Last night W was talking about making cinnamon rolls with B and said the following: "We'll probably make 20 at once, in 2 batches, so that's 40 cinnamon rolls. See? I just added the 2s together and the zeros, so I know it's 40. Speaking of math, can we do math now? I'm in the mood for it." So we ended up doing a few math pages in his workbook together. The one thing I love about Charlotte Mason and the AmblesideOnline curriculum is how well it goes hand-in-hand with unschooling. It's such a gentle schedule with fun and interesting readings and activities. They love it so much. I enjoy it with them. And seeing how it really fosters their love of learning is amazing to me. I'll keep at it as long as they keep asking for it.
I so believe that when kids get to choose their educational path (and overall life paths) they are just happier, love learning, and love life. Whether they choose no curriculum, some curriculum, a full curriculum, or a brick and mortar school building, it's the choice, the trust, and the respect that make all the difference in the world. Learning is everywhere and kids take in what they need at that time. If they need more, they seek it (which in turn produces a purer, deeper understanding and overall outcome).
J is choosing to read more on her own now and loves classic literature and poetry. She's making web shows, puts 110% into her dancing, and has more (real) friends and social life than anyone else her age that I know. I don't think she needs scheduled academics in her life, but she prefers to. She's the type who likes to surpass (or at the very least, keep up with) her grade level. Even K, who goes to public school, does well because she chooses to be there and enjoys the game that is school. When she's out with her friends, she knows I trust her to make good decisions - and she hasn't let me down. And then you have W, who wants to know about everything in the world and takes his time with all of it. At almost 8 he's finally decided that reading will actually get him places and so he now reads every day. All subjects fascinate him, but I purposely try not to separate his learning into individual "subjects". It is difficult since this separate-ness tends to be almost everywhere. Thankfully, the AO schedule we printed out is just a list of the readings and we're free to say it's all one big subject if we so choose, lol (although technically it can be broken down if I need to for reporting purposes).
So, yeah. Even though we may not look like an unschooling family from the outside, I will always be an unschooling parent in my heart and in my beliefs - following the philosophy, having the trust and respect, and being the facilitator and provider of what my children choose to have in their lives. All this with no need for coercion, demands, expectations, punishments, or bribes. We live an amazing life.
Now I just need to find others like us, lol...