Our favorite homeschooling resources have already changed a ton since beginning our homeschooling journey in February 2012, and I’m sure they’ll continue to shift over the course of Ashar’s learning journey, especially as we near the end of what would be high-school years in public school. At the same time, I hope others who are on similar journeys find it useful to know what’s working for us right now.
If you really want to see the kinds of things we tend to do, check out the unschooled version of a 12th-grade-ish curriculum plan.
Unschooling resources we like
If you’re newer to Unschool RULES, maybe you’re wondering about this radical unschooling thing we do.
Here are a few posts that tell more about our lives!
- From homeschooled student to homeschooled mom: Going full circle, Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 (This series details everything from my own educational background to the earlier years of Ashar’s life, and really is the best way to get to know us and why we’re in the place we are!)
- Our guide to homeschooling and unschooling in Pennsylvania (This details some specific keys to the law in Pennsylvania, a highly regulated state for homeschooling.)
- Our 10 homeschooling/unschooling must-haves (The library. I almost don’t need to say any more, but in true Joan style, I did.)
- 5 things I learned NOT to do in our first month of homeschooling (Well, that’s pretty self-explanatory, right?)
- How we deal with critics of our radical unschooling lifestyle (This is also kind of a Q&A that addresses everything from “But all he does is play video games!” to “How can you tell if he’s learning?”)
- 5 days of real-world math (This series that I wrote in July 2012 continues to be one of the most detailed looks at how we talk about learning in real life!)
- 5 days of video-game learning (Yep, we play a LOT of video games. And we learn at the same time. Here’s how!)
Something I wrote in our earliest days of homeschooling, that still holds today:
We ARE informal.
We ARE trying to grab teaching and learning moments as they come.
We ARE letting Ashar make the decisions in as many cases as possible.
We ARE trying to find what works for us, and are willing to change as we go if something isn’t.
We ARE actively engaging with our kid and with the world around us.
We AREN’T using any “textbooks” at this point.
We AREN’T judgmental about other schooling approaches, including public school.
We AREN’T worried (well, at least not too much) about what goes into our portfolio at the end of the year.
We AREN’T comparing our days to what Ashar would have done in her former school.
We AREN’T experts.
I have to especially give credit to the Ask Pauline website, a compendium about homeschooling in Pennsylvania. I based the entirety of our “paperwork process” – removing Ashar from public school, filing our affidavit and objectives, having our objectives pre-approved because of Ashar’s IEP in public school, etc. – on material from that site. I found the book log and attendance log I’ve chosen to use there. If you’re homeschooling in PA, I highly recommend it.
This article, “Learning With Asperger’s: A Parent’s Perspective,” by Anita S. Charles, says a BUNCH of stuff I wish I was articulate enough to have said on my own. The reasoning in here is a HUGE part of why we homeschool – we want to work to Ashar’s strengths instead of constantly having her feel like he’s supposed to be “fixing” his supposed weaknesses.
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