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August Eclectic Homeschoolers!

post #1 of 134
Thread Starter 
Come one, come all ... you know you are out there. Like TV too much to be completely Waldorf? Too structured for unschooling? Too relaxed for structured hs'ing? Like the Classical approach to history, but have no desire to learn nor teach Latin? Delay a little too much to be early academics, but not enough to be delayed academics? Not "pure" in philosophy/methodology enough to fit in anywhere? Tried on a myriad of hs'ing hats, and decided none of them fit quite right? Well, this is the place for you!

We are very eclectic. We currently use Oak Meadow and Enki as our backbone. We also use Singapore Math alongside the OM and Enki approach to math. We are teaching history chronologically a la Classical Ed. I'm also very interested in learning more about Charlotte Mason as I'm not sure if we will continue full-fledged with Enki or OM after this year (I'm curious how well they work together for 1st; Kinder was easy to work them together; as well, separately they cost enough money and together they are quite expensive), and we might be piece-mealing it even more than now.

This year ds#1 will be doing first grade in both. Ds#2 won't be 4 until November, but we plan on doing Kinder the next 2 years with him using OM, Enki, and Singapore Early Bird Math. For history, beginning with pre-historic times (we have covered dinosaurs ad nauseum, as both boys LOVE dinosaurs!), and moving through the Ancients through the year. I am debating buying History Odessey to help me keep a rhythm (I like that it is 35 lessons as it will incorporate easily with the "schedule" of Oak Meadow). We are starting Spanish this year with Rosetta Stone, as well as a program called Sonrisas Spanish School (purchased curriculum), lots of picture books and songs, and the help of our friends who are fluent speakers. And, our science is very nature based from OM, Enki, and our personal desire to really teach environmentalism, ecology, and sustainability to our children. Oh, and the goal is also to make the me-directed instruction given the above as minimal as possible (I'm aiming for no more than 2 total hours a day, broken up between morning, afternoon, and evening), and allow the boys to follow their own desires and interests otherwise.

I'm thinking if we don't continue with OM or Enki (or only use OM after 1st for the basic structure), we will probably lean towards an eclectic CM/Classical approach. But, we'll see as the year goes which way we go next. I know, though, that after this year, I don't think I want to spend the amount on curriculum that I have the last two (OM and Enki combined are $1000; Enki is $700 of it). I might buy just the stories from Enki, but who knows. Fortunately, dh is on board for any of it and gives me carte blanche when it comes to curriculum, books, music, etc. for hs'ing.

Anyway, I wanted to create a little space for those of us that have our feet maybe in a few different areas, but don't fully fit in any.
post #2 of 134
i'm here. i *really* dont know where we are headed if anywhere.lol
I knew I wanted to homeschool but why i waited this long to research I have no idea..I want to unschool for the most part, but have certain things that I will not budge on I will teach them some how or another, dd has such a hard time with transition that I'll need to structure, she's also at least 2 years ahead of others her age in this region..so she needs to be challenged and how I have no idea at this point..I'm just reading reading reading and tryin out different things before fall when I hope to at least not feel like this guy-->:

eta: thank u for starting this thread!
post #3 of 134
I'll join in. I dont know where we fit in. We certainly dont fit into any mold. All of our children are different have have different needs so Im trying to fit the curriculum around them ....which sounds kind of like unschooling but I still want to have some structure.....but not too much.....
There are days when I seriously wonder if my children are learning anything except how to watch "On Demand" and play Legos Star Wars :
post #4 of 134
My wardrobe is eclectic, my decorations are eclectic, my religious beliefs are eclectic, my books are eclectic, my dishes are eclectic....so it only makes sense that my homeschooling is eclectic.


A little here and a little from there....
post #5 of 134
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by neveryoumindthere View Post
i'm here. i *really* dont know where we are headed if anywhere.lol
I knew I wanted to homeschool but why i waited this long to research I have no idea..I want to unschool for the most part, but have certain things that I will not budge on I will teach them some how or another, dd has such a hard time with transition that I'll need to structure, she's also at least 2 years ahead of others her age in this region..so she needs to be challenged and how I have no idea at this point..I'm just reading reading reading and tryin out different things before fall when I hope to at least not feel like this guy-->:

eta: thank u for starting this thread!
We have a few things that we know we want to make sure they learn too ... but I also love giving them some freedom to stretch out too. And you are welcome!
Quote:
Originally Posted by mykdsmomy View Post
I'll join in. I dont know where we fit in. We certainly dont fit into any mold. All of our children are different have have different needs so Im trying to fit the curriculum around them ....which sounds kind of like unschooling but I still want to have some structure.....but not too much.....
There are days when I seriously wonder if my children are learning anything except how to watch "On Demand" and play Legos Star Wars :
Hey, today the boys were all doing great together using their imaginations rather well, and considering how many sticks they were all running around with, it's a miracle no one got seriously injured when one of their magical spells got cast!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kleine Hexe View Post
My wardrobe is eclectic, my decorations are eclectic, my religious beliefs are eclectic, my books are eclectic, my dishes are eclectic....so it only makes sense that my homeschooling is eclectic.


A little here and a little from there....
I like that ... "a little here and a little from there ... " Sometimes I worry that I should just pick something (Enki, OM, Classical, unschooling, etc.) and stick with it. But, then my voice of reason steps in and reminds me that is exactly why we are homeschooling ... to get away from having to "stick" with something because it's just the way it's done. It's been interesting watching my direction change. I feel like I've worn a few different hats over the last year or so. It wasn't until ds#1 was about 5 that I really started trying different things - started unschooling, then switched to an unschooly/Classical thing, then found Enki and was in love, then realized that I love Enki but I needed more/different, found OM to supplement the Enki and thought I'd hit paydirt. Then I realized that though there were many parts of both Enki and OM that we are not "Waldorf-y" people and we just didn't do gnomes. Plus dh has a master's in Math and teaches it, so we knew we wanted to bring in a more traditional approach to math to supplement the more holistic/Waldorf approach in Enki and OM. And, finally, I realized that I wanted to present history chronologically, in chunks, and a few times through ... so that brought us to a more Classical approach there. Talk about : !
post #6 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by mykdsmomy View Post
play Legos Star Wars :
If this were a curriculim, I'd be ALL set!

We are definitely eclectic I struggle with this because I would love to be unschooling... and many days, we do My kids seem to need some rhythm and really enjoy some "lessons" (reading together, crafts and maps).

A small Catholic school closed nearby and donated their math programs to us, may families in our group received lots of math curriculum. Ellie chose the 6th grade Saxon. We started with Miquon when she was little, but it isn't enough drill or repetition for her. She is excited about it. We've been using Devolopmental Math for a couple of years now. Ben has some Saxon too or another called "Real Math" that looks like fun. He loves #'s and I hope to not wreck that for him

My goal is to use a history approach we can all use together. If I read the Ambleside online catalogue, Winter's Promise and MFW websites any longer, my eyes will start bleeding Ben will be 7 and Ellie will be 12 by early fall so I'd love to find something we can read together and maybe do a timeline here and there.

We may also do some Science for Real Kids. Ellie wants to be a vet and Ben is obsessed with atoms... really. I was thinking smething with some chemistry experiments or something. We do lots of nature walks, belong to our local Earth Spirit group and love birds and animals.

Ben is reading.. without all the phonics and stuff Ellie and I did togther. She always loved her Pathway Readers. We read constantly and I guess Ben just learned on his own I won't push handwriting with him, I'm hoping it'll come naturally. I was thinking of incorporating any writing/ "English" into history and everyday writing. Ellie writes in an online journal, book journal and writes horse stories.

Ellie takes piano, horseback and knitting. Ben wants to take guitar or banjo when he's older It sounds like a lot when I type it out but honestly most days don't seem very busy. We also love doing seasonal things... apple picking, leaf peeping and pumpkin picking, holiday card and gift making, playing in the snow. The kids play legos, playmobil and house all the time.

Thanks for starting this thread. It helps to write it all down.
post #7 of 134
Oooo! Me! Me! :

I sometimes refer to us as literary based, classical-ish with an unschooling bent....but eclectic is shorter

I basically read them books (and in DDs case give her books to read) about history in a semblence of chronological order. I read about science too. They have workbooks/text books for math and language arts and I also assign writing prompts to DD. I *encourage* participation in homeschooling group projects and classes and they both play sports and take outside classes as interest dictates.

My goal for this year is to get DD writing a decent essay and to continue to clean up her spelling/punctuation. I would like to get DS reading as well but realize that might be out of my control (he has several issue we are trying to work around). We are deep into the revolutionary war (DS) and Victorian England (DD) right now so our summer has been filled with war and Sherlock Holmes as well as swimming, catch and release of backyard crawlies and soccer/cheer camp.

Oh, and also Harry Potter! We've been to a book signing for Mugglenet's book (met Emerson-DD was thrilled!), helped out with the library's book party and DD and I went to Mugglefest. Then we read the book and saw the movie! (if anyone is interested there are pictures here http://s56.photobucket.com/albums/g1...s/HP%20summer/
post #8 of 134
I think this is where we are going to fall in! I have the Oak Meadow K curriculum, but not sure if that is really totally us. But I like that it is laid back enough to allow for plenty of supplementation in whatever ways we want. I don't know where the year is taking us, but I am sure it will be eclectic!
post #9 of 134
We fit in here I think.
We're classicaly inspired CMish, unit studyish "funschoolers". I have a parental agenda for skills and some content which means I don't land in the unschooler's camp. But I'm way to willing to let things ride for a while to land me in the school at home camp and nothing 'boxed' works well enough for my kids to make it worth while. My kids do math (Miquon for the youngers, Challenge math, singapore, and Borenson's for the oldest) reading/spelling/grammar/dictation. It has been taking about 30 minutes per kid but we're kicking it up a notch this year at the request of the kids.
We do a lot of out of the house stuff - this week we did an egg drop night with our homeschool group and a bird's of prey presentation. We're heading to a Civic Day party at a pioneer village on the weekend. So we have been reading about all these topics and doing associated activities.
My oldest 9 would be a poster child for academic unschooling. He's asking for Latin and Algebra, French and History this year. The schedule to try and make it all work along with 2 co-ops, skating and swimming lessons and some free time is giving me the heebie jeebies though.
My middle 2 (twins) are 6 and learning to read. One is getting it by osmosis. One is struggling - a lot - to the point that I have been researching dyslexia and she has some but not all of the warning signs. I've decided that she needs regular and fairly intensive practise for a while to see if she can get over the hump. They have also both requested history and French.
My youngest is 4 and she is along for the ride at this point.

Thanks for starting the thread
Karen
post #10 of 134
This is us too. I don't fall totally in the unschooling camp but I also don't fall into the structured camp. We have curriculum I've pieced together. My 6 year old is in Grade 1 and my 4 year old is in K. We do Explode the Code, Horizons Math, A Reason for Handwriting, and we have ScienceWorks for Kids, Story of the World for History and a Bible program. But we don't do it all everyday. Actually a lot of days we don't do any of it! : Some days we get busy with other stuff and I don't even think of it until after they're in bed. But I know they are learning and they certainly seem far ahead of their peers. I think I am going to try to get a little more structured in the fall but we'll see.
post #11 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyLittleWonders View Post
Come one, come all ... you know you are out there. Like TV too much to be completely Waldorf? Too structured for unschooling? Too relaxed for structured hs'ing? Like the Classical approach to history, but have no desire to learn nor teach Latin? Delay a little too much to be early academics, but not enough to be delayed academics? Not "pure" in philosophy/methodology enough to fit in anywhere? Tried on a myriad of hs'ing hats, and decided none of them fit quite right? Well, this is the place for you!
That's us! That's us!
My 7yo is doing Spelling workout in the mornings and we do spelling tests every few days from the dulche list. That's all we're doing right now. We will start worlking from History of the world and doing projects that go along with that. We read, read, read and the we're on the computer (all of us) way too much. We watch a lot of documentaries and take field trips when we can. We have two different math books, Singapore and math u see. Both of them will be able to through a year two of homeschooling math. We have a piano coming soon and will start reading music as soon as it gets here. Mostly, we try to have fun and socialize. Socialization opportunities trump all other duties.

Thanks for finding a spot for us I almost feel that if we don't unschool, we don't quite fit here, so I'm glad we're not alone. We fit!LOL
Lisa
post #12 of 134
subbing
post #13 of 134
I think we fit here, now, too! We've been unschooling for 3 years, but this year DD#1 (10.5 y.o.) is asking for more structure. As she put it, "Not like doing 5 hours of math a day, but more of a routine!" DD#2 (8 y.o.) is happy to do whatever, as long as she has company.

I'm curious if there's anyone else here who went from less (almost no!) structure to more? You always hear about homeschoolers becoming more relaxed. Right now, we're talking about some topics to delve into: pirates, Frank Lloyd Wright, Africa, and musical instruments are on the list right now. We'll be continuing Singapore Math and trying out Writing Strands. Plus fencing, choir, and hip-hop classes. Sounds like a lot when I write it down, but most of our time still seems to be spent playing and re-reading Harry Potter.
post #14 of 134
I don't think we fit the extremes of home learning so I guess we must be eclectic.

When dd wanted to learn to read at a young age we did that.
When dd was having trouble writing/drawing and didn't want to do it I backed off until she was ready and tried to find fun ways to work on her fine motor skills in the mean time. Now that she is 7 she is willing to write and draw more and is making rapid progress.

I'm not interested in testing, drills, worksheets or making education too forced. I do like to see progress made over the year though. I recognize that dd has learned a lot on her own and her cooperation and enthusiasm is important.

Last year we bought a full literature based curriculum (Sonlight) with a schedule for the first time because I wanted more structure in our days and felt an outside source could help me. Prior to that we were very relaxed and didn't have any particular learning goals or focus. We ended up skipping around so much that the schedule didn't really do what I had wanted for us. I liked the books for the most part though.

This year I'm buying part of our curriculum from Sonlight and using Miquon Math and other materials/activities I am pulling together. I have written out learning goals for the year. I still want some structure but I guess we aren't strict schedule people.
post #15 of 134
Ah I believe this is where I would fit in. I just got the curriculum list set up on what I want to get, and it really looks like I'll be a lot more structured this year then last, at least on paper. We are pretty relaxed around her, I have things I want my children to learn, and to share with them, and there are things they want to learn/share with me, so it's a give and take sort of relationship.

I'm really excited about some of the curriculum we have coming our way, here's hoping it all pans out good and is worth the excitement.
post #16 of 134
I've been hanging out in the unschooling thread for the past few months, but this is probably where I really belong.

In philosophy, I lean most toward unschooling. In actuality, because the kiddos are so young right now, I create a lot of opportunities for them. (Really, for dd. DS is still mostly just along for the ride!) We're trying out some curriculums this year -- Oak Meadow K and Earth School -- and we're continuing with the preschool co-op we started with last year. We might sign up for another Theater Toddler class because she really liked that last year; we might check out a group called the Earth Scouts. Most of these are only once-a-week or once-a-month activities, but they do add up. But it's always optional . . . I want there to be plenty of experiences for dd to choose from, but if she doesn't want to participate in any of them, even at the last minute or halfway through, she doesn't have to. There are some she has to be physically present for, because I've committed to running an activity, just like she has to be physically present when I go to work or to the grocery store, but her participation is always up to her.

I do want to guard against "we-can-do-it-all-itis," though. There are so many cool ideas and groups and events out there. It gets really easy to overcommit ourselves. It doesn't help that I tend to do that anyway and dd has inherited my social nature and her father's busy brain. The first thing she asks most mornings is "Where are we going today?" If I only tell her one thing, she wants to know where else we're going, and she gets really antsy if we're just staying home, despite the big backyard, art easel, computer, books, toys, tricycle, and little brother to play with. So far she's shown no signs of slowing, but every once in a while we get too busy for too many days and she'll want to stay home for a day or two and do nothing but veg, and I worry about whether or not her brother will want to keep the same pace when he gets a little older and the sling isn't such an easy option.
post #17 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by poisonedapple View Post

I'm really excited about some of the curriculum we have coming our way, here's hoping it all pans out good and is worth the excitement.
So whatcha got comin'?
post #18 of 134
Quote:
So whatcha got comin'?
We are going to do:
Handwriting without tears
singapore math
history odyssey
real science (hopefully biology if it gets released as its supposed to)
continue with teaching child to read book & study dog

I might go OM for Language Arts, I haven't decided yet if I want to just wing it with themes like last year, I'm leaning towards yes. I might do OM music/recorder.

Have you decided what you are going to do?
post #19 of 134
I can relate to so many here. I have great unschooling leanings but love curriculum too much! We do A2 (classical literature based K-12 program, but not K12) and Math-U-See plus I'm fitting in things from different homeschooling fields. I see things and I want everything! I can't tie myself down to a label which makes it hard to explain what we do. We are also very much child directed.

Right now everything is computer games. DS LOVES Super Granny (he's trying to earn enough money to buy the first one; have two others already), Tasty Planet and the Diner Dash games. Trust me, he has learned tons through these. One day he was talking about amoeba and bacterium and I was "what the heck?? Oh, you learned those from your games!". Little bugger could actually read those words without ever having seen or having heard them before. Tasty Planet has also taught him all about everything there is in space much better than a dry book (we sometimes look things up online) and tons more I would never have thought of. He likes making his own levels in the Super Granny 3 game and he's very good at it. He has his own email address and is very computer savy.

I like being able to do what we want and not tie ourselves to a mould. We aren't cookies so we don't need a cookie cutter
post #20 of 134
Me!! Well, us! Subbing for now. Will write more when I have time and no kid NAK.
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