There was a recent interview on Good Morning America with a "Radical Unschooling" family. Rather then following a curriculum, or schedule, they have student led learning. After watching the interview, I would definitely say they qualify for "radical". However, I have always considered myself more of an unschooler than a homeschooler.
Rather then pick out exactly what we want to learn each year, we sort of just play it by ear. I do have Andy, who was raised by a public school teacher. A very talented, but structured, one. And he is military too. He doesn't do well with lack of structure! So there has to be some middle ground.
We tried to do a 1st grade history book this year. We got bored. So, Canaan picked points in history that held his attention, and we did an in depth study of them.
We started a 1st grade reading program. Once again, way too much repetition. So, we picked out easy reader books in the subjects we were studying anyway, and he got his reading practice that way. His spelling words came from whatever subject we were studying, and the handwriting the same way.
We studied space, because it fascinated him.
Medieval times, Knights, construction of castles, and why the middle ages ended.
Immigration, and how our country is made up of all different cultures, in one giant "melting pot".
The library is our friend!
He learned to tell time, and the basics of fractions, and multiplication, just because he wanted to - not because a book said we should.
He had to learn the parts of speech. Nouns and verbs. Proper use of punctuation. Those are things that just have to be taught, usually with a workbook.
But, history and social studies, geography and science, art, and at his age, even math - well, we have had so much fun just playing with them. Soaking them up.
Andy has even gotten involved in the hands on part. After burning dead branches in the yard on monday, I decided to talk about the three "ingredients" needed for fire. Andy just turned on the stove and stuck a piece of paper on the burner- Started a fire. Stuck it in a pot with the lid on tight - put it out. Taught him everything he needed to know right there. Fuel, heat, oxygen. We have continued talking about different kinds of fuel, and sources of heat, but that lesson has stuck with him. Seeing something burning in the kitchen, right there in daddy's hand - that is education!
Here are a few pictures of our study of Sea Life. We made "claydough", molded it, baked it and painted it.
Don't you know the most important part is making a mess?
Hard working boys!
A group shot of our designs. Several of Zion's were, according to him, "boulders".
Twin sharks - one by mommy, one by Canaan.
Today we went to the library and picked out about 30 books on Ancient Egypt, Mummies, and Archeology. Looks like the summer is going to be fun!
Let me leave you with this quote...