Thursday, October 15, 2009

Picking An "Approach"

If you consider homeschooling and you start talking to others who are already homeschooling, they will quickly ask you which approach you are considering. Approach? I had no idea what they were talking about at first. It was some weird lingo that I needed to figure out and quick.

A lot of parents who have been in the public school system for a while or are just giving homeschool a "try" use this method. The day's routine is structured very much like school and uses curriculum that is structured in the same way. If your child has ever used the A Beka, Alpha Omega or the Bob Jones University curriculum then they have been a part of some of the most popular traditional homeschool curriculum.

The Classical education is broken down into The Trivium. Stage One believes that when a child is in grade school, his or her brain is best suited to memorize facts and learn about concrete ideas. Stage Two, during the middle school years, abstract thinking is developed. During the high school years - Stage Three - students are taught abstract thinking and articulation of their subjects.

This is exactly the way it sounds. Students are given assignments that are a combination of textbook lessons followed by questions to answer. If the student does well on the questions, he or she moves on to the next section. Definitely not for the young student.

This method was developed by John Holt. This method is the interesting. It is a very loose schooling meaning there is no structure. The child leads the schooling based on what they are interested instead of the parent guiding them. The parent simply "lives their life" and allows the child to experience life and the world around them.

Charlotte Mason
Charlotte Mason homeschooling approach focuses on "life" work and not "text" work. This diverse curriculum increases the child’s awareness of literature, arts, music, nature, crafts, and instilling the importance of good habits and manners.

Eclectic homeschool families do not use any one homeschool curriculum or idea to guide their education. It is cafeteria style. Pick and choose based on what your child's learning style is and where they are in their educational experience.

Some states have very strict requirements for eligibility, record-keeping, school hours, and core subjects needed. In those situations, parents often need to have an Umbrella program, or Cover school to help them legally keep their children home.

For example, the main theme could be rocks. You could build a rock garden and study Japanese culture (art and history), study the different types of rocks or the process of erosion (science), read books that deal with rocks or look up references to rocks in the Bible (literature), spell the different kinds of rocks (spelling/vocabulary), importance of rocks to cultures throughout history (history), Jesus being the Rock (Bible).

A unit study takes a central theme and builds lessons around that theme.

Online studies are good for kids who are good independent learners, generally older students and follow directions well. Students also need to be good with using a computer.

Wow! That is a lot to consider isn't it. Hubs and I also threw one more criteria into the mix. We knew that we wanted to use this time with our boys to instill a Christian worldview into them. We had seen their ideas and views be very warped by the curriculum and things they were being taught in the public classroom. Big Guy is a questioner. He would question things that he didn't think fit with what we were discussing at home, but Little Guy is very literal and if they said he would remember it as fact.

I can't say we narrowed our homeschooling method down to just one. I guess we are more ecclectic than anything. Working with my boys, substitute teaching and just loving education has given me an advantage in knowing what types of curriculum I thought best for my boys.

I believe he gave me all those experiences for such a time as this.

1 comment:

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

GOsh.... my brain is all full just reading that.

I wish you good luck picking out what you want to use.