I bought a large white-board that sticks on the wall (repositionable, like post-it notes) and it was the best idea ever. My son doesn't like formal "lessons" either but he does love to learn about the world around him, and to be competent & all that. And I can't help but want to help things along. So I write stuff up there for him to see, no pressure. He's curious so he checks it out.
Also, if we were reading or had occasion to talk about a word or how it's spelled, I would go up and write not only THAT word but a bunch that were spelled similarly. So he could see the pattern. Actually we did that today. Recently, my son (8) had done a comic in which he tried to write the word "psyched" but sort of mangled it. I don't correct his spelling when I look at his comics; I don't want to dampen his enthusiasm. Today, (days later) in the car while dad pumped gas, I thought of that word so I wrote a few like that on a little notepad, to show him the pattern, and handed it to him:
And I said "psy" has that silent p. It's Greek. Can you sound out the words now that you know that? And he did. End of story. All very casual, on the fly. I do this all the time. I sprinkle words throughout the day, as they fit in with what we're doing. No pressure, no drilling, no copying. I write his misspelled words (correctly spelled) up on the white board and he can read them when he walks past the white board. At his leisure. Sometimes I will put up a sentence or a math problem up on the white board and ask him to spot my mistake. He regards this as fun, finding my errors.
Once in a while I will say, just humor me. I am going to do something on the white board. Just watch! (and literally I do something that takes 5 minutes or less). I say, don't do anything, just watch. (Because he sometimes tries to do math, and then being a perfectionist, gets all emotional and upset. So I say Just Watch! So at some point watching me do it, it will "click" with him) I do this with math because I consider it a "toolbox" item (we are not pure unschoolers as you can see). He watches me do the math but can't just WATCH for long. Soon he goes "ooh ooh let me try it." But had I insisted that he try it in the first place? He wouldve shot me down.
So my advice would be to sprinkle the learning here and there, as it comes up in the course of your day. We unschool-y types sort of never get "time off" from facilitating the learning because unlike kids in school, we're doing it 24/7. But for kids who resist formal boring drills & all that, it's the best way. :-)
I hope that wasn't too incoherent. I am exhausted. Utterly exhausted today. A day in the city at a museum, walking all around the city, then hours of Christmas shopping. I am ready to croak but wanted to chime in because that white board was a GREAT purchase that I'm so glad I made. And I hate the idea of hanging big heavy boards so when I saw the removable stick-on whiteboard at Staples I was very happy.