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#1 of 21 Old 07-20-2005, 12:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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salaam

it seems now like i wont be able to afford the curriculum i wanted. i have three kids, and not a lot of time to put together an ecclectic program...

so tell me about unschooling... what do i need to get started? any ideas? resources?
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#2 of 21 Old 07-20-2005, 01:11 AM
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What have you been doing with your kids so far in their lives? Talking, going for walks, going to parks, reading to them, cooking, going to science centers, events, festivals? More talking, computer games, videos, tv, drawing, making collages, gardening, visiting people, going to the store, taking any parks and rec type classes that seem interesting... I'm thinking that your kids are pretty little, right? I'd just carry on with those sorts of things, picking whatever interests you or them or all of you, and watch them learn...

That's the unschooling approach. Use the same resources you've been using to be an interesting, involaved parent.

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#3 of 21 Old 07-20-2005, 01:16 AM
 
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Trips to the library for books on whatever seems interesting to the kids that day.

Laura, Mama to Mya 7/02, Ian 6/07 and Anna 8/09
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#4 of 21 Old 07-20-2005, 01:21 AM
 
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I would suggest looking into the books by Raymond Moore. I am ordering his books from our library because what I find on their website is interesting to me. Its along the lines of unschooling.

http://www.moorefoundation.com/formula.html
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#5 of 21 Old 07-20-2005, 01:29 AM
 
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With the internet, the library, and some time, you can homeschool for free if you need to!

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#6 of 21 Old 07-20-2005, 02:37 AM
 
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Use the library! In addition to books your kids can read (or have read to them) you can get books of science projects, math games, craft ideas, etc. It's all there.

Find out when the museums in your city have free days. Find out if you have a nature center or national forest or something that you can visit for free.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#7 of 21 Old 07-20-2005, 03:18 AM
 
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I have been able to get many of the books I was interested in at the library. Your library may allow for a longer checkout period for homeschooling too-some do. I also got much of my curriculum used for half the price of new-it's a thought. Here's a few sources:
www.vegsource.com
www.homeschoolreviews.com has a section somewhere on their site
www.welltrainedmind.com has a discussion section with a for sale board
These are pretty big sources and I got lots from them.
I'm sure you've looked on-line but there are so many free things on line-there are lots of yahoo groups associated with different curriculums that have great downloads related to the subjects for free.
www.amblesideonline.com is a whole Charlotte Mason currciculum available free. Not that this is what you were looking for but wanted to show you that there are lots of options.
Good luck
Ann

Full-time homeschooling mama : of a 15yo "teenager" , 12yo DIVA, 9yo builder, & 4yo treasure.
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#8 of 21 Old 07-20-2005, 03:56 AM
 
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I'm not sure that finances are necessarily tied to one end or the other of the parent-directed vs. unschooling spectrum. We unschool, but spend a fair bit of money on the kids' educations (not much on curriculum, but plenty on resources like musical instruments and workshops and electronics kits and art supplies and sports and equipment etc.). And on the other end of things, it's possible to do a completely structured, parent-directed homeschool program for little more than the cost of bus fare to the library.

It might also be worth pointing out that unschooling doesn't necessarily mean not using a curriculum; my 11yo has recently asked an adult friend of ours to act as her mentor as she works through the "Artistic Pursuits" art curriculum. She's also now working through the Alfred Music Theory course on CD-ROM to fill in the gaps in her music education. Because these requests and structure are completely child-led, I think she still qualifies as an unschooler.

So I guess I'm wondering ... are you interested in unschooling from a philosophical standpoint, or are you looking for ways to homeschool without spending the money it would cost to purchase a full curriculum? In other words, are you seeking 'frugal homeschooling tips' or 'unschooling tips'?

Miranda

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#9 of 21 Old 07-20-2005, 04:34 AM
 
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You know how much time you spend with your child before the age of five answering questions, getting on the floor with them to play, introducing them to cool things, making sure they have stimuli around, etc? Well, Unschooling is a continuation of that after five. A word that was used a lot on unschooling.com when they had their discussion board up was "strewing".

Basically it means surrounding (strewing) your child's life with cool stuff so they can go from one thing to another. They never have a lack of things around them to feed their mind but if their mind is tired and wants to rest, daydream, or sleep, you make sure that that is available to them without putting guilt on to them because you see them as lazy or whatever. Children want to learn. Children need to rest. Trusting that they want to learn is essential. If T.V is the only or best stimuli around them, then that is what they will choose.

It is really important for them to see you are not afraid to learn. We can't expect our kids to get excited about learning if we aren't excited. We cant expect our kids to love reading if they never see us pick up a book or magazine.

Anyway, I just posted some fantastic articles by some very articulate writers on the subject of Unschooling that I think will make it all very clear. The title of the thread is Favorite Unschooling Writers and Samples of their Work. These are women who have been Unschooling for awhile now and they write for online magazines or have their own websites. Check it out.
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#10 of 21 Old 07-20-2005, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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salaam

to be more specific... i have been interested in unschooling for a while, so there is the philosophical interest... i guess i was just afraid to let go and let it happen. so for a while i took an eclectic (and inexpensive) approach. we did FIAR and HWT and singapore math. it was *alright*... adam really likes reading books, but the five days in a row thing didn't do much for him, and the activities that were suggested didn't have enough depth in my opinion... the singapore was fun, but it wasn't much different than the workbooks i can get for free at my family's buisness, and he just FLEW through them. the HWT was fun too, but i just don't see why i can't teach him to write myself. so since he was doing pretty well with all this, i decided to look into box curriculums, which i figured would take some of the work off of my shoulders (i have three kids, and not a ton of time to plan the lessons out etc.) so i looked into it and decided that i really like the look of the sonlight stuff. we LOVE to read, and i like their book list! but we just can't seem to save up for it.

on the other hand, i really like the idea of unschooling. my son is very spirited and driven and eager to learn on his own... and i want to nurture that. i guess i am just afraid of all the same stuff that most people are afraid of. since there is no official structure, how do i know he is learning enough... i'm not required to keep records in my state, but i want to (just in case)... what happens if he wants to go to a university etc... so, i'm off to the links you all kindly provided to get those particular questions answered.

we were offered help from my family, but i really want to take care of my kids' education on my own. if you all knew my family, you would understand. the good thing is we have unlimited access to free art supplies (my husband works in my family's retail store).

thankyou everyone, for the tips!
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#11 of 21 Old 07-20-2005, 03:51 PM
 
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Idea: Print out a copy of Sonlight's book list. Look an amazon for used copies (generally very cheap).

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
14yo ds
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#12 of 21 Old 07-20-2005, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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^i checked it out, and i can get all the books i want for about 67 dollars... problem is it would cost me another 80something dollars in shipping! that's still way less than their core package, but i feel funny paying more on shipping than on books.
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#13 of 21 Old 07-20-2005, 06:56 PM
 
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Why not just get the books from the library?

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#14 of 21 Old 07-20-2005, 09:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move
Why not just get the books from the library?
:

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#15 of 21 Old 07-20-2005, 09:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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well i definately plan to collect a few of them... i think a lot of them look like they would be good additions to my kids' library!
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#16 of 21 Old 07-20-2005, 10:04 PM
 
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LoveMyLittles, I love your blog.

Here are some things I do to help me chill out when I start to worry about them learning enough:

- keep a journal/log of their activities so I can go back and look at all the things they've done

- look through the "what your x grader needs to know" periodically to get an idea of what we could get into or what we already do

- make a loose plan every fall and every january of new things I want to introduce, obviously knowing some things will be duds and some will take off

- with my older (really just started this), sit down periodically and discuss his goals and intentions, so that when I remind him to work on xyz, we can both know this is a self-set goal (although the execution might require some nudging)

- also with just the older, I do expect a minimal amount of some book/table work regularly. The amount and what and how long, etc, is all very negotiable, but something has to happen. In this way, I'm not so much unschoolish, but so far I've never made him do anything he didn't agree was useful (although often not in the moment of having to do it)

Hope this helps. You can definitely educate your kids without a lot of money. If you know how to use your library's inter-library loan service, you can get nearly anything. You might also be able to get an educator's library card, which extends your borrowing privileges.
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#17 of 21 Old 07-20-2005, 11:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveMyLittles
^i checked it out, and i can get all the books i want for about 67 dollars... problem is it would cost me another 80something dollars in shipping! that's still way less than their core package, but i feel funny paying more on shipping than on books.
Do you have a big used book store. The big one in our town will let you request something if they don't have a copy and then when it comes in you get first dibs! May be you could order some of the ones you think would be hardest to get in your area and then wait to see if others become available at a used book store.

dust.gifmama to  ds2/03 ds2/05 dd4/07 and expecting someone new in the spring! chicken3.gif

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#18 of 21 Old 07-21-2005, 03:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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i live in crap small town america, where you have to drive 20 minutes to get ANYWHERE. the local library isn't much bigger than my two bedroom apartment. :

Quote:
LoveMyLittles, I love your blog.
thanks, benjalo!

thankyou, everyone... we're just going to kick along as we're going for now. if i manage to magically come up with several hundred dollars, i will probably still get the curriculum. time will tell.
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#19 of 21 Old 07-21-2005, 03:51 PM
 
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Do you have inter-library loan? We're lucky in that we have a good sized library but there's always something I want that they don't have so they just get it from somewhere else

I looked at your blog (I like it too!) and you're about an hour from me. Were you the one I sent the list of links to? Did you find anyone in your area? You can come join us unschoolers at the beach if you are interested (you don't have to be an unschooler)

Someone mentioned the What Your Kindergartener Needs to Know book. Are you interested in that because I have one I dont need. Just one of the many things I bought during an "oh no, will my dd really do ok as an unschooler" panic. It now sits collecting dust on the piano
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#20 of 21 Old 07-21-2005, 09:06 PM
 
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Is your library part of a library system? My sis lives in a small town but it is part of the library system of a large city, so she can sit at home and request darn near anything, and they get it from the big city and deliver it to her local, tiny library. It's a totally free service.

If there is something you want that isn't in the library system, they can get it through inter-library loan. At our library you can't request this on-line, but have to go in and fill out a form. Some libraries charge $1 for this, some do it for free. If you want something they can track it down. We've done this for out of print books.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#21 of 21 Old 07-21-2005, 09:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks again for the blog comment... i'm sorta new to the whole blogging thing, so that's actually really encouraging!

yeah, that was me you sent the links too... we're currently having car/insurance/license issues, so i'm generally stuck at home. i'm actually looking to move withing the next six months, so any suggestions you have on neighborhoods would be much appreciated! so far, we're looking towards dover or morristown... somewhere i can actually walk places.
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