Learning Staples

Our Learning Staples are those items on the shelf that we would not like to be without – like Baking Soda, or Vanilla. We may not use Vanilla or Cream of Tartar every day, but when ya need it .  . . 

It might seem strange for an “unschooling” family to post their favorite curriculum – Exposure to an idea or theory will not make a person an expert. Talking about drawing or music, looking at it, sharing ideas will not make one a world class pianist or painter.  Practice, diligence, instruction and endurance. When we have questions that need instruction – these are the items we keep around the home for answers.  We swim in the library – a huge pool of knowledge just waiting for us.

The Staples

“Spelling is my favorite type of thing, except for Art”, he said after asking how to spell a word for his fish truck drawing.  He has been watching Akeelah and the Bee, inspired to memorize words to spell correctly. 

“I’m on the last page of my PACE mom!”, said my other son. “Wow, congratulations”, I snicker, as it is the same 30 page PACE that was started in September.

UnSchooling/DeSchooling/Delight Directed/Eclectic

I love the question of – what do you use for homeschool? My favorite answer is “we UnSchool”.  It seems to separate the judgmental competitors from the love of learners.  We do not attempt to “do school at home”. We learn 24/7, always in from life, experience, travel, reading, television, the community, the library.  Do not confuse “not reproducing the public school at home” with “not pursing knowledge and wisdom”.  Our ever waking breath is formed in a question, have you ever heard a young person not ask questions?  “One more question mom”. Ya right. Just one more?

Name
In Kindergarten, we  asked the boys to give our school a name. They wanted Rock School. We chose  for Petra School – Jesus is the Rock, the unmovable foundation – The Boys are  pieces of that rock – Petros. We will build their learning and life on that  foundation – I am merely the keeper of the pebbles.

Bible
Silly enough, we use um, the Bible. 🙂 I’m asked this question almost as often as what we use for math. With all that we do, it must be taken back to the Word. What does He want for  our lives, How are we to Live? How are we to Parent? How do we Love His Son  Jesus? How do we display this Love? What character does He desire? Oh to  Learn,Practice, and Teach.

Although there isn’t an AWANA club here in our area, we are continuing with the books.  We are memorizing basic truths about who God is. Jon likes to play AWANA on Thursday nights, dancing around with the flag and having snack time and a game. 🙂

Science
Do we ever have a ton of field guides. We took a challenge by my  favorite homeschoolers at Lamb’s Academy, the Waldens, and tried to pick up as  many as possible. We have found no need for a "science curriculum" yet.

This winter we are participating in the Outdoor Nature Challenges, given as encouragement to spend an hour outside – observing, journaling, asking the deeper questions.  Moving to the ocean has produced many questions – right now we are pursuing learning about Trout Stocking.

We added a library of science readers this year, they were given to us by a stranger at a park – she asked, Are you Homeschoolers? I say – Yes, She says, wait right there I have something in my car for you . . .

Christian Liberty Nature Readers and A Reason for Science this year. The book  focuses on Scientific Method – we are using it to help with writing and thinking  skills. Each project has journaling involved to work through alot of  questioning.

Art
‘ target=_blank>’ target=_blank>Drawing  Textbook from Timberdoodle.com – A simple little book, but it simply teaches one how to draw. What to look  for, how to practice. It has greatly improved our drawing skills.

We are all working on our sketching skills, observation, practice.  I have been inspired by Clair Walker Leslie – to go out every day, observe, write it down.  I think I am  a naturalist at heart, along with the whole family. 🙂 I am loving her “Drawn to Nature” and “Keeping a Nature Journal”.

Character
We have found alot of the products at Door Posts to be especially helpful in the early years.

For Instructions in Righteousness, Brother Offended, Service Opportunities,  Parent Helps, Take it to the Ant, CornerStones, etc. Great daily helps.

Skills
Keepers of the Faith, Contenders  of the Faith

This program helps parents help their children learn and use the skills that  they will need as grown men, husbands and fathers. We take categories based on  our interests and make lap books with them.

Service

Good  News Club

We love being active as servants to the ministry of the Good News Clubs. We  get to tell children about our savior Jesus Christ. We get to share His Love. We  learn so much about God’s word, his promises and his character.  There is not an active club right now in Lincoln City, We will continue to pray about our involvement – if you have the opportunity to help – I would say YES!

Right now our service seems to center around our home, operating a sort of B&B for all of our traveling friends. We are learning the art and gift of hospitality. It takes more than humility and servant hood to be hospitable. People need rest, relaxation, and a filling of joy.  We would like to learn/receive that gift – to pass on to others.

Geography

The Ultimate Geography and Timeline Guide  – We are working on a challenge this year of going through each continent and then attending a Geography Co-op to discuss what we’ve learned. Although we are too far away to attend the co-op, we are still working on their country set.  We are in China for February. 🙂

When they were younger we LOVED Galloping the Globe and Cantering the Country.  We love the games “10 days in . . . .”

English

We have used a variety of writing and English curriculums.  We spent one year working on about 4 years worth of PACE’s to get ready for the Oregon State Testing. I won’t do that again. We may get the Daily Grams when we run out of PACES.  They do them when they feel like it.  Usually, by the time we write out notes from field guides, journal, sketch, type, text, chat on line, and write letters to family – I don’t see a need for concentrated instruction.  If we needed instruction I would turn to:

Daily Grams, ACE School of Tomorrow English Paces, Spell to Write and Read, The Writing Road to Reading, Phonics Pathways, Spaulding Method, or a Costco Workbook. 🙂

Math

I can’t say enough for the Miquon Series of math.  Working on puzzles each day, especially with the lego style connecting rods, has been a joy.  Math is seen as something to be played with, solved, used in every day life of science, baking, budgets and sharing.   We have taken times where we do a bit of math every day to where we work on it once a week or once a month.  What I have seen with my boys, is that they forget the facts if they take breaks from it.  So – a few minutes a day to keep refreshed is a must.

Nathan is working on Saxon 7/6 with the Dive CD, Jon is still in the Miquon  books. Going great!

We also just got the Basic Math and PreAlgebra for Dummies and the workbook to help mom learn how to do fractions . . . . .

Probably not all –

I’m sure there is more that I could add, I’ll try to keep it updated. We use so many sources for our learning – our questions  outweigh our time. Our sources are limitless. Our God is Faithful – We pray to keep diligent.

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About +Angie Wright

The Transparent Thoughts of an Unschooling Family of Boys - Answering the question - What DO you DO all day?
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