I home school using Charlotte Mason and Ambleside Online. With part of my brain I totally agree with CM philosophies, but I've never been able to fully implement her methodology. When Charlotte was alive, children did not have television, computer, Legos, movies, etc. My ...principal (of our homeschool)... has never chosen to eliminate television from our lives. As a matter of fact, our life was upgrade from antenna to satelite this week (for the first time in my son's life he has more than five channels). So more than ever there is, in his brain, this desire to work as little as possible to just finish in the hopes of getting to his electronic toys. And I admit that over the summer he has had more electronics than we intend to permit him to have during the "normal" upcoming days. ("Normal" as differentiated from unusual days, such as my upcoming medical procedure day...)
So I fully anticipate quite a culture shock as we start school next week. JD is 12, and I have already begun to hear comments from him that are fairly typical of a child who has been allowed to be too autonomous, and who sees the upcoming day when his freedoms will again be taken away. (Example: "Fine! Schedule [...me to do that activity]... You already run any minute of my life anyway! I don't get to decide anything I do!" Which is so completely untrue right now, but will be much more true as the school year starts.)
My son would not be best served, in my opinion, by an unschooling philosophy. His choices would not be self-challenging to cause him to learn and grow. He prefers to make lazy choices. And I don't have adequate support in this family to make Charlotte Mason changes, such as eliminating twaddle, so when he "reads" on his own time he does not choose Swallows and Amazons or Tom Sawyer, he chooses Garfield.
My state requires regular diligent instruction in eight subject areas: Math, Science, Language Arts, Social Studies, Art, Music, Physical Education, and Health. My umbrella requires I document our instruction in Bible. Charlotte Mason suggests studies include Latin and one additional foreign language (she suggests French, but we're going with Spanish), as well as nature study (science), artist study (art), composer study (music), hymn study (music), folk music studies (music), narrations (writing), geography, time lines, and lots of outdoor time. My brain wants to do The Art of Argument. I'm beginning to believe I cannot possibly do it all. But I am planning to give it a try.
My hopes for this upcoming year (7th Grade) include: