Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Our Homechooling Style

Most homeschooling families have a curriculum style.  Some are linked to just one product such as Moving Beyond the Page or some are a philosophical style such as unschooling.

We're one of those families who fall into the catch all style of eclectic.  What eclectic homseschooling means to us:  we use whatever curriculum suits our educational needs at the time and we're not wedded to one philosophical approach so above all we're flexible.

Part of that flexibility stems from the fact that we haven't found just one approach that for us is 'just right' as Goldilocks would say.  Some of the constant chair switching is due to older toads widely divergent skills.  Some subjects he's at grade level (kindergarten), some he's above.  This being our first year of homeschooling, I had a behind the 8 ball feeling for our first several months before I felt like I got a handle on his needs.  These reflections are based on that juggling.

Charlotte Mason - I love the authenticity of the Charlotte Mason approach.  NO readers - real books.  No nature shows on TV - go out and explore nature.  We're a secular family so we rely on that authenticity in a secular way.

Classical - I'm drawn to the intellectual rigor of the classical style.  However, as I describe older toad as Spock with anger management problems, he's not that interested in people; especially historical people.  We will be incorporating more of this approach into the future of our core subjects.  The Well Trained Mind approach to this is great in many aspects but very weak in the arts so we'll take that rigor in the core areas on our journey.

Montessori - Having a kid with sensory issues I really appreciate the sensory nature of Montessori learning.  However, I find the sensory approach harder to implement moving into the 6-9 curriculum without the expensive 'real' Montessori materials.

Unschooling - My kids are so young I think unschooling at our house would involve 5 courses.  Art - the one subject of value.  Projectiles - paper airplanes and sports equipment.  Teasing and Torture - of each other or the dog.  Trash - both collection and hoarding perhaps creatively.  Yelling - there's so much of that going on sometimes I audit this course myself.  I don't consider this a well rounded curriculum so I organize more than this.  Thankfully the toads find learning fun and are ok with more direction.  We'll see what the future brings.

Unit Studies - We did a lot of this.  The nice thing about unit studies is you can customize the subject, customize the level, use the learning style that works for you and do it all relatively inexpensively.

Waldorf - Waldorf education involves beautiful, well made, healthy materials.  I try to incorporate these principles into their art supplies especially but most of the rest does not speak to my toads' brand of creative play.

So that's our eclectic style in a nutshell.  Please comment on your style.

Update 8/18/12

Richele at Under the Golden Apple did a great post called, The Ultimate Guide to Homeschool Methods, regarding various styles with resources.  Here's the link  and below is her button.

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