-strew. Infrequent or regularly?
I stumble across books, ideas, kits, thoughts, quotes, oddities and such all the time...if I think anyone in my family might find them interesting, I share - this includes my hubby and he does the same for me.
For me strewing isn't something we *do to* the children and there is nothing covert about it -- we all just know one another and one another's interests really well and are delighted to share 'finds'
-have curriculum or textbooks in the house? Few or many?
We have textbooks that one or the other of us found at a used book store. As I mentioned above, we all have our interests. If my hubby or one of the children see a knitting book -- they direct me to it because they know that I will probably be interested -- same with my middle child about birds, etc. So the textbooks we have around are what someone found and acquired to feed a passion.
We have some oak meadow curriculum too. My eldest son and I have fun learning together and we use this as our medium -- this year it is taking us (quite willingly!) down the *rabbit hole* of ancient civilizations. ;)
We do have far fewer textbooks, curricula and just plain ole books in the house than what we used to, though. Previously I had been diligent about keeping lots of reference materials on the shelves -- 'just in case' -- I'm not sure quite what I was preparing for. But after multiple interstate moves I realized that we did not much use them. So I gave 75% of the materials away. Now we utilize the library liberally and do lots of google searching for discrete pockets of info that we probably wouldn't have had a book about anyway.
-ask or model that kids use the above items
-insist kids use these items.
Nope. But neither could I stop them. ;)
I wouldn't check a book out from the library, give it to my hubby and insist that he read it. That would be rude. But we have such a trusting relationship that if I offered him a book and suggested that it might be useful/interesting, he'd have a look. I try to have that same trusting, non-manipulative relationship with the children. AND to be totally ok with it if they take a look and say 'no, thanks.'
-kids have chores
-kids have bedtimes
Not really. We have a time at night when we all head to our rooms -- but none of the children are expected turn off their lights and go straight to sleep. We ask that they go to their rooms and respect the need for quiet and calm. They are each more than welcome to read, write, create as long as they wish as long as it doesn't prevent any other family member from getting the rest they need. Same thing for in the morning. The earlier risers are asked, simply, to let the later sleepers sleep until their body is rested.
Like most things, we try not to rely on 'rule's but principles and the basic principle is to respect that a body that is asleep (or wants to be) should be left in peace.
As for chores, there are things that each child enjoys helping with -- one child geeks out over being able to mop the kitchen -- another loves to vacuum -- a third thinks it is great fun to clean the windows. Yay! I get help with chores and they get to have fun. :D
There are (plenty) of tasks that no one likes. But when I ask that they clean the legos up so that I can vacuum -- they help, usually. ;)
-place limits on some activities (screens, for example)
Not for the purpose of controlling their activities -- but rather for balance between the three of them. With three children (12, 8, 5) and one big tv for watching netflix and playing Wii games -- referring is my sometimes job.
Same with the tablet computer that the three of them share for playing on pbskids or Roblox or doing lego research...
Most of my task, with regard to the screens, has to do with helping them to be aware of one another. And redirecting. Especially my 5yo daughter. Redirecting her to the craft supplies in the kitchen isn't about limiting her screen time -- it is about helping her to not be so mad that it is someone else's turn to use the screen. :D
Beyond the issue of sharing, though, they are just happy, curious, intelligent children who very naturally drift away from the screen when they are ready to engage in something else. There's lego structures to be built, glue to be applied and dungeons and dragons characters to create.
-do structured activities out of the house. Any limits on this?
Sometimes one or the other of them wants to take a class -- though this is almost always the eldest. The other two are just happy to visit parks and play spaces and friends and just be at home.
If all of them were clamoring for structured activities more then my limits would be a) time constraints, and b) budget constraints. Right now (besides memberships to area museums and attractions) most of what they want to do costs nothing more than the gas to drive there.
Really our family has been just grooving along really, really well in the last year. We've gotten into a good unschooling groove that is predicated on the idea of being mindful. We are all aware of one another's interests, needs, limits, neurosis and (mostly) work to have good relationships within the family. Yes, the children squabble at times and at times seem to be devoted to annoying one another. But mostly, we are just happy to be together. We are all inquisitive, compassionate and loving human beings. And we geek out over supporting one another's interests.