Friday, February 12, 2010

What's Your Style?

What's your homeschooling style? If you're not sure, or if you're curious about some of other styles out there, I thought I'd detail some of the highlights here for you. Of course, there are many variations, but I think these are the main styles.

Classical homeschooling is based on the classics, with three basic stages that correlate with how children learn at different ages: grammar, logic, and rhetoric. It’s methodical, rigorous, and the style that my family and I have embraced for many more reasons that I don’t have space to detail here. The Charlotte Mason method is more flexible, emphasizes nature and artistic studies, and uses a lot of narration. A pre-packed curriculum is just what it sounds like: everything you need in a box from one publisher, including lesson plans. Some of the more well-known publishers of pre-packaged curriculum include A Beka, Bob Jones, and Alpha & Omega. Unit studies focus on one key topic at a time—say, butterflies or moon landings—and encompass most of the required academic subjects. Homeschoolers who use some of this and some of that are classified as eclectic. They take what they see as the best of several different methods and/or publishers and craft a more custom educational experience. Relaxed or unschooling families are more child-centric and use real-life experiences to teach their children. They take each day as it comes and include more play and games than worksheets and grades.

I encourage you to take the time to explore each of these approaches and to think about your family’s current lifestyle. A number of books are available that detail each of these methods. Other books are available that will help you to figure out your children’s learning style. Knowing your children’s learning styles will enable you to tailor your homeschool teaching to your children, which will enable them to thrive.

So, what do styles have to do with organization? I'm so glad you asked! Your style will determine what kinds of materials you need, how you want to organize your space, and how your children learn best.

Q4U: What's YOUR style?

P.S. - Please notice my new signature & my new blog button (feel free to use it to link back to my blog from your blog). Yes, it took me most of a day (plus a few emails from Jodi Wisenhunt), but I'm very proud of myself for figuring it all out!