Friday, May 27, 2011

Homeschooling What style are you

For those who have conventions coming up, this is a  “Do your homework BEFORE Convention so you don’t get overwhelmed AT Convention” post. (Ours was earlier, in April, and this post is taken from my notes for our pre-convention support group meeting)

There are now so many different styles, methods and philosophies of homeschooling, with vendors catering to each niche, that it is helpful to develop your own philosophy before embarking on an adventure through the Speaker workshops and the vendor halls.

"Wait a minute!" you say.... "I have to have a philosophy? What do you mean by that?" 

I hope that this post will give you some helpful information on home school philosophy, what some of the differences are, and some resources to get you going, as you develop your own style or philosophy.

Towards the front of every Old Schoolhouse Magazine (BTW, the spring promotion* with 19 free gifts is still available) there is a page called “The Tutoring Center” that is a bit of a “quick start” to homeschooling. It includes the following run-down on most of the styles of homeschooling (In green print), and I felt that this would make a helpful format to work with (Thank you TOS for providing the "bones" for this post)

First, though, one basic resource that I feel is written in a very common-sense sort of way is Terri Johnson’s Homeschooling ABC’s* “Class”, with Lesson’s D, E, and F being the most helpful for helping to solidify your personal strategies for homeschooling. (The entire class is available to download~ regularly priced @ $67, or for $10/month for 6 months of weekly "lessons" delivered to your mailbox. )

Now, on to the basics~ 

Philosophies, Styles, & Methods
_Charlotte Mason: Based on a method introduced by nineteenthcentury educator Charlotte Mason, this approach includes nature studies/ journaling, narration, and living books.

Pocketful of Pinecones: Nature Study With the Gentle Art of Learning : A Story for Mother Culture ®Charlotte Mason wrote a series of 6 books (The texts are available for free online at Ambelside Online, an internet community for CM homeschoolers).  

Here are some additional great books  written by Karen Andreola~  A Charlotte Mason Companion*,   Pocketful of Pinecones* and her newest book, Lessons at Blackberry Inn*. These distill many of the concepts presented by Charolotte Mason, with the last two being written in very readable prose.


Classical: Based on Dorothy Sayers’ The Lost Tools of Learning, in which child development is broken up into three “stages” of learning commonly called “the Trivium.”

 The Bluedorns' Teaching the Trivium (They have an excellent Q&A section in the “Articles” portion of their website) 

and Susan Wise Bauer The Well Trained Mind*

The Classical method is based on 3 stages of learning~ Grammar (Memorization),  Logic (Reasoning), and Rhetoric (Ability to put together and use the previous two stages)

Here is a great explanation from the Bluedorn’s site: The trivium model for child development may be explained in computer terms. Children are:
  • Booting up in the early Grammar Stage — birth through age 9.
  • Keying in the information in the later Grammar Stage — age 10 through 12.
  • Processing in the Logic Stage — age 13 through 15.
  • Printing out in the Rhetoric Stage — age 16 through 18.
_Delight Directed: This puts the learning in the hands of the child, based on his or her interests. Parents help facilitate this type of learning with appropriate instructional materials.
Heart of Wisdom seems to fall under this approach as well as the Principle Approach(See below). And Raymond and Dorothy Moore would may seem to fit here as well.

_Eclectic: A mix of philosophies and curricula to accommodate each child’s abilities and interests. Parents choose from any method or style only those components that fit their
specific needs.
Here’s a nice interview with Ruth Beechick that I feel highlights this train of thought. :) 

_The Principle Approach: An approach based on the principles of our Founding Fathers and an emphasis on God’s Word as the basis for every subject.
Beautiful Feet combines Literature with Principle, Here is a website  (Curriculum Connection)with a great synopsis of this approach with suggested reading and more information.

_Traditional Textbook: Normally uses a full-range, packaged, textbook type curriculum that also may include a scope and sequence, testing, and recordkeeping.
Abeka, Bob Jones, and Alpha Omega all come to mind

_Unit Studies: All or "most" core subjects are covered while studying any one topic or unit of study, using a variety of resources and supplemental activities.
Five In a Row ~ be sure to check out the FIAR message boards, ~ this is my FAVORITE curriculum, hands-down!  (Purchase from Rainbow Resource Center), Amanda Bennet’s unit studies and Download-N-GO series, Valerie Bendt, and Konos

_Unschooling: A relaxed setting where learning is directed by the child. Parts of this philosophy are based on research by John Taylor Gatto and John Holt.
Mary Hood’s “The Relaxed Homeschooler” comes to mind. She has a number of books out~ including "The Joyful Home Schooler". Who doesn't want a little bit of JOY to add to their home school?? :D

One of the most important things to remember is that there is NO perfect curriculum, that suits each and every child,  AND that what was once “good” for your circumstance may have changed, as your lives and children grow and change. Evaluate and re-evaluate each year.

 I hope that this is helpful to you~

1 comment:

  1. Hi! Stopping by from MBC. Great blog!
    Have a nice day!


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