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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am currently an unschooler (except for slipping in some handwriting every now and then). My son is almost 6 and I am thinking about next year. He LOVES books and has a general love for learning and is asking for more, more, more. I looked at using Sonlight Secular, as I like the literature approach, but it is too much for me (in terms of content and schedule). I then started looking at The Well Trained Mind and a lot of that resonates with me (the literature, exposure to the classics, etc.) but it also seems like too much for a 6 year old, even a really learning-focused 6 year old. I really fear that it would kill his love of learing if we did as much table work as they recommend every day.<br><br>
I'm really interested to hear if anyone uses the ideas of the WTM but in a very relaxed way? If so, what materials do you use/have? Do you have any sort of schedule or goals?<br><br>
For now, I'm thinking of SOTW and let him pick activities and supplemental readings (I think he'll reallly like this), a math program (signapore), and lots of reading. He already loves science so that will be a natural part of our day and reading. I'm ambivalent about the Langauge Arts. It seems boring, but that's likely my own baggage. He's already reading so I don't see the point of Phonics and I think he'll learn grammer from reading. I don't know. See, I'm confused.
 

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We're fairly relaxed and on our second year of TWTM. We use the Story of the World books and do some of the things from the accompanying activity book (love the reading lists in it!).<br><br>
Ds (7) and dd (4) both do Singapore Math.<br><br>
We do use Explode the Code for language arts. The lessons are short and the kids like it. We also use a series called Pathway readers.<br><br>
Our schedule is that we do math and reading every day, history and science a couple times each weekly, Spanish and German, Bible, art often, and tae kwon do twice a week.<br><br>
Our goals are for our kids to be well-educated and to enjoy learning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your response. How much time a day do you spend on the "work"? Do you skip days? If so, do you make up the "work" during the week or just pick up where you left off?<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>phathui5</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10791771"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">We're fairly relaxed and on our second year of TWTM. We use the Story of the World books and do some of the things from the accompanying activity book (love the reading lists in it!).<br><br>
Ds (7) and dd (4) both do Singapore Math.<br><br>
We do use Explode the Code for language arts. The lessons are short and the kids like it. We also use a series called Pathway readers.<br><br>
Our schedule is that we do math and reading every day, history and science a couple times each weekly, Spanish and German, Bible, art often, and tae kwon do twice a week.<br><br>
Our goals are for our kids to be well-educated and to enjoy learning.</div>
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We are really relaxed. I am an extremely bad documenter. And we have a habit of taking weeks off at a time and just reading. I don't always write down their narrations, but I just ask them questions afterwards and that's good enough for me. We use the WTM, but I would venture a guess that I am a failure at following it to a T. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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I like the idea of a classical education but think it's too rigorous at the younger ages for my taste. I use the WTM as a reference and use the suggestions as a jumping off point. I've gotten some great information from the book and the message board.<br><br>
My 6 yr old only does an hr a day tops and we don't do "formal" work every day. We "do school" year round but we're very flexible around holidays and trips.<br>
She does:<br>
Handwriting without Tears<br>
Plaid Phonics<br>
BOB readers<br>
MCP math<br><br>
We do science informally and just talk about things as they come up. History is just as stories now.<br><br>
We do reading here and there as the mood strikes us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>AnnR33</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10796053"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I like the idea of a classical education but think it's too rigorous at the younger ages for my taste. I use the WTM as a reference and use the suggestions as a jumping off point. I've gotten some great information from the book and the message board.</div>
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I feel the same way. I think this is the direction I am heading. Consult their resources and have them available to use when the mood strikes.
 

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Don't forget that even the authors of WTM mentioned that with the way they wrote the book that it is extremely rigorous. I think most ppl become overwhelmed when they read it. I know I did. We are eclectic and pick and choose what we like and leave what we don't like, but I have classical leanings and will probably refer to WTM from time to time. I believe that it is a solid curriculum plan, but there is no way we could follow it 100%, it's just a little bit too intense.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mackysmama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10790290"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I<br><br>
For now, I'm thinking of SOTW and let him pick activities and supplemental readings (I think he'll reallly like this), a math program (signapore), and lots of reading. He already loves science so that will be a natural part of our day and reading. I'm ambivalent about the Langauge Arts. It seems boring, but that's likely my own baggage. He's already reading so I don't see the point of Phonics and I think he'll learn grammer from reading. I don't know. See, I'm confused.</div>
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I had a strong early reader, but we did play with phonics and I think it is helpful for spelling later on. Phonics can be reasonably fun when just approached as a game. I heard Rocket phonics recommended as very fun but ouch it's expensive!<br><br>
When he's a bit older you might like language arts stuff from <a href="http://www.rfwp.com" target="_blank">www.rfwp.com</a>. We really like the books by Michael Clay Thompson for grammar, vocab., and poetry. They are designed to be gone through in a few weeks to a couple of months and then applied the rest of the year, so it is not this huge daily grind to work through.<br><br>
We don't follow any particular curriculum but pull from tons of sources. I have a general plan in mind that is subject to change at anytime. I use an online planner to track what we do, but since planning ahead never works well I only plan a day or two ahead. We have days where we are doing 'school' looking stuff most of the day and others that are none or very little. Our dd occasionally takes an outside class or distance class (currently in an online algebra class) so that will require following a set schedule but otherwise we take time to run down interests that side track us and get to stuff when we get to it.
 

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We follow the philosophy of WTM without the schedule. I don't know if their are enough hours in the day to follow the schedule. We are relaxed homeschoolers with a WTM vibe if that makes sense.
 

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We've enjoyed and used bits and pieces of SOTW over the years. The recipes and bibliography are fun. Some of the games are as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Prane</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10801953"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">We follow the philosophy of WTM without the schedule. I don't know if their are enough hours in the day to follow the schedule. We are relaxed homeschoolers with a WTM vibe if that makes sense.</div>
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Yes, there doesn't seem to be enough time to do it all. It's also not how I want us to spend our time. So, do you have a schedule that incorporates some of the WTM recommendations or do you have some of the resources and do them when the mood strikes? Do you have a checklist of things you want to get covered in a week/month/year?<br><br>
I think I am coming to what I think will work for us but it helps to hear how others have made it work.
 

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I too love the thought of WTM. My DS does not... so, I use WTM as my saftey raft in the sea of curiculum. I modify it to fit our life and budget. I hope to meet Susan one day and thank her for her guidance. Without this book I would have been <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: with where to start when I pulled my son from the traditional classroom. Instead of <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/fencing.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="fencing">: with him to be the best student... I <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"> him with being the best son he can be.<br>
I outline what "I" want to cover in a 3 month block anything that doesn't get covered gets evaluated of why it was not covered... if it was just overlooked because of time it is added back in... if it was skipped because of headache it is dropped... I have found 3 months gives me good direction... but does not keep me bound for long periods of time. The only concrete lessons are Math and English... Reading, Science, Arts, and History all revolve around family planning and weather.<br>
I have crazyness going on around me... 2 wanting me to draw cars... 1 wanting a nap... and another wanting to play chess... I will be <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/privateeyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="private eyes"> this thread.
 

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Have you looked at Ambleside Online?
 

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I've been trying to use "First Language Lessons" and it is boring. Now, I love English, literature, and grammer but this book even bores me. I'm not feeling the greatness I've heard about it.<br><br>
I'm looking for new ideas for language arts.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Ravin</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10803338"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Have you looked at Ambleside Online?</div>
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My ds gets bored with most of the reading suggestions on the list. SOme of them he likes, others not so much. He is bored to tears with the Burgess books.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Prane</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10801953"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">We follow the philosophy of WTM without the schedule. I don't know if their are enough hours in the day to follow the schedule. We are relaxed homeschoolers with a WTM vibe if that makes sense.</div>
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Glad I'm not the only one!<br><br>
We also use Ambleside with our WTM.<br><br>
I have a listing week by week of what I want to do. We are woefully behind, but I don't think it's a big deal since they are both 2 grade levels ahead in reading and math. The rest is just nice, I guess. I have FLL and SOTW and we like them both. My dd loves memorization, so she likes FLL a lot.<br><br>
I can't imagine doing everything strictly with 4 kids! My oldest two are K and 1st grade, and I have a hard time getting everything done with just them. My ds (K) does phonics (OPGTR), reading, and math with me every day of the week that I can squeeze it in. And he does science and history with my dd. We also do some music and art and French when we have time.<br><br>
Dd (1st-2nd) does math, reading aloud, spelling, free reading, FLL, and something from Ambleside almost every weekday. Then we do handwriting, science, history, French (N'Allenart), reading from What Your 1st Grader Needs to Know a few times a week.
 

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we follow alot of curric outlined in WTM, MUS for math, sequential spelling and spelling workout, first language lessons, story of the world, sonlight science etc we skip lots of days, we do the wor when we want to, BUT I still follow in order laid out. So we still follow sonlight's science schedule even if we skip days in between, the same with the rest. We still get everything covered I want to teach but it is done without stress or worry.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mackysmama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10791820"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thank you for your response. How much time a day do you spend on the "work"? Do you skip days? If so, do you make up the "work" during the week or just pick up where you left off?</div>
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Ds usually spends about half an hour a day on math, sometimes more. Explode the Code takes 10-15 minutes. We use the Pathway readers a couple times a week for about 20 minutes. Either history or science (we alternate) takes anywhere from 15-45 minutes.<br><br>
Dd works for about 15-20 minutes a day.<br><br>
Roughly 2-3 hours a day? I don't time it or have them work for a set amount of time, that's just how long it usually takes. I'm not counting stuff like Spanish, tae kwon do, art, music... in that total.<br><br>
We do sometimes skip days. When we do, we just pick up where we left off.
 
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