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Homeschooling Moms Homeschooling Moms

Public school curriculum or 'unschooling', that is the question

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As a brand spanking new homeschooler,  i have SOOO many questions.   My 7th grade DD is finishing up the school year at home.  My question for the experienced homeschoolers, do you teach by the state recommended standards or do you let your child, particularly your teen, help to decide what to pursue?   My biggest fear is that my DD will not learn all that she is supposed to learn and it is hard to trust myself and the programs we chose to use that everything will be covered.  However, I read alot of stories about parents who let their kids pick their subjects and interests, for example, if the child is interested in being a veterinarian, they will focus on biology, the history of dogs-cats, etc.., stories about animals for language arts, etc....

thanks for any and all help!

by on Mar. 5, 2014 at 7:11 PM
Replies (11-20):
jen2150
by Silver Member on Mar. 6, 2014 at 8:22 AM
We use an unschooling/charlotte mason style. I choose curriculum and materials based on what they are interested in learning about. I just make sure I cover the basics whuch is not hard since most subjects they are interested always have a little of all the basics. Some curriculum we buy and some we buy ourselves. I taught to just tell me when something is not working and they need to do something different. I would do some experimentation until you find what works for you. Many people use a variety of methods. I was ecectic for awhile.
hipmomto3
by Bronze Member on Mar. 6, 2014 at 10:06 AM
2 moms liked this

Follow state program or unschool? Neither.

I guess in  your state you may have guidelines you need to follow. In my state, we are free to teach (or not teach) whatever we want.

That being said, unschooling is not for us. 

We cover all the basic subject areas, and their math is grade level appropriate, but for history, science etc we do our own thing. We also make sure to include a lot of art and music (probably way more than public schools for the most part).

AutymsMommy
by Silver Member on Mar. 6, 2014 at 11:41 AM
1 mom liked this

You needn't go to either extreme. I do NOT follow the state standards, but I also do NOT unschool. We use an eclectic mix of curricula, specifically designed for homeschoolers. We are traditionally scholastic, without implementing public school at home.

I am a Home Schooling, Vaccinating, Non spanking, Nightmare Cuddling, Dessert Giving, Bedtime Kissing, Book Reading, Stay at Home Mom. I believe in the benefit of organized after school activities and nosy, involved parents. I believe in spoiling my children. I believe that I have seen the village and I do not want it anywhere near my children. Now for the controversial stuff:  we're Catholic, we're conservative, and we own guns (now there's no need to ask, lol).             Aimee















Jilectan
by Member on Mar. 6, 2014 at 12:15 PM

We do the core subjects, reading, writing, and arithmetic, then add whatever they're interested in, personally. So, my daughter, who also wants to be a vet, watches nature documentaries and studies animals and such. She's only 7 1/2, so she's not going as in-depth into biology as your 7th grader is, I'm sure.

STARRYVONN
by New Member on Mar. 6, 2014 at 1:32 PM

I use the states , and add extra.

AutymsMommy
by Silver Member on Mar. 6, 2014 at 5:01 PM

This is NOT true of all school experiences. I really wish people wouldn't paint with such a broad brush.

Quoting Bleacheddecay:

I think unschool is the way to go if you start from the first. However, if they've been in school up until now it's tough because they typically expect to be entertained, to hate learning and everything handed to them on a silver platter.

I recommend deschooling, reading The Teenage Liberation Handbook and then hitting the state recommended subjects only doing them "out of the box" in ways your kids or you come up with. NOT in traditional ways.


I am a Home Schooling, Vaccinating, Non spanking, Nightmare Cuddling, Dessert Giving, Bedtime Kissing, Book Reading, Stay at Home Mom. I believe in the benefit of organized after school activities and nosy, involved parents. I believe in spoiling my children. I believe that I have seen the village and I do not want it anywhere near my children. Now for the controversial stuff:  we're Catholic, we're conservative, and we own guns (now there's no need to ask, lol).             Aimee















Jinx-Troublex3
by Jinx on Mar. 6, 2014 at 5:33 PM
1 mom liked this
This defines the majority...

Quoting AutymsMommy:

This is NOT true of all school experiences. I really wish people wouldn't paint with such a broad brush.

Quoting Bleacheddecay:

I think unschool is the way to go if you start from the first. However, if they've been in school up until now it's tough because they typically expect to be entertained, to hate learning and everything handed to them on a silver platter.

I recommend deschooling, reading The Teenage Liberation Handbook and then hitting the state recommended subjects only doing them "out of the box" in ways your kids or you come up with. NOT in traditional ways.

jjchick75
by Member on Mar. 6, 2014 at 5:36 PM
This

Quoting AutymsMommy:

You needn't go to either extreme. I do NOT follow the state standards, but I also do NOT unschool. We use an eclectic mix of curricula, specifically designed for homeschoolers. We are traditionally scholastic, without implementing public school at home.

Jinx-Troublex3
by Jinx on Mar. 6, 2014 at 5:41 PM
We are fortunate that Californi supports homeschool charter options and is pretty liberal in their governing of them.

We use a program that will give us a "box set" of grade.level curriculum and then a budget of about $1000 to spendon curriculum as we wish. They only.require it to be "grade level or higher and secular". Which is funny because we are.allowed.Story.of the World which has a definite christiam perspective but not Learning Language Arts Through Literature which has less of a christian slant. I am not sure who decides what is OK and what is not.

I come.from a private school background qnd while I am more "school at home" by assigning lessons and required material, I also base it in their interests.

DS1 who is 10th grade is into Japanese anime ajd mange so his art course was "cartoon and animation drawing" and I had him focus on amine and manga.(Japanese comic books).

For science or history, we often substitute Boy Scout merit badges.
KenneMaw
by Member on Mar. 6, 2014 at 5:44 PM

You gals are awesome!   It is hard to let go of that traditional school mentality.  I know it will take time.   I guess my fear is that when it comes time to take the ACT or SAT for college, how will I know she is prepared if we have forcused on what her interests are?   For example, I personally don't see what she needs to know the eating habits of a group of people in The Congo, but that info may be needed for college entrance exams.  Again, I am knew and have a bit of anxiety still :-)

I will say it is WONDERFUL to see my daughter happy and relaxed versus stressed out over obnoxiouis kids, slack teachers and mounds of homework after an 6+ hour school day.  Now, she is actually excited to tell me about what she learned :-)

IN defense of our public school, it was a good system. We were lucky.   The kids didn't expect to be entertained and nothing was ever spoon fed or placed on a silver platter.   From 1st grade on, the kids were taught the importance of writing and expressing themselves.   It drove me crazy how they taught math, but otherwise the kids learned good work habits.  I know we are the exception to the rule .

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