I welcome contributions from those who do not consider themselves unschoolers or even unschooling-inspired. I just started this thread here because this sub-forum feels more like "home" to me, and a previous discussion about Project-Based Homeschooling started here.
Today dd10 and I had our annual brainstorming session to begin formulating a Learning Plan for the year. We're required to table a Learning Plan due to our (voluntary) enrolment in a school-district based homeschooling support program. The program provides funding, support and resources, and we like the people who are involved, so we're happy to do this. Plus we find the Learning Plan process to be a useful exercise for us, as it makes sure we discuss priorities for time, energy and finances, and provides a venue for communication about learning desires and needs.
So anyway, we went out for lunch and started talking. Because her siblings are at school, and because last year she chose to make use of some course-like structure, our discussion started out with "got any ideas for science?" and "I think this is what I want to do for math...." and such. Very school-like and subject-oriented. I let her ramble on with ideas, and we wrote some good stuff down to research further.
And then, when she kind of petered out with ideas, I said "There's this thing called Project-based Homeschooling, and it has nothing to do with subjects. It's just about things you're interested in, and you decide what those are, and how you want to learn about them. And my job is to set aside time to help you along with your project, whether every day or once or twice a week. What about that?"
Then I gave her an example: if a kid wanted to learn to bake. Their project might include researching things on YouTube and keeping a board on Pinterest, and making grocery lists and practicing baking techniques, learning how to photograph food, keeping a blog, or creating a recipe scrapbook, holding a bake sale... or whatever they wanted!
Her eyes lit up.
"I already know how to bake all sorts of stuff," she said, "but ... survival skills. And meal preparation, like, three-course dinners. And I'll probably have a couple of other ideas too. I love this!"
We talked about how this is different from "just living life and following interests." Because, see, last spring she mentioned a few times that she wanted to learn some wilderness survival skills. And how much had actually happened? Not much. We built a snare. We did a few little hikes. We did a long mountain bike ride. That's all -- nothing very focused. Neither she nor I had made time for more. Other stuff got in the way, or we forgot. PBH is different because we will plan to make time for this specifically. And we will also make an effort to ask ourselves the question "How can this thread of learning be enhanced or extended or otherwise enriched?" More intentionality of time and subject matter.
She's my kid who likes organizing and circumscribing her learning (this is why she was getting boxed into a subject-by-subject orientation). So yeah, I think this is probably right up her alley. It's a more holistic, interest-based way of getting that framework of organization. Not sure how it will all play out, but it feels like we're off to a good start.
Anyone else using Project-Based Homeschooling ideas at this point? Thinking about it? Thoughts? Experiences?