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<p>I have called myself an unschooled but seem to be moving away form that now, with sadness. I want my kids to learn stuff but I also want them to enjoy being homeschooled. I want them to get the Friday afternoon feeling every day and look forward to what we have in store.</p>
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<p>What I want to know is whether I can be a structured homeschooler and achieve this? Are there any moms here who do structured homeschooling but whose kids are having fun doing it? Can it be done?</p>
 

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<p>Yes it can be fun.</p>
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<p>My 1st grader looooves school.   He comes running when I call him for lessons.  My older one is doing live online classes this year and really enjoys that.</p>
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<p>Of course we have our bad days.  But it's not caused by "doing school".  It just happens when someone is out of sorts, or coming down with something, or constipated. (and I'm serious about that last one.  Constipation affect their behavior and attitude noticeably. <span><img alt="inthet.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/inthet.gif" style="width:32px;height:32px;"></span>)</p>
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<p>I keep lesson time short.  1st grader is done by noon, if not before.  3rd grader has classes that go longer, but has 1.5 hr. of break time in between his three main classes.   I try to find ways that suit them to complete projects.  Ds2 is not much of a writer yet, so I have him dictate to me rather than struggle with an essay and miss the fun part of composing a story.  We work on writing seperately (handwriting without tears) and he enjoys that.  We practice math with fun things (marshmallows and m&ms).  We supplement with stuff they *really* enjoy--for instance, their high literacy skills don't come so much from lessons as from other things in their life, like my dad reading original classics to them every night, etc.  With the fun stuff on the side, we can often skip lessons in the curric because the mastery has already been achieved informally.</p>
 

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<p>Yes!  It can be hard to develop a structure that works well for your family, but I think you have a chance to have plenty of fun.  A structure could even make it easier to have fun in some ways, because it can be easier to plan playful activities that add depth to other learning. </p>
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<p>My kids didn't feel like unschooling was fun. They didn't really have much desire to call the shots nor did they like the lack of structure.  I was always trying to come up with things to do, they would say they didn't like my suggestions so I accepted their constant refusals, but they didn't have any ideas and goals of their own either.  They were restless and grumpy without direction.  We tried a lot of paths through those challenges, none of which were satisfying to those involved until I stopped worrying about the unschooling concept and got structured.</p>
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<p>Does anyone have fun all the time?  It seems like certain kinds of temperaments may be prone to feeling like most things in life are fun, while most of us are not. </p>
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<p>We <em>often</em> have fun.  We do stimulating things that are satisfying to our kids even if fun isn't the word for some of that, we do definitely-fun projects and games and outings.  We make colorful pictures and crafts to go with stories that are central to our curriculum, based on the Waldorf approach.  Last week we did math work with geometry and sixths/sixes centered on snowflake-making.  We do our structured lesson time in the mornings 3-4 days a week.  Music is "required" and tends to be in the afternoon but it is a mostly happy requirement that we do all agree on.  Ds is doing lightweight Latin lessons and loves it and wants to do Greek as well which we will do as we do a Greek history and myth unit.  We have tea time every afternoon (the only time we do any sugary foods), which they love, and lots of free time.  For some things there is toe dragging, but once we start something they usually change their mind and like it.  I don't regret it when I insist they cooperate with something they claim no interest in only to find that after a little while they are eager for more.  This scenario happens often.</p>
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<p>Our children are involved in planning and their interests determine a lot of what we do but ultimately I put it together and decide when we start for the day and what basic things we will do during a week, month, and semester.  I am not militaristic, but we do not just wait until people feel like it to get started in the morning.  I have a real schedule for my business responsibilities that I have to follow, so I have to learned to devote certain times to homeschool activities and stick to those commitments on both ends. </p>
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<p>I used to fear, like many of us, that our kids weren't going to have fun if they weren't in the driver's seat and that they will suffer if told what to do for learning, but my experience shows the opposite.  I finally feel comfortable with requiring things of our children, with making plans sensitive enough to really expect cooperation, and with my ability to be reasonably flexible and responsive even within our structure.  It's been good for all of us lately.</p>
 
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