Today’s Real Homeschooling for Real Families post is written by Cyndie who is a local mom. She is writing about using technology to unschool her daughter.
UN-School mom here! I have been asked to explain a sample day to day of how my daughter (7) learns through the unschooling method. I’ll just leave the wiki link here so you can read what unschooling is. You can also check out books about unschooling from Amazon.
We’re big on family time so we do official school work around my husbands work schedule. He works 2nd shift 4 days a week. On those days we get up around noon. (yes, you read that right) My seven year old hops onto the Xbox and games with her friends for about an hour while I gather my thoughts. We check the weather radar together and plan what we want to do for the rest of the day.
Yesterday it was the first warm day of Spring, we decided to ride the bus to the local park after going to get a new Princess in Black book from the library. Together we made our lunch for the day. We planned our bus route and off we went. Every Wednesday our local used book store hosts a chess day. My daughter enjoys playing chess. We spent about 3 hours at the park then head to the bookstore to play chess. We took the bus home, made dinner together, played some Just Dance on the Nintendo Switch, read the new book we just got and started some “School work” which consists of a few pages in workbooks.
But I said I unschool, Why am I having my daughter do book work? Simple. She enjoys it. Every day is different but we follow this guide line: Read 3 books, a few math problems on paper, write something. That’s it! that’s our school day!
We love to read The Magic Tree House for History and Geography. There is a website you can go to get themed work for each book (link at the end) We tend to read one book a week and do a whole day focused on where the book is themed.
She has a ton of different things going on from animal research reports to jotting down the best thing that happened in the news that given day. Some days she’ll write her own poems the list goes on. I follow her flow. If she wants to spend a day reading about Panda’s we’ll whip out Google and find out everything about pandas either by watching YouTube, a documentary, reading stories about them and even finding Panda’s on a map. SO we cover every subject each day without planning on it.
To sum up a day homeschooling is an easy go with the flow learn as you go adventure. We plan big events like zoo days, co-op meet ups but most of the time we wake up and let the day lead us!
We enjoy using the computer for “school work” usually spending 2-3 hours a day on the PC or tablet.
Here are a few of Emilie’s favorite websites:
Adapted Mind – Math games, K-6 curriculum is research-based, common core aligned, and comprehensive – with over 300,000 math problems . They recently added reading and science. My daughter LOVES this site. It’s best for math IMO but they just added science.
ABC YA – Games for all subjects up to 5th grade.
Magic Tree House – The magic tree house website.
PBSKids offers a ton of games and activities related to the shows they produce. We use it since it’s fun for gaming.
DOGO News offers all sorts of news stories that kids can enjoy and learn from.
Free certificate templates from 123 Certificates that you can use to make formal awards, awards for kids, awards for a tournament, school, or business. I like to print emilie awards every now and then.
We use Storyline Online, streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations. Readers include Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Costner, Annette Bening, James Earl Jones, Betty White and dozens more.
I use this site called Teacher Tube which is just teachers, teaching other teachers how to teach things to kids. Their goal is to provide an online community for sharing instructional videos. We seek to fill a need for a more educationally focused, safe venue for teachers, schools, and home learners. It is a site to provide anytime, anywhere professional development with teachers teaching teachers. As well, it is a site where teachers can post videos designed for students to view in order to learn a concept or skill.
Khan Academy – I use this for testing mostly. Just to get a grip on where Emilie is and what we need extra work on.
We also use a lot of television for learning. We watch documentaries. We watch kid shows like Pete the Cat, Magic School Bus, Spirit Riding Free, etc. We use Youtube to it’s fullest.
YouTube Subscriptions (mostly for fun)
Dollightful – doll maker. (arts and crafts)
MyFroggy Stuff – We LOVE all things Dolls! We LOVE all things crafting! Doll Crafts, Barbie, American Girl, Monster High, Ever After High, Project MC2, Mini Dolls, Shopkins, Shopkins Shoppies, we LOVE any and ALL Dolls! We craft Dollhouses, Doll rooms, Doll Scenes, We have BRAND NEW videos every single Day, Blind Bags, Blind Boxes, Doll Reviews, Unboxings, Toy Reviews, YouTube Live every Week, The Darbie Show, Gaming, Mash Ups, Fabsome Collabs, 360 Interactive video!! You name it and we’ve got it!! My Froggy Stuff is a Fabulous Mother Daughter team of artsy Doll Crafters!
MandaPanda Toy Collector (doll maker arts n crafts)
Finding Stuff Out – (science)
The Sim Supply – (teaches how to make houses on the sims4 covers math and building, etc.)
TheDollFairy-I’m Diana the Doll Fairy and I’m an artist who enjoys creating one-of-a-kind dolls! On my channel I’ll be featuring my unique doll projects and artwork, and post helpful how-to videos and tutorials that might inspire you to be creative too! (doll maker)
Peekaboo Kidz Peekaboo is a cheerful destination with colourful animation for all the Happy Children of the world! Specially designed for kids as they explore the World of Kids Educational Videos, Classic English songs, Phonics Songs, Lullabies and more! (Science ,history,fun facts)
Alphablocks – The Alphablocks are 26 living letters who discover that whenever they hold hands and make a word, something magical happens. With adventures, songs and silliness, it’s tons of fun with words – all built on a firm foundation of key phonics skills.
We play The Sims4 on PC ALOT. This game covers so much real life tools its crazy. Math,science social skills, how to run a business. different types of plants and how they grow It teaches you different careers people can have. I let Em free play alot but I also give her missions to do. Like run a clothing store for X amount of time. Build a 30X20 sq ft house. Grow a veggie garden.
On Xbox1 she plays Slime Rancher (teaches how to read a compass,how to care for living things, how to expand a farm, exchange money, it also teaches the principles of science and building. …. Minecraft. (I’m sure you know this game ) She sometimes plays Sea Of Thieves. This game takes place during the pirate era you have to earn money, keep your ship in order,get a crew and sail the seven seas using a compass. My daughter has learned so much about sailing and different ships but it is a multiplayer game and sometimes people just play with sinking other ships in mind. We play with close friends and family only.