We definitely lean more towards the unschooling side of the spectrum but since my kids are still young (6.5, almost 5 & 2) I don't feel confident that this will be our eternal path. I actually tell most people I'm a "better late than early" hs'er than an uschooler but whatever about the labels!? I'm wondering when most people make the transition from unschooling to more structured learning. Last year I thought this year & this year I think next year. Ha! And maybe I'll continue seeing the kids grow & learn without any heroic measures & keep thinking the same thing each year.
We made the transition (by accident?) one subject at a time based on my priorities. Reading came first, followed by math. We spent 1st grade doing only structured reading....by that it was 15-20 min lessons off and on 3-4 times a week and then a ton of reading at bedtime.... then around when 2nd grade started, I felt a vacuum where math skills should be...so we worked on that quite a bit and continued with a lot of reading at bedtime. He would read a chapter of something to us and then we would read from a novel, and then a history book (usbourne). This year (3rd) we are spending a lot of time on extra curricular so far. He plays instruments and is learning languages. those are pretty time intensive in the morning...so then math and reading at bedtime. Fill in the rest of the day with playing, soccer, swimming, cooking...and that is what we do
Tassy mom to DS(13), DD(8), and twin DDs (7)
Thanks for sharing.
I totally believe in unschooling until children are ready for first grade. Then an hour of serious academics (the three Rs) with an hour of lighter academics (everything else) per day is fine. That leaves plenty of time for play and free learning, unlike the kids next door who leave for school shortly before 8 and arrive home around 4:00 - that is a long day!
this year my ds is in kindergarten & i know that this is a transition year for him. i don't have a time-table for each day, week, or month... but i do have kindergarten goals that i want us to cover by the end of the year. we usually spend 30 minutes a day on school - (however, the first 2 weeks it was only about 15 minutes). next year it will increase a little more and each year after that. my daughter currently does about 2 hours of work (usually from 10-12), and that is more than enough. half of our time is snuggling in my bed reading or sitting on the porch when weather permits. hth.
homeschooling mama to DD 10 & DS 7
So, for us, the transition was made naturally when the kids wanted to change up what they were doing. What keeps them adhering to the structure is knowing it was their idea to implement it and that they are free to make changes when they want. I believe we're still an unschooling family, even with a curriculum. The underlining philosophy never really goes away.
DD(23) Hair Colorist/Stylist, DD(20) Dancer/Dance Teacher, DS(16) Unschooler
In 7th grade, DD1 decided to join us at home as well (DD1 was in 8th), and things were a lot more structured because DD1 wanted the structure and DD2 kind of "tagged along." We still didn't finish any textbooks.
For 8th grade, DD2 decided she wanted to return to school, and she's thriving there. If she was still at home, we'd probably be using a math textbook and nothing else.
I think that if you just follow the child's lead, you'll be adding in more structure as you go along. Preteens and teens tend to request more academic structure as time goes on- at least that's the impression I got from all the "eclectic" homeschoolers we met, who told me they used to unschool when the kids were smaller.
Ruth, single mommy to 3 quasi-adults
Mama to DS (10), DS (8), DS (5), DD (3), & DD (6 months).
Lucky Wife to My Techy DH for 11 years.
We Homebirth, Full-term Breastfeeding,
Connection Parenting, Life Learning, our LDS faith.
So now, we are lightly structured. Things are better, though we are still trying to really find our flow
Mama to 10 so far:Mother of Joey (23), Dominick (15), Abigail (13), Angelo (10), Mylee (8), Delainey (6), Colton (4), ID girls Dahniella and Nicolette (2 in July), and Baby 10 coming sometime in July 2015.
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If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!
I love being very relaxed but I can see how my girls would thrive with a bit more routine.
I think some of there is a balance. I feel many unschoolers do not always get that some kids thrive best in a structured environment. He liked having something to compare to. When he struggled with a concept he like being able to take baby steps to meet a goal.
I was flexible enough to have forward movement but free enough not to miss opportunities to "go with the flow" and let him experiment and take him to advents even if they were not related to the topic.
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