Unschooly curriculum! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 01-03-2014, 07:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Alright, first I understand how asking for an unschoolish curriculum is a bit of an oxymoron! But my daughter likes to "do" school. Traditionally we have used Enki as my daughter loves stories. But I am tired of all the preparation Enki takes and all the political drama going on...

So I am looking for a change and I have been out of the loop for awhile. My daughter is a new 7 year old who does not read (I am not worried about her not reading...). I also have a 3.5 year old boy. Preferably I would like an out of the box solution because I am a bit lazy! We do have RightStart math already. But my daughter loves to learn through stories and wants to start learning a little bit about reading. I would also like science addressed (evolutionary style). I like something with no busy work (or busy work that can be ignored) and more holistic (which is what I LOVED about Enki). So great minds, any suggestions? Thank you so much

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#2 of 8 Old 01-06-2014, 09:05 AM
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I shared this in the other thread as well. It isn't a curriculum, but resources divided by subject.


It is specific for unschoolers. I learned about it a few years back from LillianJ (an unschooler). HTH

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#3 of 8 Old 01-08-2014, 09:39 AM
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We've used a number of different curriculum-type resources over the years with our four unschooled kids (though we didn't use anything before they were reading, so I'm afraid I can't really help you with specifics on that count). The thing is, the curriculum we used wasn't necessarily particularly "unschooly" in its style. Meaning it's not the sort that would have been described as "flexible" or "hands-on" or "holistic" or "adaptable to child-led learning" or "a guide, rather than a prescription." Why? Well, when my kids chose curriculum, they chose it because they wanted structure, a clear sequence of tasks, and independence in their learning. Our curriculum choices were unschooly in terms of why and when they were used, meaning that the choice to use them was made by my children, and they had the final say about when to do the work and whether to stick with it. 


I guess what I'm saying is that if you want something that's ready out-of-the-box, you might be best to avoid some of the things that are described as being "unschooling friendly" because often by that people mean programs that are very loose and open to different ways of implementation and do not arrive on your table already clearly structured. Paradoxically we've found that as unschoolers when we're looking for curriculum, we tend to like materials that are fairly structured and schooly.


One thought does occur to me: Sonlight is a literature-based inclusive curriculum that is well-suited to children who like learning through stories. Their actual program is weighty, expensive, not evolution-friendly, and confusingly flexible in the way I mentioned in my previous paragraph. But their catalog is a fantastic resource for age-appropriate book and novel selections for learning through literature. That wouldn't give you the daily structure you're looking for, but it has certainly been a great place for me to get ideas for literature-based learning. You can download their huge catalog as a pdf here.



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#4 of 8 Old 02-04-2014, 06:26 AM
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I really liked Five in a Row, I did not use exactly how it is instructed to be used.  It has many ideas of learning activities to go with story books and is fairly inexpensive.



I also liked some ideas from Peggy Kaye's books, she is a tutor who uses games to teach.  I borrowed the books from our library.

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#5 of 8 Old 02-04-2014, 03:05 PM
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First, a confession: I don't know what "holistic" means in the context of curriculum. So I'm not sure if what I'm suggesting is or isn't.


We liked the kits from the Junior Scientist Club for early elementary science. They're available from amazon and while a lot of the experiments could be done without the kits, I liked having all the bits I needed gathered together for me, and there's a booklet with each one that explains what is going on. They aren't especially unschooly, but you can pick and choose topics based on what interests your kids. 


For reading, you could try Progressivephonics.com. It's free and gentle. We used the readers and ignored the rest. 

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#6 of 8 Old 02-17-2014, 01:40 PM
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I am following this thread. oP I just posted almost the same question in the homeschool forum? We are using Enki and it is just too labor intensive for me right now and since I didn't buy it new I can't get any support from the company. I have a 7 year old first graders and twin four year olds so we are in a similar boat age wise as well. I am not really unschooling because I do believe what b. sutton wrote about it in the Enki intro ( not sure if you read that). I want to guide my kids and have the flexibility to individualize but I also want an out of the box option for a back up. I have heard wonderful things about Sonlight as well. I don't mind the Christian basis but from what I can tell it isn't heavily Christian in content.
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#7 of 8 Old 02-26-2014, 10:32 PM
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We have had good fun this year with History Odyssey and REAL Science, both from Pandia Press. Enough structure for my kids (who sound a bit like Miranda's in that they asked for curriculums to follow) with enough flexibility for me that I dont feel overburdened by the strictness of it. The history is literature-based; we tend to ignore the maps but do the art projects (except for my 11yo who is a rule follower and likes to complete everything; she is one who wants assigments in all her chosen subjects every day). Level one science has been a bit basic for my kids, but its been a breeze to supplement the subjects they want to learn about more in depth and easy to skim/skip the ones they dont. Both have been great catalysts for additional independent thinking/reading/projects as well. I dont have any suggestions for reading specifically, though; dd1 figured it out on her own, dd3 doesnt care and I have been trying in vain to help dd2 who is desperate to learn but we are just not connecting in a meaningful way yet.
(And what a lovely topic! I tend to just read rather than reply in both the unschooling and schooling at home forums because while my natural inclination is toward curriculum-free learning, ultimately my kids have for now chosen a more structured path...so I feel a bit like a fish out of water in either place, lol)
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#8 of 8 Old 02-28-2014, 02:32 PM
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This does not fit into an unschooling thread but want to suggest contacting Enki Education if you are in need of support.
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