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    Joined: Feb 2009
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    Originally Posted by BWBShari
    It's referred to as learning on a line.....
    Imagine reading a book about Vikings. (History)
    They used Longboats, we got a piece of string and measured out 60' so that there would be some perspective (math)
    Converted to metrics(math)
    Talked about other kinds of boats and propulsion (science)
    Built sailboats to float in the duckpond. (science)
    Talked about triangles and what angles made the most efficient sails (math and science)
    Calculated wind speed in knots (math)
    Took our metric conversions to the kitchen, converted recipes and baked cookies (math)
    Research other ways wind energy is used (science and conservation)
    Wrote an essay on alternative energies (science, language arts)

    Shair, this is what I'd like to do for DS6. There are schools that do this, as well. They're sometimes called project based and sometimes called Reggio. I've read that this concept is also the basis behind gifted education. Do you have any books that would be a good starting point for someone who wants to try this?

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    Quote
    A school system in our area allows it, but not our school. It seems like who does and who doesn't allow it is rather a crapshoot.

    Same for us. frown

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    Originally Posted by IronMom
    Can anyone else describe how they managed to do what I read Dr. Ruf did - half home school their kid and somehow still got their local school to agree to do afternoon lessons of resources like art, musi?

    Our state doesn't allow p/t in PS. I looked at the hs friendly schools listed in the local hs newsletter. Some of the schools are for hs only, some are mixed. Some had a minimum time requirement or/and didn't seem like a good match for us. At the end DS6 ended up in a small private school where he goes for 2 afternoons/week. Their afternoons are pretty much nonacademic. They had hs there before but he is the only one right now. It still works and we are quite happy with the current arrangement. We will try to do the same thing next year. Fingers crossed that they are not full and can accept him.

    I would suggest looking into small private schools. You may not have too much luck at this time of the year though. The schools may be more willing to accommodate you once they know how many students are enrolled for the next school year.


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    Thanks for all the responses. And please do share anything more about learning on a line. I found I naturally fell into that with my step daugthers several years back - or at least - saw that there were opportunities to teach that way. I've found myself doing it sinc DS6 was little too - just depending on his interests. I think, even if you roughly follow a curriculum - there should be room for this - esp. with a GT kid. Hence - use whatever thier latest "fad" is to your advantage. Even Thomas the Tank and Star Wars or TV shows/icons become useful in this way!

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    IronMom,

    Pick a subject, any subject... Pull something out of the subject that comes up and follow it. It doesn't have to be concrete.

    We love to garden, have a huge one every year. All of my kids help, even the little ones.

    Plant a garden with your DS. That's science.
    Then follow the line.....
    To botany, how a plant is formed
    To recycling, how to compost, to other types of recycling
    To solar power, greenhouses
    To Global Warming, the grrenhouse effect
    To Growing food, the world food supplies
    To what different countries eat
    pick a country, do a report on their food supply
    To the food chain

    This method will go wherever you want to take it. We've even had discussions regarding vocabulary that was unfamiliar. Once we spent over 2 hours looking up the origin of different words. There really isn't any "right" way, you just follow the line, even if it's a connection that only you or your son can see.


    Shari
    Mom to DS 10, DS 11, DS 13
    Ability doesn't make us, Choices do!
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    Cypher,

    I didn't see your post until just now, sorry!

    As far as I know there aren't any books specific to this method. Some will argue that it's unschooling because it is in some ways child led. I don't agree. While I always gave my DS the opportunity to identify "what comes next?" I was clear that we would always be learning something. Unschoolers allow their kids to take days off if they don't feel like learning, and never place demands on material. Neither one of those is true of us.

    When you first get started it seems like you spend a significant amount of time thinking "Oh, god, what comes next?'. Once you've been at it for a little while, things just seem to sort of flow naturally. A perfect example of this is "the great chicken project" currently going on at my house. It started as a lesson in politics for my 14 yo, moved into economics, the GDP etc. Now I have a 6 yo raising chickens for urban chicken farmers. He wrote a business plan, is calculating cost of goods and will ultimately realize a profit.

    A lot depends on you and how flexible you want to be. How far to stretch the line. Some of the stuff that we do is not reasonable for someone living in a city, just as there are things that are hard for us in the boonies! If you are determined to do an hour of math a day, then it's hard to be flexible. But we found using this method that we hit every core subject every week. Just try it! After a while, you'll have lines going in 10 different directions. Some will die, some will morph into things you never expected and some will turn your DS onto things he didn't know existed and develop new passions.


    Shari
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    Not to go too far afield, but I think there are other ways to unschool actually, Shari.

    I heard one unschooler talking about having "math time" every day, but letting her kids decide what math to do from the many choices she had made available for them. I thought that was just about the most sensible approach to unschooling that I'd ever heard, and frankly, it's kind of what we're doing. It reminds me of Montessori at its best, actually.

    Some of this just comes down to semantics, of course, and I don't mean to be difficult. smile I just thought that was a pretty smart approach regardless, and the person doing it did call herself an unschooler. FWIW...


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    I know someone that identifies herself as a radical unschooler who goes so far as to not make her kids brush their teeth! Her little darling should never be forced into something unpleasant!

    Kris... I think it's a matter of exposure. Those i've been exposed to are self identified as radical. I've never met any others.


    Shari
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    Yes, I know one 10yo (11 now?) who still can't read. I worry about that family... eek Unschooling seems to equal lazy mom in their case. frown

    Happily, most of the unschoolers I know are nothing like that. They actually seem *more* prepared and organized than the average homeschooler about having materials on-hand for their kids and encouraging some sort of productive use of time. (My kids watch TV; theirs don't. That sort of thing.) In each of the other cases, the kids are progressing quite nicely.

    One mom was talking about unschooling swimming. Basically, she took the kids to the pool and let them paddle around until one asked how to perform strokes. So she taught him. The others joined in. That's more what I think of as effective unschooling.

    Of course, I don't know anyone who would call herself a "radical" unschooler either. So there's that!

    Kriston


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    Everyone I know who actually identifies themselves as an "unschooler" in real life is very very radical, much more radical than the most out-there Waldorf method I've ever seen. Like Kriston's example of the 10 year old who can't read... I have met a few of those. A few have landed in my classes after being unschooled until junior high and then plopped in public school. Ick.

    But now that I'm learning more, "unschooling" the normal way seems to me more like what in teacher school we called "Child-centered learning". You throw them a tidbit and if it sticks, then you throw more. If not, then you try a different angle. So a child who may not get excited about math, may love cooking. You cook, convert recipes, weigh, make grocery lists and budgets, pricing, double recipes and then say "hey guess what, we did math." I only recently learned from Kriston's explanation that we are already unschoolers and are also learning on a line! (even though DS goes to "real" school...)

    For example- he went through a period of an obsession with Tutenstein (on Discovery Kids). So I watched the episode with him, then took bits and made other projects. We mummified a chicken, studied human anatomy so we could talk about how to get those organs out and into jars, read Egyptian mythology, looked at maps and pictures of modern Egypt on the net. We did something that started from mummies every day for almost two months. When he was done, we moved on.


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