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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I basically unschooled over the last year and it's just not for us. However, neither am I ever going to be a strict homeschooler at the table for an hour or two each day. Can you suggest a way to gently start? What are the basics you consider the spine of hs'ing? I'm thinking math, reading, writing, science, history. Wow -- that seems like a lot!
 

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maybe a literature based curric. like Sonlight would be good for your family? think snuggling on the couch reading "real" or "living" books together.....it's not textbooks and "memorize and forget" learning, yet it's not unschooling.
 

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You could start by adding subjects one at a time, such as starting with a math program. You might find that you don't want a complete curriculum.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Reebekah</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15460873"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">maybe a literature based curric. like Sonlight would be good for your family? think snuggling on the couch reading "real" or "living" books together.....it's not textbooks and "memorize and forget" learning, yet it's not unschooling.</div>
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This is exactly what I was going to recommend. Take a look at the booklists at Sonlight and just start reading aloud. You can easily cover history, geography and language arts with just a good read-aloud. Check out the science books at Sonlight-- all you have to do is read them aloud and you'll cover lots of different science topics. Do some fun science experiments, or buy some cool science kits. For math I would just play some dice games with multi-sided dice, or a deck of cards. Have fun!
 

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I see your kids are young. Like pp mentioned, lit based is a great way to go. We don't get the lists or anything, but go at it however we want. We use this approach for social studies/history a lot. For example, we read "Little House on the Prairie" and then did activities related. We made butter, did a bit of stitching, etc.<br><br>
You may want to structure yourself a bit--like Mondays & Wednesdays for science or something. Or maybe a topic per month. Take "pioneers" and explore it from historical and scientific perspective.<br><br>
I am really liking the Grammar Land thing that someone else posted. It is a story that introduces the parts of speech. I will use it with my second grader next year. You can have your child do the related exercises or not. I expect us to do these orally. The only thing I like having a "curriculum" for is math. I don't stay extremely tight to it, but I like the structure. (we use Singapore workbooks). I also use specific stuff for teaching reading, but my dd is dyslexic and we found this to work best.<br><br>
I also like the idea of "books for mommy" that help lead us through topics, without it being too specific. I mentioned the book "oobleck, slime, . . ." <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FOobleck-Slime-Dancing-Spaghetti-Experiments%2Fdp%2F1933979348%2Fref%3Dsr_1_1%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1275191456%26sr%3D1-1" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.com/Oobleck-Slime-...5191456&sr=1-1</a> in an earlier thread. This is an example of "books for mommy". It will give me tons of ideas, and a basic structure. However, the kids aren't using a textbook, curriculum, or workbook. They will get to read the books mentioned and do the experiments with me. Great fun for science.<br><br>
Amy
 

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For young kids, I'd say the skills, rather than subjects, are the basics. So reading, writing, arithmetic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you!<br><br>
I like the idea of lit-based, so I've bookmarked the Sonlight lists on amazon. Also, Grammar Land looks great.<br><br>
I bought Math U See last year so I can just get the this-year's plan.
 

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we ended up doing sonlight as well. My kids are not big on sitting and doing workbooks although they do for some stuff like math. They seem to *get* learning from reading stories more easily than what I call bland textbook type readings.<br><br>
We also used this as a sort of spine for science. Its anatomy based which the boys wanted to go more in depth with this yr. I used it and built off of it with more books from the library and other activities. this is the site its called little otters science and is very similar to sonlights living book philosophy<br><br><a href="http://www.guesthollow.com/homeschool/curriculum.html" target="_blank">http://www.guesthollow.com/homeschool/curriculum.html</a><br><br>
one thing we also really like along with sonlight history core was the book<br><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FAncient-Science-Time-Traveling-World-Exploring-History-Making%2Fdp%2F0471215953%2Fref%3Dsr_1_1%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1275240897%26sr%3D8-1" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.com/Ancient-Scienc...5240897&sr=8-1</a>
 

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I am not sure that I really do anything like unschooling because I haven't read much about it, but I let dd have a lot of say in what we do as long as we are doing some basic subjects. I think letting her choose has been much better for her than a traditional sit at the table and learn approach would have been. She has made wonderful strides this year. Our basics were all math, reading, and writing. We also got science and history using books I read to dd and then we talked about and some hands on science observations. I let dd choose the science and history genres she was interested in and read everyday to her. For math I started at her level and then taught her from there with things that interested her as well as some stuff from our districts curriculum page. She liked regrouping with adding and subtracting and story problems so we have gone deeply into that and I just introduced the other things for a few weeks at a time. I let dd choose what she wanted to read and what she wanted to write about every day. I did require her to read and write daily though. I also introduced some grammar like nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc... by talking about them then doing some a few worksheets. I think you could also have kids identify these things in the books they are reading if you don't want to do worksheets, she likes worksheets and they were easy for that subject so I used them. That may seem like a lot, but it really took only about 2 hours once we got things running smoothly, and there was time for recess in that 2 hours.<br><br>
We did a lot of athletic activities through the Y and the community center also because I think that being active is very important. My dd loves swimming so we did that. We also did basketball (she found she hated it), ballet, yoga, and now track. She is also doing piano lessons because she wants to learn to play in a fun way.
 
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