home/unschooling the spirited child?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 08-06-2004, 08:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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as salaam alaykum

i have always planned on homeschooling all three of my kids... my first son (now 4) is a spirited kid, and i think he would really benefit from unschooling. my only problem is that i (me) would benefit from some kind of structure... i am not the most organized and i have three kids and a household to manage. i'm afraid that if i don't have some sort of "plan" that i will keel over from trying to pull too many things out of thin air? does anyone know what i mean? i'm also just getting started so this is sortof overwhelming for me... me being the sensitive spirited grownup that i am.

i'm also getting pressure from my family to put my son in a montessori preschool (part time)... and i can't decide if i want to do it or not.

and does anyone know of a curriculum that i can maybe loosly follow, but that will allow my son to be primarily unschooled?

hope this post makes sense... lol.
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#2 of 7 Old 08-07-2004, 02:50 AM
 
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check out the weaver circ from alpha omega. you can teach all kids at the same time from one circ!!!
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#3 of 7 Old 08-07-2004, 03:19 AM
 
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Perhaps a loose "Schedule" would help to meet all your needs? For example, singing a song as you awake (at the same time) daily, eating breakfast together, doing a relaxed circle time with singing, fingerplays, etc, followed by a fun activity, as so on. I think that Oakmeadow K is a great place to start, you might look on their website for ideas.

Laura, mama to J (15), N (12), E (9) , M (6), and our little caboose, R (3).
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#4 of 7 Old 08-07-2004, 01:07 PM
 
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I'm with laurata... we shoot for a rhythm to our days rather than an structure or a schedule. Gradually things evolve so that certain things happen at certain times of the day, but it's never static, and evolution continues. I help keep the rhythm on an even keel by offering certain types of things at certain times... meals, readaloud time, something out-of-doors, something creative and messy at the kitchen table, helping with supper preparation, and so on. If a child doesn't want to join in, that's fine. While my kids (the 10yo especially) have difficulty with transitions and tend to get really locked into one thing at the exclusion of everything else, eventually they get hungry and mealtime is my best chance to help them shift gears. Rhythm, not routine. It's all voluntary and always in flux, but it works.

I satisfy my own need for structure by doing 'retrospective structuring'. This means I sit down and journal or otherwise document the learning that has happened and the activities and projects undertaken. I do this late at night and the kids have little inkling that I'm documenting their mudpie experiments under "Visual Arts: Sculpture" and that every novel they read is being tabulated under "Language Arts". While the learning occurs organically and serendipitously, unconstrained by efforts at parental organization, I have the satisfaction of seeing a comprehensive orderly index of it all, after the fact. Obsessively documenting their unstructured learning keeps my control-freak tendencies busy so they can't get in the way of my kids' learning and motivation.

Miranda

Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

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#5 of 7 Old 08-08-2004, 07:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ok, so i've been looking into different curriculums... i think what i am going to do is homeschool my son in reading/writing with the reading lesson... i like how it's organized and how it is pretty straightforward and uncramped in it's style. (we downloaded the sample lesson and he liked it a lot) i'm not sure which curriculum, but i also think i will pick one out for mathematics (looking at saxon and miquon)... i think the rest (the arts and sciences etc...) i will approach in a more unschooling/ spontaneous sortof way. i'm also thinking about signing him up for some classes... something music together-ish and kiddie soccer.

i'm wondering though about the math (since they don't have a sample lesson i can look at)... anyone know a program that would be good for a spirited kid?

also wondering if there are any good music programs other than music together... my son is too old for it, and i didn't really like it that much... too pricey and i would have liked something with a little more "world music" (putumayo style?).

AND... any ideas what to do with a 2 year old and an infant while i'm homeschooling my 4 year old son??

thanks again... (i am so excited about getting started! adam is too)
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#6 of 7 Old 08-08-2004, 09:33 PM
 
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Sorry....off topic for a sec.... What does this mean ? "as salaam alaykum "


I have a spirited child who benefits greatly from some form of a schedule. Example : after breakfast we'll color.....after lunch we'll go to the library.....before dinner we'll......... It's open ended enough that she feels she's in control but it also gives her the structure she needs. It's nearly impossible to tell her what to do but a mixed session of brain storming for the day brings great results. ( "I was thinking we'd go to the library" "I wanted to go to the park instead") She normally opts to play in the project room designing odd things. (which suits me fine I don't like to get out and about)

I have recently discovered books on tape for her. I don't know why I didn't think of it before. While she's busy creating and being her busy spirited self , I can have an audio book in the background. I feel this gives me the structure I'm looking for while still giving her the creativity she thrives on. A bonus , her vocabulary has grown by leaps and bounds since I started doing this. AND she can turn off the machine at any time. (lol like that would happen she loves noise).

I agree with the previous poster who said she waits til late at night and fills in a curriuclum. I do that.
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#7 of 7 Old 08-09-2004, 02:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma
...While the learning occurs organically and serendipitously, unconstrained by efforts at parental organization, I have the satisfaction of seeing a comprehensive orderly index of it all, after the fact. Obsessively documenting their unstructured learning keeps my control-freak tendencies busy so they can't get in the way of my kids' learning and motivation.

Miranda
Well said Miranda. I'm sure that my late night journaling/recordkeeping fulfills the the same need for control in me.

3 of my 7 have been spirited children, one more so than the others. What I have found, is that providing plenty of oppertunities to get out excess energy during the day, helps everyone in the family and the spirited ones simply don't do well without it. We enjoy hiking and playing ball with the dogs, as well as biking, trampoline, soccer, yoga and gymnastics in the yard.

Another thing that I've found essential with my spirited children is to help them to find their passion and then enable them to follow that passion. With my son it was soccer and music, my dd (16) it is animals, especially horses. Dd (almost 8) it is singing. I can't tell you how much it helps for them to have such a passion in which to focus all that energy.

All kids benifit from this but it seems to be especially important to help the spirited child to physically "run off" some of that excess energy, and to focus all that intenseity learning and perfecting a craft or interest.
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