What do I mean by unconventional? I mean anything other than textbooks. Most of us were brought up to believe that the only way to teach is with a textbook that you assign to the student, they study it and then they take a test to see how much they’ve learned.
But is this the way we learn as adults? Not me. When I’m interested in learning about a new topic the first thing I do is go to the library and find out what books they have on the subject. Now I know, some of you are already thinking that I’m behind the times. Many of you would be quick to point out that the Internet is a far better resource than the public library. Call me old-fashioned, I am a reader and would rather have a book in my hands than stare at a screen. But since you brought up the Internet, there are lots of ways to gain information there too!
Some homeschoolers are uneasy with a truly unschooling method. This is where you allow the student to completely control their learning environment and the topics they choose to explore. I am not necessarily saying that to go unconventional, you have to go completely unschooled. There are many degrees of learning between conventional schooling and unschooling.
I’ve collected a selection of resources that might help you feel more comfortable with a less structured learning model.
Carschooling – when you have to spend a lot of time in your vehicle and can’t seem to get any schoolwork done, here are some ideas to make the time profitable.
Project Based Learning – Choosing projects that help your child explore their interests in depth. The possibilities are endless. What is your child interested in?
Notebooking – Creating notebooks to collect information as the student learns about a topic.
There is also a website called, “Lifestyle of Learning Association of Christian Home Educators” (LOLACHE). The founder is Marilyn Howshall. I read several of her books on homeschooling about 20 years ago. If you can find them, they are very helpful for a more relaxed homeschool experience. They are out of print but if you go to Marilyn Howshall on Amazon you can see what is available used. I bought the 4 book set.
Delight Directed Homeschooling – a method of learning that follows the child’s interests but is more structured than unschooling.
There are also many classes that you can sign up for at your local library or community center. Check for co-ops in your area for group experiences for your students too.