Welcome to our unschool

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!).

unschool1 unschool2 unschool3 unschool3b

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.

unschool unschool4(above: supplies for my son’s math lesson)

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.

Posted in Homeschooling. Bookmark the permalink. RSS feed for this post. Leave a trackback.

6 Responses to Welcome to our unschool

  1. Heather says:

    So out of the box, but such a beautiful way to learn. So effortless {on their part} that they don’t even realize they are learning.

  2. Colene says:

    Wonderful! I am captivated by your math lesson. I am contemplating the concepts you are teaching… and how interesting and effective this type of teaching/learning is.

  3. Hayley R. says:

    So do you have any good tips for acquiring/purchasing art & craft supplies that wont break the bank? Also, what do you do with all the “creations”? Ours usually end up in the recycle bin, which still seems wasteful to me….

    • Emily says:

      Hayley, I’m sure Bethany and Anna have more ideas, but I have actually found a lot of quality art supplies at garage sales in yuppy subdivisions! =) Things like sketch books and watercolor notebooks and even packages of construction paper with just a few pages used…we happily snatch them up. I also just generally stock up on art supplies during back-to-school sales and parcel them out throughout the school year. I’ll be honest, I throw away the vast majority of our artistic creations. We try to send their best pictures to grandparents and aunts and uncles on a regular basis, and I’ll often take pictures of extra-special pictures/sculptures/random toilet paper tube inventions before pitching them when everyone is in bed.

    • Bethany says:

      Hayley, I pick up crafting supplies at garage sales, dollar stores, Walmart, and JoAnns/Michaels using coupons. I’ve done it slowly, an item here and there each month. I also use money from the home school “budget” to buy supplies since I see creating as an essential element of education. As far as storing creations–well, that is always hard. We have several display areas around the house including the refrigerator, the top of the TV cabinet, and a spot in the kids’ bedroom. I also started a 3-ring binder for each child to store the best of their 2-d art. I also strategically dispose of old artwork at night after the kids have gone to bed. 🙂 One idea I heard was to buy a 12-month accordion file folder. You can save the best of the child’s drawings/paintings, written work product each year of school, awards won, etc and store in a folder. When they graduate from high school, you hand them the accordion folder as a 12-year box of memories from school. Cool, right?

    • Anna says:

      Hayley, I do what both Emily and Bethany mentioned. We buy some things at garage sales, and then I use coupons for the more expensive things I would like. We have slowly built up a stash of good quality supplies. Asking Grandparents to buy them as gifts works, too 🙂 I save a few of the special things, but then I do throw away the majority of their artwork. A little sad, but necessary 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • banner sidebar
  • favorite books
  • When you search Amazon through our site or buy through the affiliate links in our posts, you're helping us cover the cost of maintaining this blog. Thank you!
  • banner sidebar
  • subscribe

Swedish Greys - a WordPress theme from Nordic Themepark.