We unschool. In an age when unpostmen take care of the mail, using a term like “unschool” might come across as annoyingly trendy. It’s not. The term was coined in the 60’s to describe a subgroup of home education that turned its back on mainstream, compulsory education and embraced learning as a lifestyle. For this reason, there is no typical day to my home school.
Instead, I create an environment where my children are constantly learning, exploring, and creating as naturally as they breath. We read together frequently. The television and computers stay off, freeing them from distraction and creating that boredom that actually fosters learning. My older children each have a supplies box containing scissors, tape, glue, and an eraser. They have constant access to colored pencils, paper and a wide variety of craft supplies, which they employ to make countless things from helicopters to bug houses. They have already started two businesses on the front porch to sell their creations (my husband and I are the only paying customers to date!).
I do use some curriculum, but the curriculum does not take the form of textbooks or workbooks that my children see. Instead, the curriculum provides a structure and direction to me as I facilitate their education through real books (vs textbooks), outings, and activities driven by their interests and passions. These intentional learning moments are woven through plenty of time for rest and independent play, which provide their minds the opportunity to process the new information and skills they are acquiring.
Because learning is, in many ways, natural, I don’t think it should be expensive. We rely heavily on the library for books and items from around our home for supplies. I use a unit-study called KONOS that covers history, science, language arts, and Bible. For math, I use a concept-based program called Math Made Meaningful. For phonics, I follow the model in Cursive First and A Home Start in Reading by Ruth Beechick.