Monday, July 30, 2012

{Crew Hop} My Homeschool Methods


This will be my 10th year of homeschooling. I have three boys ages 15, 11, and eight. My oldest is in high school. I remember well when I first started homschooling and just being completely overwhelmed by all the choices I had for how to do this home educating thing.

In fact, one day still stands out in my mind. I was trying to teach my then five year old to read. I was using a very popular curriculum to do just that. However, every lesson seemed to end in frustration when we worked on the writing aspect of the curriculum. One day I was venting to a friend of mine who had been homeschooling much longer than I. Her words of wisdom still ring in my ears..."Then don't do the writing part. Just use what works." You mean I don't have to use the curriculum exactly as written? It was definitely a moment of epiphany for me.

circa 2007 (age 10)

There are a wide range of methods out there. They range from "school at home" to unschooling and hit everything in between. Today I'm going to expand a bit on what I find works best for our homeschool.

If I were asked what my homeschooling method would be, I would answer "eclectic." I use a bit of everything but I have a "classical-Charlotte Mason" bent. So let's look at those two methods a bit more closely.

Classical education consists of three stages commonly called The Trivium. The first stage is the Grammar Stage. This is when children are able to easily memorize facts and enjoy doing so. This is typically grades K-4 or 5. The next stage is the Logic Stage. This is when children like to learn the why and discuss why those facts are true. This is typically grades 5-8. The Rhetoric Stage is the last stage and is typically high school. This is when all the facts and logic are applied and the children become more independent in their thinking and learning.

Charlotte Mason was a real person who lived from 1893 to 1923. Her methodology of education included Narration and Copywork, Nature study along with creating a notebook of your study, Fine Art study, and learning through real-life experience as well as what she termed to be "living books." 

circa 2007 (age 3)

Over the years I have continued to "use what works." Sometimes it is a Charlotte Mason style of teaching while other times it is a classical method. I incorporate whatever works for us. The one main goal I have for my children is to teach them how to learn. I always hope that we have fun and enjoy the process along the way. Does that always happen? Unfortunately, no. There are many days when we just work on getting through the day. But in the end it all works out.

circa 2077 (age 6)

One thing I have found over the years is to figure out what method not only works best for how you want to teach but also for how your children learn. Both are as important. I know that I like gentle approaches. I do not like teacher intensive programs or ones that require a lot of background work on my part to implement. My boys are, well, boys so anything that has them active and learning is a great fit. Hands-on learning is essential.

Research what method fits you best. This article appears to be pretty comprehensive. I also urge you to not think you need to do just one method. As I mentioned above, I am a mix of a few different ones. You may find that is what works best. And that is the key...find what works best and enjoy your time at home educating your children.

Hop on over to the other Schoolhouse Crew blog to read more about Homeschool Methods.

1 comment:

  1. Very informative. I like that "aha!" moment when you realize you don't have to use a curriculum exactly as it's written. LOL


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