Please explain what works for you and what doesn't. I'm always looking for new ideas.
What is your schooling philosophy/style?
Poll Results: What philosophy/style do you tend to follow for homeschooling?
6% (2)Charlotte Mason
0% (0)Thomas Jefferson
3% (1)Christian based (like Sonlight ect.)
6% (2)Secular based (like Oak Meadow ect.)
80% (25)Eclectic (please explain how you make it eclectic.)
DS is just five so we're early in this adventure but we are going to follow a child-led approach. However, we spend two mornings a week focusing on projects together, not that we don't to them other times but this is for me to focus my energies towards DS. If I know this is what I am supposed to be doing I will be more present. There are also some certain ideas, peace and calmness, that I try to bring into a lot of what we do.
I voted "Ecletic". The reason is because we use a variety of materials. I buy curriculums for some subjects; sometimes I stay "the course" and sometimes I just use them for ideas. For example, with Math we use Singapore as our spine and I do use most of the workbook. But, we sometimes jump around and we use lots of games/hands-on learning whenever possible. My dd learns really well with hands-on learning and manipulatives so I try to incorporate a lot of it. However, with US History--we took 2 years to cover it. We did it (mostly) sequentially but didn't use any curriculum. We used non-fiction and fiction from the library. We did hands-on activities when I could think of one. We used a few videos and we made use of any museum or event opportunities. The museum/events didn't always come at the right time in our sequence (but we used them anyways which is why it was studied mostly sequentially).
We snuggle up and read/learn a lot which seems sorta Charlotte Mason? but I wouldn't identify with that. Although we do go to church, I avoid religious materials--so I do consider us a "secular homeschool family". We love nature/outdoors and include that as much as possible (I guess that is waldorf influenced) but we use so much that comes our way that we just can't "limit ourselves" with a label.
We have been unschooling. Since my 6.5yo would just be in 1st grade this year we are just beginning our journey and unschooling might change to eclectic/ relaxed styles. But for now, they are doing just fine with no table time, no scheduled teaching time, no curriculum etc. And I mean doing well even by conventional standards, so for now I feel like I'm just "riding the wave" and seeing how far it takes us!
We combine aspects of many different philosophies.
For example I'm following The Well Trained Mind (twtm) history and science outlines.
We are taking narration and copywork from Ms. Charlotte Mason.
But we are using all kinds of stuff, we find what works for us and we stick to that till it stops working. We're using Handwriting without tears, miquon math, and lots and lots and lots of library books..
We also tend to add in unit studies once in a while, like dinosaurs.
We also add in some computer based learning, at Time4learning.
All that being said...we're pretty relaxed homeschoolers. I have laid out certain goals for hte day as far as what work I would like to see get done but if it doesn't, it's not that big of a deal, we'll get to it eventually. In our homeschool, it's more important to follow rabbit trails and get lost in information and learning. Our number 1 goal is to preserve the love of learning that our child has. If she wants to read all day long, that's ok with me. But I'm not about to let her watch tv all day long or play video games or something like that. I gently want to keep her on schedule but not at the expense of some fantastic self directed learning, or an awesome art project for example. Does that even make sense? I have plans, and I try to get her to generally follow my plan, but there is always room for her own thing.
I voted eclectic.
We use Moving Beyond the Page as our core, but we do a little bit of everything, really. It just adds the structure to our day that my guy needs. He has Asperger's and totally falls apart without a plan for the day. It works well as it's a social studies/ science based program that has some LA and math in the lower levels, but really leaves that up to you. He's four, reads at 3rd grade level, does math at about 1st grade level and loves science. He's all over the place. So we just play a lot of math games and do some worksheets for it occasionally when he asks, we read on our own, what he wants and just discuss it. He does not write yet, so we just discuss a lot of things. I do take down his answers and if he feels like it, he traces it. We do most of the activities in Mbtp, but if he is not into one, we don't do it and if he is really into it, we expand upon it for days. We also do an add on project I made up where we study one dinosaur per week in depth and he is making a binder full of his dino stuff. He is obsessed with dinos. We have a lot of days that we mostly just do that, and that's ok. Really, if he were not so into the structured stuff (What are we going to do today? Can we learn something new?) I would probably not have the cirriculum at four and let him do his thing, but I can not come up with several activities per day on my own and if I don't have something "to learn" for him he has a fit lol.
We are also secular homeschoolers.
We are Waldorf-inspired homeschoolers with an undercurrent of unschooling. We're about to start kindy this year and are definitely on a typical Waldorf trajectory at the moment, but this may somewhat shift later. I love Waldorf for the younger years--I have found rhythm, simplified/old-fashioned-style living, and integrating the arts in education to really enrich our family life. For the older years? I don't know yet. I like a lot of what I see in Sonlight, so I think at some point we'll try that but maybe not as written. I like Living Books (like the Ambleside booklists) but not the Charlotte Mason approach of narration and short lessons, and though I like copywork I do not like the way it is traditionally done in CM. I definitely do not like a school-at-home approach, but one that is more about exploration and curiosity than it is about memorizing facts. I think the arts are integral to exploration, and I consider them as important as traditional academics. Waldorf is the only approach I've found that has a lot of resources for integrating the arts with academics, so though I put no stock in Anthroposophy, I do like using Waldorf resources and there are lots of Waldorf blogs and such to help.
Eclectic with a Classical focus. I have a third and seventh grader. We don't use a canned curriculum of any kind. I am using a lot of books on a classical book list that I found online. Yds is using Singapore Math, ODS is doing Teaching Textbooks for Math. This year we are using HOW for both boys, as well as Song School Latin and Minimus Latin. ODS is using WTM's Language Arts and a Bible curriculum from Alpha Omega. We are Christians but we don't use a "Christian" curriculum.
This is only our third year to hs, so it's very trial and error. We just do what works for us rather than following a particular philosophy.
Unschooling but as DS gets older I find that he is using more curriculum's. Right now he is online for math and I'm looking for something for history this year.
Lots of reading and some essay contests are in the mix this year as well.
DS will be 11 and if he was in public school he would be in 5th grade due to a 'late' birthday.
In the young years I have been doing school at home, in the mornings, focused mostly on the 3Rs. I use a lot of workbooks/ebooks and a few computer/online things. Science, social studies and history are mixed in as videos, read-alouds or fun classes when they are available. Afternoons have been for private lessons or scheduled group activities.
DS1 is in 3rd this year and I'm going to put more focus on science/history/social studies with reading comprehension workbooks that include content in those areas and a bunch of leveled readers that cover these areas.
This is our third year of HSing. We Unschooled the first year, did the K-12 thing the 2nd year, but that didn't work out so well for DS/8 cuz he hates sit down work. DD/7 didn't mind it but said she does not want to do it again. This year we are going to try a couple of different things, Some kind of reading and math program for each kid, a science class and possibly Mandarin at a local place called "the think tank" that started out w/ math and science classes for older kids but began offering a couple of classes last year for the little kids. Then we do home school gym at the local Y, So we are very eclectic.
We're relaxed and secular. I look for interesting curriculum, but I'm not strict about when we use it. I want my children to have a big vocabulary and spell well and I want to see some steady progress in math skills. They take a hands-on weekly science course. I encourage music lessons, but only one is in them now. I always have big art plans, but only do art projects every few months. We watch a lot of films for history. We're watching a film about the orphan trains this week (tear jerker). The kids love our documentary nights and we enjoy finding the films for topics that are interesting.
I just organized our homeschool room and am pretty excited about this year.