The Many Paths to Homeschooling

It is a fact that there are various approaches to homeschooling that others before us have applied with success.  And in our homeschool, there are a number of reasons why familiarity with these known methods is beneficial.

When we first started our journey, it was a comfort that there already existed guidance on how to homeschool.  Once I’ve come up with our homeschool “bottomline” (our philosophy, our reasons why, and our goals)  it was easy to choose which homeschool approach/es we would implement.  This way, we could get right on it.

Several children meant an assortment of learning styles.  One child may do well with the rigid training that classical education requires whereas another may not.  Depending on the child as well as on the stage of his homeschool journey, a particular school subject may be tackled most appropriately using a certain methodology.  One of our children enjoyed Math U See until Zeta (grade 6) but decided to continue on with Saxon Math alone in the higher levels having worked on both programs side by side ever since. For another sibling, Math-U-See appears to be working all the way supplemented with Life of Fred.  In the same way, the “living book” approach to history and literature using the Sonlight Cores seems more appropriate when the children were younger.  The more classical approach to the same subjects of Tapestry of Grace appears to provide more mature students (especially rhetoric stage) the extra challenge. Both are unit studies in nature using historical time period as a background for studying the different fields such as fine arts, church history, government and philosophy in addition to history and literature.

Some school subjects are just better to do using certain approaches than others. At some point where our children needed a breather with textbook type of grammar exercises, the more “natural” approach of the Sonlight Language Arts program became a nice complement. Moreover, some homeschool programs don’t just apply one approach.  The Math-U-See website details how the said curriculum can be used from the point of view of the various homeschool methods.

Instead of “reinventing the wheel”, here are a few existing sites that already discuss the different known homeschooling methods in a straightforward manner:

Jennie Fulbright’s site (author of Apologia Elementary Science)

Sonlight Curriculum

Well Trained Mind site (browse down to CURRICULA of the ARTICLE INDEX)

Trivium Pursuit

The Charlotte Mason Method (description by SimplyCharlotteMason.com)

Karen Andreola on Charlotte Mason

Cathy Duffy’s site (Approaches to Education under EXTRAS)

Unit Studies by Amanda Bennett

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4 comments

  1. When we started homeschooling, I didn’t know what type of curriculum would fit my child, so we took boxed curriculum but as we enter our 3rd year of homeschooling, i am seeing the beauty of the classical/charlotte mason style… we are trying to adapt them into our lessons this year and see if it works better for us 🙂

    thanks for all the links. will read them soon.

  2. Winnie

    Hey, Chris! A Charlotte Mason Companion (Andreola) would be neat to have if you are getting some stuff for school. I am sorry I never got a copy (and just kept borrowing from the library). I have the first edition (oldest) of the WTM and would be happy to loan to you (for awhile) if you’d like. I still keep going back to it every now and then. See you soon!

  3. Hi, Winnie! Can’t find your email through the flood that comes daily. Just wanted to say thanks and will contact you with questions as soon as we finish the schoolyear later this month (there’s a lot of paperwork involved). Thanks once again!

  4. Pingback: Pulling Kid/s Out of Conventional School? | living and learning

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