him. That being said, I need to see some progress some times. I guess it's a balancing act and I have to be ok with walking the line.

My child is pretty young, so I'm hardly a voice of experience, take stuff I say with a grain of salt... I've found thus far that, outside of science, if I want my daughter to move forward with something then I have to require it. My child-led is more along the lines of "what materials have we used for math that you like/don't like? What would you like to make sure we incorporate over the next chunk of time?" or "We can keep working together in Spanish, but you've now learned as much as I know. How about we try Homeschool Spanish Academy? ...Ok, since you like HSA, how about you try out many different teachers so you can choose your favorites and I can schedule you regularly with them?"

 

She has had a high level of input in everything we do, but then I do the planning. Even for the topics she completely chooses herself and gets full control over what materials we will use, I still plan out a loose schedule and require that we chip away at it regularly.

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My child is pretty young, so I'm hardly a voice of experience, take stuff I say with a grain of salt... I've found thus far that, outside of science, if I want my daughter to move forward with something then I have to require it. My child-led is more along the lines of "what materials have we used for math that you like/don't like? What would you like to make sure we incorporate over the next chunk of time?" or "We can keep working together in Spanish, but you've now learned as much as I know. How about we try Homeschool Spanish Academy? ...Ok, since you like HSA, how about you try out many different teachers so you can choose your favorites and I can schedule you regularly with them?"

 

She has had a high level of input in everything we do, but then I do the planning. Even for the topics she completely chooses herself and gets full control over what materials we will use, I still plan out a loose schedule and require that we chip away at it regularly.

 

It's so hard to schedule for my DS.  He's highly asynchronous so it's often a lesson in futility.  I do require daily work, it's just he never wanted to delve deeper.  He kind of moved from topic to topic.  It's fine, I value process of product, but he's almost ten, and we live in a state with a portfolio or testing requirement, so he needs to start the process of showing what he knows, KWIM? I'm not looking for anything extensive, just getting ready for middle school type output.

 

I think we've settled on a plan, and it's going to be expensive because there are some online components, and I'm going to be watching his free time carefully because I really value space in his day. 

 

I think that the assignments coming from someone other than me may be better received.  We'll see. :)

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Did anyone else already lose sight of their out of the box unschooly-ness? :-/

YES! And this is my thread!!!! :lol:

 

DH is retiring from the Army. We are moving (AGAIN!!) this summer. He is starting a new job. I am planning 8th, 6th, and 5th for kids who are diverging from our previous effective strategy of shared content, separate skills. I am planning separate everything. I am running out of free spots in my weekly schedule grid. This is a problem for me, sanity wise.

 

Sooooo, I find myself grasping for order anywhere I can. I think I am putting DS13 in AoPS online classes for the first time ever, in addition to basically outsourcing his computer science class to code.org.

 

On the bright side, I am regaining a backyard pool and a FANTASTIC library system when we move.

 

I will be back to update this thread when I have had slightly less margarita. :lol:

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[....]

 

I may or may not combine the others for a "North" year; several years ago we did an "Extremes" year that everybody loved--we learned about Antarctica, the Challenger Deep, the Arabian desert, Mount Everest, things like that--hottest, coldest, highest, lowest, fastest, slowest--and we did literature, history, and science that way--and added math and French on top for everybody. For our "North" year, we want to use Glenn Gould's famous radio talk "The Idea of North" as our jumping-off point, and look at what north means in our national psyche (we're Canadian). So lots of history of our country, plus looking at other northern nations, learning about indigenous northerners in various places, northern art and craft, climate change and what impact global warming is having on the Arctic, geology of the Arctic, northern flora and fauna, technology developed in and for the north, and northern literature old (Norse sagas etc.) and new. Plus math and French, of course, and their usual extracurrics.

[....]

 

Our update is that we have embraced the idea of North to the extent of acquiring a flock of Icelandic chickens!! So that's pretty fun!

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We finished our year at the end of April and school has barely been on my mind since then. I had to reread what I wrote because I sure couldn't remember. We've incorporated interests into school but it is structured. I find more and more that the kids thrive on structure- my son struggles w/ executive function and my oldest daughter likes to know exactly what she is doing. As she gets older I definitely see her more self-directed but she is only 9 now- her giving input and me planning is appropriate at this point (animals and American Girl history). Likewise w/ my son, he is not as much of a self-starter BUT good golly give him a check list and he takes off. I tailored his year to his interests as well and I did so using curriculum I bought and didn't make :) namely Cover Story and Build Your Library. 

 

I've worked really hard to keep the schedule streamlined to leave plenty of room for all of our interests and hobbies. I hope I accomplished this goal :) I guess we'll see when we get started back in a couple weeks. I love reading about what others are doing for ideas and incorporating various things when it fits for us. But I also realize that sometimes I just need to get on with doing things and not worrying about doing everything just perfectly( by any standard).

 

I realize that I lean unschooly at times but

(1) I value making learning life but we don't have to make that school

(2) I have certain things that I require we work on  

(3) incorporating interests into school can be unschooly or structured 

(4) reality is my health is still wibbly wobbly I need to plan for the worst times

(5) it is ok for me to do things in a more structured way to give myself a break or time

(6) I embrace tidal schooling, we go more or less structured, rigorous etc as we have the inclination, time and energy

Edited by soror
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YES! And this is my thread!!!! :lol:

 

DH is retiring from the Army. We are moving (AGAIN!!) this summer. He is starting a new job. I am planning 8th, 6th, and 5th for kids who are diverging from our previous effective strategy of shared content, separate skills. I am planning separate everything. I am running out of free spots in my weekly schedule grid. This is a problem for me, sanity wise.

 

Sooooo, I find myself grasping for order anywhere I can. I think I am putting DS13 in AoPS online classes for the first time ever, in addition to basically outsourcing his computer science class to code.org.

 

On the bright side, I am regaining a backyard pool and a FANTASTIC library system when we move.

 

I will be back to update this thread when I have had slightly less margarita. :lol:

 

We are doing online science and Spanish.  I decided that more than an out of the box year, we need a smooth year. I'm telling myself we can do out of the box next year, oldest DS will be entering 6th next year, so we'll do an alternative year a la Quark.

Most importantly, YAY for retirement, pools, libraries and margaritas!

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We finished our year at the end of April and school has barely been on my mind since then. I had to reread what I wrote because I sure couldn't remember. We've incorporated interests into school but it is structured. I find more and more that the kids thrive on structure- my son struggles w/ executive function and my oldest daughter likes to know exactly what she is doing. As she gets older I definitely see her more self-directed but she is only 9 now- her giving input and me planning is appropriate at this point (animals and American Girl history). Likewise w/ my son, he is not as much of a self-starter BUT good golly give him a check list and he takes off. I tailored his year to his interests as well and I did so using curriculum I bought and didn't make :) namely Cover Story and Build Your Library. 

 

I've worked really hard to keep the schedule streamlined to leave plenty of room for all of our interests and hobbies. I hope I accomplished this goal :) I guess we'll see when we get started back in a couple weeks. I love reading about what others are doing for ideas and incorporating various things when it fits for us. But I also realize that sometimes I just need to get on with doing things and not worrying about doing everything just perfectly( by any standard).

 

I realize that I lean unschooly at times but

(1) I value making learning life but we don't have to make that school

(2) I have certain things that I require we work on  

(3) incorporating interests into school can be unschooly or structured 

(4) reality is my health is still wibbly wobbly I need to plan for the worst times

(5) it is ok for me to do things in a more structured way to give myself a break or time

(6) I embrace tidal schooling, we go more or less structured, rigorous etc as we have the inclination, time and energy

 

LOVE this post.  I need to read about tidal schooling.  Someone shared it on a bravewriter page and I've yet to look into it.  It sounds like what we do.

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Busy busy day yesterday! I am slightly saner today, although I did wake up to what seemed like every kid in the neighborhood in my house... It's quieter now.

 

What soror posted is my struggle. It has been my struggle from the beginning.

 

We finished our year at the end of April and school has barely been on my mind since then. I had to reread what I wrote because I sure couldn't remember. We've incorporated interests into school but it is structured. I find more and more that the kids thrive on structure- my son struggles w/ executive function and my oldest daughter likes to know exactly what she is doing. As she gets older I definitely see her more self-directed but she is only 9 now- her giving input and me planning is appropriate at this point (animals and American Girl history). Likewise w/ my son, he is not as much of a self-starter BUT good golly give him a check list and he takes off. I tailored his year to his interests as well and I did so using curriculum I bought and didn't make :) namely Cover Story and Build Your Library. 

 

I've worked really hard to keep the schedule streamlined to leave plenty of room for all of our interests and hobbies. I hope I accomplished this goal :) I guess we'll see when we get started back in a couple weeks. I love reading about what others are doing for ideas and incorporating various things when it fits for us. But I also realize that sometimes I just need to get on with doing things and not worrying about doing everything just perfectly( by any standard).

 

I realize that I lean unschooly at times but

(1) I value making learning life but we don't have to make that school

(2) I have certain things that I require we work on  

(3) incorporating interests into school can be unschooly or structured 

(4) reality is my health is still wibbly wobbly I need to plan for the worst times

(5) it is ok for me to do things in a more structured way to give myself a break or time

(6) I embrace tidal schooling, we go more or less structured, rigorous etc as we have the inclination, time and energy

 

 

I have always leaned unschooly, but I've always fought my nature because we go off the rails if I let my nature take over. (I actually bought an Instant Gratification Monkey, people, just to have a visible symbol to keep actively steering us toward productivity! :lol: ) And ME liking unschooly ways does not mean it's best for my kids, specifically my oldest, who is much like you describe your oldest. So, basically, I always lose sight of my out-of-the-box unschoolyness. I've made it a goal, in a way. Directed unschooling? Project-based schooling? Unschooling here too often means I've let the monkey take control. Out-of-the-box is the goal for all of my kids though. Maybe I should take unschooling out of the thread title...

 

DD is my mini-me, so she could go almost totally unschooly and still be fine, but within parameters. She can be too much like me, flitting from interest to interest, so it works well for me to say OK, you have from 1-4 every day to study this huge topic of color and design. That is perfect, because it encompasses everything she loves—art, sewing, computer graphics, animation, web design...

 

I am working on next year's plans this week, mainly because I need to separate those resources from all of our other household goods. It is very frustrating to me that because of the move, I have not yet ordered many of the supplemental books I need for each kid's personalized course work. Books are heavy and our move will be a squeaker, weight-wise.

 

I will report back. :lol:

 

ETA: What do you know? There is an actual Instant Gratification Monkey. Mine was only $10 though. LOL

 

Edited by Alte Veste Academy
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OK, ladies!

 

Go watch this!!!! It's awesome and inspirational!!!

 

Julie Bogart - 55 things I didn't do in my homeschool:

 

 

And the other one 61 things I did!

 

Oh my goodness... I now want to pack up and go to her retreat. I've seen other JB videos but this one... woah.

 

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Busy busy day yesterday! I am slightly saner today, although I did wake up to what seemed like every kid in the neighborhood in my house... It's quieter now.

 

What soror posted is my struggle. It has been my struggle from the beginning.

 

 

 

I have always leaned unschooly, but I've always fought my nature because we go off the rails if I let my nature take over. (I actually bought an Instant Gratification Monkey, people, just to have a visible symbol to keep actively steering us toward productivity! :lol: ) And ME liking unschooly ways does not mean it's best for my kids, specifically my oldest, who is much like you describe your oldest. So, basically, I always lose sight of my out-of-the-box unschoolyness. I've made it a goal, in a way. Directed unschooling? Project-based schooling? Unschooling here too often means I've let the monkey take control. Out-of-the-box is the goal for all of my kids though. Maybe I should take unschooling out of the thread title...

 

DD is my mini-me, so she could go almost totally unschooly and still be fine, but within parameters. She can be too much like me, flitting from interest to interest, so it works well for me to say OK, you have from 1-4 every day to study this huge topic of color and design. That is perfect, because it encompasses everything she loves—art, sewing, computer graphics, animation, web design...

 

I am working on next year's plans this week, mainly because I need to separate those resources from all of our other household goods. It is very frustrating to me that because of the move, I have not yet ordered many of the supplemental books I need for each kid's personalized course work. Books are heavy and our move will be a squeaker, weight-wise.

 

I will report back. :lol:

 

ETA: What do you know? There is an actual Instant Gratification Monkey. Mine was only $10 though. LOL

I've always thought if I was hs'd wish I wished for I'd love to have been given control, but of course I think of my older years (I have to remind myself of my oldest daughter who is my mini-me but still just newly 9).  SWB said in one of her talks that when you are in control it is exciting to just pick whatever to do but if your not in control (ie the kid) it can be scary and not exciting at all. That really resonated w/ me. 

 

Anyway, I'm trying to stay out of hs chatter and focus on my priorities for our school, the kids I have in front of me, our strengths and weaknesses. There is no one ideal way to school. Too much idealization from the US crowd and watching JB's "55 Things I Didn't Do" actually broke the spell for me. I realized I'm not ok w/ not doing some things, it doesn't mean we can't enjoy ourselves, there are more than 1 way to skin a cat :)

Edited by soror
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Coming back to say that Tidal schooling is my new thing. :lol:

 

For anyone else interested, here's Melissa Wiley's blog where she talks about tidal schooling: http://melissawiley.com/tidal-homeschooling/

 

 

I think "Tidalness" is the nature of life and all homeschooling, whatever your style and philosophy.  Even if it is not very unschooly. ;)  Life happens and we need seasons and rhythms. For me, the trick is to step back and see the big picture. I need that perspective to embrace the tide pattern I'm in and to help my kids flourish in it.

 

I need a good bit of structure and my kids need it too. 

Edited by ScoutTN
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I think "Tidalness" is the nature of life and all homeschooling, whatever your style and philosophy.  Even if it is not very unschooly. ;)  Life happens and we need seasons and rhythms. For me, the trick is to step back and see the big picture. I need that perspective to embrace the tide pattern I'm in and to help my kids flourish in it.

 

I need a good bit of structure and my kids need it too. 

Yes, I agree it is life. I just had to learn to embrace it instead of fighting it and think I wasn't being consistent enough. Instead I'm working on going with the flow and embracing the positives of the different seasons.

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OK, ladies!

 

Go watch this!!!! It's awesome and inspirational!!!

 

Julie Bogart - 55 things I didn't do in my homeschool:

 

 

And the other one 61 things I did!

 

Oh my goodness... I now want to pack up and go to her retreat. I've seen other JB videos but this one... woah.

I'm going! I'm such a JB fangirl. Lol

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I've always thought if I was hs'd wish I wished for I'd love to have been given control, but of course I think of my older years (I have to remind myself of my oldest daughter who is my mini-me but still just newly 9). SWB said in one of her talks that when you are in control it is exciting to just pick whatever to do but if your not in control (ie the kid) it can be scary and not exciting at all. That really resonated w/ me.

 

Anyway, I'm trying to stay out of hs chatter and focus on my priorities for our school, the kids I have in front of me, our strengths and weaknesses. There is no one ideal way to school. Too much idealization from the US crowd and watching JB's "55 Things I Didn't Do" actually broke the spell for me. I realized I'm not ok w/ not doing some things, it doesn't mean we can't enjoy ourselves, there are more than 1 way to skin a cat :)

I agree with you about the 55 things scope. It was that scope that helped me realize that *I* am not an unschooler. I love BW and Julie Bogart but I would not be ok not doing math. Also my son is not a self starter, he'd be the kid playing on the iPad aaaaaallllll day, and never get to anything academic. I do want him to have choices though, and it's a fine line. He wants to do science so I talked him into a GHF class. However he's now decided he just wants to read science books and I'm having a hard time figuring out if I should push him, or wait another year.

 

It's all about balance, and it's hard for me to find.

Edited by Runningmom80
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