This is so totally where I belong
I've never really fit into any camp, but have mostly hung out with unschoolers, we're waaaaay too relaxed for the school-at-home families.
I've been hsing ds for 5 years, grades 3-6, and again since grade 8. Ds is going in to grade 9 this fall (though we started the grade 9 plan in June.)
Mugglemom, we started out unschooling and have become gradually more structured over time. This is how I've planned it all along, and it does work very well for us. Ds doesn't ask, specifically, for more structure, though he does tell me he prefers it when I have planned things out and direct him a bit more (though he also fights me tooth and nail the whole time
: .) Left to his own devices lately, he "chooses" to spend 14 hours watching reruns on tv, or "chooses" to sit at the computer reading manga until 6am and then is too tired to do the stuff he wants to do during the day. He's 14, so he wants to set his own schedule and do his own thing, but at the same time wants me to tell him what to do.
I find that a bit of a schedule works very well for both of us, and ds likes that he gets way more done in the day, his own stuff, not just my assignments, when he has a schedule or structure to work from.
This year we'll be getting more academic than we ever have been before. Ds is great at math conceptually, but has a lot of trouble with the basics, he has always been able to do really advanced stuff in his head, but can't transfer it to paper, or work in any kind of systematic way. Last year we started using Math-U-See delta (the division level), most of the early math is review for him, but he needs to fill in some important gaps, so he'll be continuing on with the elementary math, I'm hoping he can get through 2, or maybe 3 levels by next September and will be mostly caught up to his grade level of math, so he can start working on the advanced science stuff he wants to do.
We will probably be using History Odyssey Ancients level 3 for ELA and Social Studies, and I will be writing up my own curriculum in those areas to supplement. I'll be working on Literature and writing with ds, as well as formal logic and history of Philosophy. Ds is very interested in politics, military history and engineering, so this year I have offered him to do a course in the History of Religion and Holy Wars, we'll learn about current wide-spread religions, and study religious conflicts through history, from the dark age invasion of Greece, the Jewish rebellions in Rome, through the Crusades up to modern conflicts like Northern Ireland (where my family is originally from) and current Middle Eastern issues. I'm really excited about this part (can you tell?
I still don't know what we're going to do about science, we're not Christian, so I've had a very hard time finding a program I like, that is thorough and challenging for ds, easy for a mom with no science background to teach, and is not creationary or christian based. I have cobbled together some books and programs online, but since ds may wind up studying natural sciences at a pretty in-depth level in college, he needs to have a better background than I've been able to put together right now. I may wind up using the province's distance education course, even though it's quite beneath him, just to have the credit on his transcript and open up better options through the province and private courses (which all require some science course background.)
Ds is currently playing football, I am hoping to sign him up for more sports through public high schools this year (though it's up to the principal to allow him in, and that may be a bit of a crap shoot.) He'll probably take an improv comedy course this winter. We use Artistic Pursuits for drawind, and will be doing a lot of reading on art history. Ds is trying to teach himself the didgeridoo, and may start banjo lessons this fall, he's still thinking that one over.
I'm so glad this thread was started, somewhere we can share curriculum and resource ideas, and also talk about how we've done nothing for weeks