I love Evernote. I think it’s A Perfect Method for Keeping Unschooling Records! You might already know this if you’ve read some of my other Evernote blog posts or watched my videos. Yes, I’ve got a lot to say on this subject!
A while ago, I promised to make some Evernote videos on each of the 6 Key Learning Areas. So far, my attempts to record screencast tutorials have failed due to technical difficulties. But today, I thought: Why not write some blog posts and include screenshots? So that’s what I’m doing.
In this post, I’m sharing 20 ideas I use to record my daughters’ learning experiences that could be labelled ‘unschool English’. It’s not an exhaustive list. I might be able to write a post called 20 More Ideas another day!
Of course, all children have different interests and therefore some of my ideas may not be relevant to yours. But you might be able to modify them to suit your family. At least I hope so!
1. Copy and paste online images of book covers.
My girls read books to themselves, I read to them, and they love to read to me.
2. Clip blurbs of novels from a site such as Amazon
3. Clip a Google map of the setting of a novel.
It’s good to know where in the world a story is set! (Of course, these notes can also be labelled geography or HSIE.)
4. Copy and paste images of the covers of DVD adaptations of novels (and plays such as Shakespeare).
5. Copy and paste (online) still photos from movies or mini-series.
Sometimes my girls also like to clip favourite scenes of a mini-series (from Youtube). Interviews and information about the actors can also be included.
6. Clip information from online articles about novels, plays, poems.
We often want to know more about a novel, play or poem so we do some research.
7. Clip poems.
We like poetry!
8. Clip poetry videos from Youtube (and some poetry websites).
We like hearing poems read out loud so we often go looking for a video version
9. Clip poetry analysis videos from Youtube.
Sometimes we don’t understand the meaning of a poem and watch a video to find out more.
10. Clip any English related information you stumble across while reading.
We clipped the poem, To a Mouse, after finding it in one of The Martha Years books by Melissa Wiley.
11. Include drafts of any writings.
My girls write a lot of blog posts, but writing can take many forms. They usually email their drafts to me, and then I export them from my inbox straight into a notebook.
12. Clip blog posts directly into a notebook.
These might include creative writing, personal stories, book and movie reviews, instructions, opinions, photo stories… Other non-blog post writings can be inserted into a notebook by copying and pasting, or scanning.
13. Scan or photograph handwritten letters. Export emails to a notebook.
14. Clip information from the Internet about words.
We researched words related to archery after watching the BBC series, Secrets of the Castle. We’ve also researched the origin of such phrases as cloth ears after coming across them in videos.
15: Clip any DIY challenges related to English
16: Clip any Youtube videos made by children.
A video can also be uploaded from a computer. Podcasts and audio recordings can be included too. Skills used could include planning, notemaking, research, speaking, story-telling, how-to tutorials, opinions…
17: Clip a copy of borrowed books from library website
18: Scan or photograph examples of handwriting.
Take photos of child practising handwriting, if appropriate. Gemma-Rose resisted learning how to write cursively for a long time. Then, all of a sudden, she started practising without any encouragement from me.
19: Clip articles about grammar and punctuation when these things are discussed.
20. Clip screenshots from NaNoWriMo accounts if your child likes to write novels.
My girls do!
So that’s my first 20 Unschool English ideas. I hope a few of them are useful!