Did you know that several different styles of homeschooling are out there? Do you know how to define your style? I’m not going to write about all of them, but I will mention the ones that I am most familiar with.
You know… just as everyone has a learning style… teachers have a teaching style. I think finding your style will help de-stress your homeschool journey and just make things better on everyone.
Because homeschooling can encompass so much and everyone seems to have a different method of teaching, some people find comfort in textbooks. It’s what is used in traditional schools. It’s all laid out for you. You can feel like you are getting all the information to your kids. Abeka and Alpha Omega are excellent resources for those who feel comfortable with a more traditional method of teaching. I will say from what I’ve heard from others that while these are excellent options, they can be a little overwhelming and intense in the younger grades.
The following is from the Simply Charlotte Mason website:
Charlotte Mason was a British educator who lived in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Her method, the Charlotte Mason method, is centered around the idea that education is three-pronged: Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life.
Charlotte Mason is all about educating the whole child… character, discipline, good manners and academics. It is a lifestyle of learning. Charlotte Mason is very literature based… with “real” books… not just textbooks. It is also all about nature. The Charlotte Mason method encourages lots of nature walks.
My Father’s World and Sonlight would be good options for someone interested in Charlotte Mason method.
The following is from The Homeschool Mom
Classical homeschooling involves teaching based on the three stages of learning: the Grammar stage, the Logic stage, and the Rhetoric stage. The Grammar stage involves learning facts, memorization, and knowledge gathering. The Logic stage is when reasoning and logic begin to be applied to the knowledge. The Rhetoric stage completes the Trivium and is when the student learns the skills of wisdom and judgment.
This method tries to mirror the tried and true methods used by the ancient Greeks and Romans. The goal is to engage children in learning about God, life and purpose. This method involved A LOT of memorization of classical works… latin, Shakespeare, etc. especially in the early grades. Middle grades focus on analytical thinking and upper grades move into abstract thinking.
Many homeschoolers choose not to use boxed curriculums or textbooks, but rather to create their own curriculum through unit studies. A unit study can be about anything… bats, volcanos, Martin Luther, trains, bird watching, cupcakes, etc. Unit studies are generally literature based and can be tailored to the learning styles and students being taught. They tend to be very hands on. Unit studies are great when teaching multiple ages. Everyone can learn the same subject while the specific activities can be age appropriate.
Last year, I wrote THIS POST
on how I planned unit studies when I was teaching in the public school system.
Unit studies require a little extra work on the part of the parent, but are totally worth it. You can follow your child’s lead and interests when planning unit studies. The possibilities are endless. The Homeschool Mom
has some good resources for planning unit studies.
Unschooling is hard to define. It can encompass so much. It basically means those who use no curriculum, but take advantage of natural teachable moments. Life is the classroom. The idea is that, in the right environment, learning naturally takes place. As you can imagine, the spectrum of homeschooling is pretty wide.
I read THIS POST
by See Jamie Blog that was helpful in understanding a little more about unschooling. Some people take unschooling to mean no structure and no boundaries in anything school or otherwise. However, a more generally accepted idea is that school is child led/ interest led. This doesn’t mean that children are the teachers, but rather… the lessons come out of what the children are interested in. Take advantage of teachable moments. If you, like us, live in an area where fall brings amazing colors on the trees, take a day to go look at leaves…. talk about what makes the change… collect leaves and observe the differences, etc.
Unschooling really requires that we, as parents, become students of our children. The Bible say to “train up a child in the way he should go.” We need to learn our children… their passions, strengths and weaknesses. Learning happens all the time. Unschooling is a method of tapping into that and making it purposeful.
There are a few other methods, but these seem to be the ones I hear about more than others.
My Style? Well… we use My Father’s World for our curriculum. I would say that I fall between Charlotte Mason and Unschooling. I like the structure and comfort of having a plan, but I also like the freedom of changing things up. The other day, we headed up to a beautiful mountain overlook with sketch pads and pencils. The kids had an art day and then we went hiking. It wasn’t in the “lesson plan”… but I’d call it a successful day!
What about you? What’s your homeschool style?
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