More Organization is Necessary!


Posted on : 4:52 PM | By : Anonymous | In : ,

After the chaos that we have descended into this summer and the relative chaos of our children's behavior as a result, we are still unschooling but it in a much more organized way.  I realized that we have a daughter that can't function without a routine of some kind and we need to go with that.  I also go braindead when faced with a day in which we just go with life willy-nilly based on whatever my kids are asking me, often at a dizzying pace.  They often don't think of stuff to keep occupied or constructive of course, and I have a type-A personality that can't stand sitting around.  I am always busy and my kids are even more so, and when there's nothing planned they strip naked and run around screaming.  Which is fine sometimes, but not 24 hours a day.

So here's our tentative homeschool (technically, classical unschooling) plan, which gives me plenty of project ideas and allows my kids to branch off in all kinds of directions based on their interests.  Through elementary school my mom used KONOS, a huge unit study program that is like the motherload of all unit study programs.  Out of everything I did in school, I remember that.  Alternatively, we could use Five in a Row, which is more scheduled and focuses a little more on literature rather than character traits and history.  FIAR is cheap and simple and adequate.  KONOS is expensive, comprehensive and with all three volumes lasts until high school, but possible to find on eBay for half price.  This website has a great list of what is covered in KONOS, and it's easy to pick and choose, either following it chronologically or by character trait.  

We will also utilize the computer, the library, and the great outdoors.  We will be getting a bursary for homeschooling through the Wondertree SelfDesign program, which starts coming after September 30th.  At that point we will are considering getting the whole family into Judo, getting an electronic keyboard, and some professional acrylic paints, paintbrushes and canvases for the girls.  I'm going to start getting back into oil painting again and they can paint alongside me with real stuff.

So here's my shopping list for the Kindergarten year:
More acrylic paints, canvas, brushes
More watercolors too
Chess and checkers
Collect old buttons for counting
Origami paper and book
More card games (I have an Impressionist Artist one, but I need more)
More board games
Puzzles (from the thrift store probably)
Sewing boards/shoelaces
Pencils/pencil sharpeners
Nature journals
Plant/animal identification books
Classical music Mp3's
KONOS Vol. 1
KONOS Compass
Lots of PAPER!!!
Misc. Glue and Other Supplies
Two small learning clocks

Software to Get for Kid's iMac:
Spore Creature Creator and Later Spore Full Version (even my 2 year old loves it)
Mia's Math Adventure (and other Mia games as well)

I already have: 
An Acorn in My Hand (lucky me... out of print and hard to find)
Lots of Usborne and DK books from used book sales
Lots of books from This List, one of the best book lists I have found (although here is a List of Lists that is equally good)
The Farming Game
Snail Race

And my wish list:
More music books 
Knitting corks
I really want Genevieve Foster books, even if they kids are too young for them yet
I also really want the Minimus Latin books
The card game SET
Math flash cards
McGuffey Readers
The Settlers of Catan
Pick Two
Labrynth (and more Ravensburger games)

Goals are a really necessary part of life.  Maybe not for everybody, but very much so in our house.  Not so much as a requirement for achievement, but as a method of travelling.  We recognize that goals change as much as for ourselves as for our kids.  So rather than having goals for the kids, I've got goals for myself.

Every week I want to put up a Latin word or phrase on the wall.  I thought at first I'd start them on French or German, and we have been learning some Japanese phrases, but learning Latin roots really helped me, and most of that learning was through Rummy Roots, a card game.

We have plenty of dictionaries, including one on the computer.  If the girls don't know a word, I want them to help me look it up with them.  When they start writing, if they misspell a word I will add it to an ongoing spelling list.  There won't be a formalized spelling program, but we will have oral spelling bees of the list once a week.

I want math as much as possible to be from real-life experience.  My kids have already learned to count, and are beginning to add and subtract but need some more practice with some more abstract concepts.  Consumer math needs to be from managing a personal bank account and running a small business.  I do love flash cards because I love memorization, but in the later years I want my kids at least exposed to calculus and trig without feeling overwhelmed.  I had a bad experience with Saxon math.  We'll use games like Monopoly and Yahtzee! too, but more is needed. We're going to start out with two Abacuses for playing around with and a book of hands on activities for all the math principles from AL.

For Pre-School last year, I used the Singapore Science 1A with Annie, and she loved it.  But it also shows me I really need to challenge her in science since in preschool she was doing first grade topics.  She loves looking at mineral and shell identification books and anatomy books.  So we're going to use a very rigorous hands-on, classical science program called R.E.A.L Science which has tons of experiments and has her record her results like a scientist.

So that's the plan so far... fairly inexpensive if bought used, child-led, real world stuff. :)

Comments (2)

I comend you for "unschooling" at home. I don't know if I could do it. How do you do it all?

I would love to see a timeline of your day!

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