Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Super Laid-Back Homeschooling Experiment

I really want to switch things up in our schooling. It's that time of year, right? What is it about February?? So I'm using my children as guinea pigs in an experiment that will last as long as my box-checking instincts can be squelched. I am calling it "The Super Laid-Back Homeschooling Experiment". Not to my kids though. To my kids I just said "We're taking this week off, and next week we're going to try something different."

In the meantime, I have been reading a lot about unschooling, every chance I get. My husband is not totally on board, and I still have some reservations- mostly about math, so we will not be entirely ditching structure. This is our plan for the foreseeable future.

Every day we will do:

A read-aloud from ONE book during lunchtime (rotating between literature, history,and science). This is for exposure to a variety of topics and authors.

...plus one of these other subjects:

Latin (twice a week for this one)
Bravewriter Writing Project/Freewriting time
Picture Study

I'm still debating the Spanish, but I think it's nice for exposure and the kids enjoy it usually. And picture study is one of the few things everyone loves, including Rose. Latin, I like for it's rigor and grammar, but we will only do it for 15 minutes twice a week.

It is my hope that we will be done all of our "structured work" by 10:00 during The Experiment, though the writing day may take slightly longer.

After that, we become unschoolers/interest-led learners for the rest of the day. I'm going to give it a few weeks to see what the kids come up with on their own, and then decide if I'm going to have to introduce more structure, or if this can work.

I'm going to post about The Experiment here, as many days as I can, starting with tomorrow, even though this is our week "off". I find it interesting to note how many educational and worthwhile things my kids actually do everyday on their own. And I am always surprised at how very much they take away from these self-initiated projects.

Kids really are learning all the time, just like John Holt said. I want to see if I can make that our lifestyle, our norm, instead of having our mornings labeled "learning time" and our afternoons labeled "free time".

We shall see!


  1. I wrote a post in 2010 that totally reflects the feeling that I needed to get away from so much structure, see what happens... http://fromtherootsup.blogspot.com/2010/07/what-if.html

    I totally understand your experiment! Puts me in the mood to give it a go again.

  2. I came over from Gillian's. We are in the exact same place. What is it about February. We have been taking time and enjoying things with little lessons in reading or math spread here or there. Very relaxed. I will be following with interest.

  3. I'm just starting out, but this is the approach we're trying for now. We do use a math workbook with the very minimal requirement of "do a page a day" - my daughter HATES math and, in fact, we pulled her out of public school in February in large part because of a Great Math Disaster. :) But I don't want to change to "zero math" either.

    So far, so good. I think you will be surprised - as I have been - about how willing your kids are to learn and explore. My daughter ASKS to learn, and she even asked to be the banker in the Life game we were playing, which has never happened before!

    I'm looking forward to following along and seeing how it goes!


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