And then they hated math: My journey into unschooling

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Written by contributor Amida of Journey Into Unschooling

remember the first time I called myself an unschooler. I had just read John Holt’s Teach Your Own and was impressed with his vision of an alternative educational style in which children were encouraged to learn outside of school.

He saw children as scientists, eager and capable of exploring and experimenting with the world around them. Yes, I thought, that is exactly what I wanted my children to experience.

I had visions of them spending their days wandering through nature, collecting and identifying leaves, filling notepads with their amazingly original stories, learning math, engineering, civics, and science through a year-long project of designing and building a cardboard, solar-powered city.

It was learning at its fantastical best — fun, natural, and meaningful.
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The lazy girl’s guide to home education

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Written by contributor Kari Patterson of Sacred Mundane

A big forest behind our house, lots of free time to read, a garden, science fairs, a playhouse, maps on the wall, Legos, an old piano, sketch books, almost no TV, and a library card.

These were the key components of my homeschool education growing up. In fact, when I’m asked what my homeschool days were like I usually respond, “I remember home but I don’t remember any school.”

My mom loves that.
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3 kids, 3 journeys to reading

3 kids, 3 journeys to reading
Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom

Learning to read. It’s a big deal, isn’t it?

I know it often feels HUGE to us as homeschooling parents. It’s kind of the first thing we don’t want to mess up, ya know? But in our eagerness to prove ourselves, we sometimes end up rushing these little people we love more than anything.

I thought it might be helpful if I shared the way my three children learned (& are learning) to read. It amazes me that with three kids, the process has been different every time.

That’s why a cookie cutter approach to education just won’t work. We need to treat our kids like individuals–because they are!

Here’s what the road to the written word has looked like in our home.
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Teaching kids to bake: The results

teaching baking to kids- the results
Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom

Last autumn I shared in detail about how and why I started formal baking lessons as part of our homeschool.

If you missed the post, here’s a brief recap: Each child over the age of eight in our family receives an “invitation” to study with me and learn how to bake. If they choose to enroll in the class, I present them with a binder and a syllabus of ten recipes we’ll learn to make together.

When the student can make all ten items independently, they “graduate.” Their graduation celebration (and final exam, I guess) is to host a party for friends where they bake all the goodies themselves.
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Confessions of a non-classical reader

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The following is a guest post by Laura Thomas of This Eternal Moment.

If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking. –Haruki Murakami

I have a confession to make — I did not grow up reading classical literature.

While I have always loved to read, I have another confession to make: part of this love came, at least initially, through an incentive.

You see, when I was in elementary school, my parents sought to encourage my brother and me to read by offering us a penny a page for any book we read that they felt was at our current reading level or beyond.

For several months I read … and read … and read until something happened — my parents saw that I was now officially “hooked” on reading and they were no longer going to offer pennies as an incentive.

And – Eureka! They were right! I kept reading!

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