Home Schooling/Unschooling


My 12 year old daughter, Lydia, loves music. ALL music. I walk into her room one day, It's Metallica. Next day, David Bowie. Next, Fun. She plays Clarinet in the town Band and Is teaching herself Giutar so she can start a rock band. I want to mix in her love of music into our unschooling curriculum, but niether of us know how. Any ideas? (I'm not really sure if this would be an area of you expertise, if not thats fine, just trying to find so ideas)

Hi Tahj,
Unschooling can take so many shapes and forms -- it kind of depends on what resources you have available to you. Here is a list of recommendations:
-Go to concerts, symphonies, performances, etc. Watch music of all types happen in real life. The good news is that there are plenty of free or cheap shows available in many towns and cities all year round.
-Offer formal music lessons in additional instruments. Teaching herself guitar is great! What about the opportunity for other instruments? Obviously it would have to something to her liking
-The library. Whether its your local library, or nearby college or city library, they often have extensive CD collections where you can find a wide variety of music, including ethnic, international, and varieties of classical music. It can be a fun study to learn about a composer, his or her music, and then listen to the composer play the music, and then compare to how others reproduce that music. This works for classic or classic rock.
-Netflix has a lot of documentaries on musicians, music, or bands. (Movies are fun too!)
-PBS shows a lot of operas and has some broadway music specials. Musical theatre has a rich history of styles of music and culture in them.
-Books: reading about bands, music movements, the history of music, music in cultures, etc can be a great read and topic of discussion.

What parts of music is she interested in? Does she want to write her own music? Critique music? Play music?

For writing music, there are computer programs that you can use with a plug-in keyboard to help compose music. Or the old-fashioned way of literally writing your music works, too. :)

NPR has some great music education, whether its just discovering music, finding music from around the world, critiquing music, or discussing and educating about music. If you can't keep up with their busy schedule, many segments are online for listening later.

Podcasts! Check out iTunes for some music related podcasts that will pique her interest.

Are there other opportunities for her to play music outside of the town band? For example, civic theatre, volunteer work, in another performance place, open mic, etc? If she wants to perform, these might be some avenues to explore.

Hope these ideas provide some thought-starters for you! I think it's great you're looking for ways to boost her unschooling program. You can add so much to her life that she'll be excited about.


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Lauren Sengele


I was homeschooled nearly all my life. I homeschooled through most of elementary school and all of high school. I can answer questions on meeting friends, support groups, curriculum choices, and anything else relating to homeschooling. Ask me - I'ved LIVED what I`m talking about.


My first experiance with learning was reading in the first grade, taught by my mom. For high school, my learning was a mixture of homeschool group classes, self-taught class work, and one-on-one teaching by my parents. I was able to skip 2nd and 8th grades with my homeschooling education. After I graduated high school at the age of 16, I went to college and graduated "Magna Cum Laude" in 4 years with two degrees - BA in Psychology and BA in French. I was the "Psychology Major of the Year" and winner of "Award for Achievement in French" during the senior year of my college. I worked between 15-25 hours a week in college in a variety of jobs. I spent my sophomore year abroad in France studying French (I took two years of French and 1 year of Latin in high school).

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