In today’s post I want to discuss our homeschool method. Relaxed Guided Unschooling is the method we’ve come up with to make learning fun for our 1st grader. One of the first things most beginner homeschoolers do is try to figure out which method of homeschooling is best for their family.
What most beginner homeschoolers don’t know is that your method of homeschooling will likely be fluid. It will likely change from year to year and from child to child based on what’s best for them and how they grow.
Not all homeschooling methods fit into a neat little box and the good news is they don’t have to. After spending a few weeks trying to do one method of homeschooling I quickly realized my child was not having it.
He’s incredibly independent and prefers to just work and learn on his own. Trying to get him to sit still for a lesson just wasn’t working out and causing frustration for both of us. That’s when I decided that I would instead move on to a guided unschooling method.
Today, I want to explain to you my son’s learning personality, what our method is, and how it works out for us.
Independent Visual Learners
My son is extremely independent and prefers to learn visually. This means he likes to watch videos or play on apps to learn.
While he will sit through my reading a book or two to him, he doesn’t like sitting through entire lessons. He wants the facts and the information quickly and bite sized.
He is an on the go kid all the time and just wants to spend his days playing, exploring, and having fun. I can’t blame him, that’s all I want to do too. My job as the parent is to find a way to incorporate his natural learning style into our homeschooling so the information he learns sticks with him for life.
This is where relaxed homeschooling comes in. Relaxed homeschooling is a blend of different types of homeschooling methods to make one that works for your kids. We started off with a Waldorf based curriculum for homeschooling but it quickly turned into a sort of guided unschooling.
While I wanted him to follow a curriculum for my own personal desires, I quickly realized it wasn’t fitting his learning style. This means I had to change my expectations and start working with him. This meant figuring out our own relaxed homeschooling method.
Relaxed homeschooling just simply means that your child learns based on what interests them. The use of a curriculum is minimal and may only be used for subjects like math or science. Blending curriculums is a great way to make sure you keep your child learning throughout the school year.
Unschooling is not just letting your child run amok. Unschooling is letting your child take the lead on what they are most interested in learning. It’s like gentle parenting, we don’t just tell our children what to do, we give them options.
The child obviously isn’t going to know what to learn about if they aren’t given options. So unschooling is schooling. It’s just letting the child pick from all the options in front of them to focus on what they are interested in.
Unschooling is a great option for independent kids who like to make their own decisions and plan their own days. It allows them to learn on their own or with minimal help.
Relaxed Guided Unschooling
Relaxed Guided Unschooling means I use anything I can at my disposal in order to help my son learn. Right now that means he’s learning via book reading and video watching on YouTube.
Now, he doesn’t actually get a say in the video’s that he gets to watch. All videos are pre screened by me and are picked based on the Waldorf curriculum we purchased earlier in the year.
That’s where the guided part comes in. I am guiding his education by finding something he likes, fun learning videos, documentaries, TV Shows and apps he can play with on his tablet.
It’s taking an incognito approach to education that in my kids eyes keeps me as mom and not mom and teacher. He’s learning from me without realizing he’s actually learning from me.
In the afternoon at least 3 days a week I take some of the lessons he’s working on and create or find crafts based on his interests. We do the crafts together and discuss what he’s learned. I can add these crafts or pictures of these crafts to my homeschool reporting.
I also print related worksheets, or create worksheets based on what my son is learning every week or month. I then leave them out. When he’s interested in practicing he completes the worksheet. I then store that away in my report box.
I like to use our Oak Meadow curriculum for ideas in crafts and in putting together worksheets for my son. I love the peace of mind that the Oak Meadow curriculum gives me in knowing my son is learning right along with his peers, even if he’s not learning directly and solely from the curriculum.
Oak Meadows curriculum is super flexible like that and I think it’s a great starting curriculum for newer homeschoolers. You can check out my full Oak Meadow Curriculum Review here.
How My Kid Likes The Method
Since he’s never attended a public school he doesn’t realize that what he’s doing is school so he enjoys learning what he wants to learn. I’ve seen a lot of improvement over the last couple of months. For instance, his speech is better, he’s already learning sentence structure, and his writing is excellent. He’s also learning to read at an incredibly fast pace.
His natural interest in learning to communicate better is showing and he’s learning quickly because I’m not stopping him on this current favorite subject in order to move on to something else.
While he is mainly interested in reading and language, he does have interest in Math that we pursue. He started counting when he had just turned 3 and was counting to 30 well before kindergarten. So we started adding in counting to 100 and he’s just about got the order completely right and memorized.
He’s also starting to show interest in addition and subtraction and he’s catching on quickly. I’m anticipating that by the end of the year I will likely be adding mathematics flash cards into our daily mix.
My child loves that he gets to learn via video, that we do crafts together, and he gets to participate in my daily activities like cooking or caring for plants and animals.
Why Relaxed Guided Unschooling?
If you are a parent who tries really hard to use gentle parenting methods who has a super independent kid who just wants to play all the time, relaxed guided unschooling might be the choice for you too.
I decided early I did not want to fight about learning with my son. I want my son to have a love for learning and to always seek out information, facts, and knowledge. That means now while he’s young I have to make learning something fun for him.
Relaxed guided unschooling allows me to avoid the learning fights and instead focus on the good parts of learning. I get to embrace his excitement over a subject and keep giving him more information until he has it down. He feels encouraged instead of bored.
I can’t say we will always be relaxed guided unschooling because children grow and learning styles can change. For now and for at least the next couple of years, this method will likely be the one we stick with.
What homeschooling methods are you using? Let me know in the comments below. Follow me on Pinterest for more like this and pin this to your favorite homeschooling boards.