Different educational philosophies... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 02-04-2002, 06:14 PM - Thread Starter
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We are planning on homeschooling our 16month old DD and would like to learn about the different educational philosophies out there. Originally, I was thinking about sending dd to a waldorf school. Now, I believe homeschooling/unschooling would be more suited to us. I would like to utilize some of the waldorf ideas I've learned to homeschool. At the same time, I thought I'd find out what else is out there and pick and choose what would/might work for us. I've been trying to find out more about montessori schools and what their philosophy is on early childhood education. Somehow, all I can find is stuff about AMI, AMS and how the schools are accredited...
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#2 of 6 Old 02-04-2002, 09:54 PM
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Your child is only 16 months old, you have many years before you need to worry about "teaching."

I've homeschooled my 3 boys (now 22, 19, and 13) and would describe my basic philosophy as unschooling. I have a master's in education that I completed just a few years ago. Part of the 'unschooling' philosophy is that if you provide your child with an adequate environment that they will learn on their own. There is research to back the notion that children are not developmentally optimal for formal educational experiences until they are 7 - 13 years old.

An adequate environment does not mean exceptional but that basic needs are met, books are around the home, ect. Most kids will teach themselves to read by the age of 11 with no formal teaching and will quickly read at an adult level. My oldest taught himself to read around age 4 and the other two didn't read until they were 11. My two oldest sons had no problem getting accepted in college.

There is no advantage to sending kids to nursery school, preschool, or kindergarten no matter what philosophy and it puts them at risk for illness. Kids do not learn good skills for getting along with other kids in group situations without their parent. Having too structured of a day or doing too many things can stress little people.
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#3 of 6 Old 02-05-2002, 01:21 AM
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I highly encourage you to check out Taking Children Seriously, which is an educational philosophy that I promise will make you think. TCS has had an incredible impact on my relationships with all of my family members. You can find out more about at this link.

I can't discuss it any more here though, TCS is even too radical for Mothering and has been banned from being discussed on these forums.

Best wishes in figuring out what works for your family,
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#4 of 6 Old 02-05-2002, 03:38 AM
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Ice Spider,

Yes, very pertanent.

There are some discussions going on at the mo where TCS intersects with unschooling, public schooling and the Information Era.

Lesson Plans for Mathematics

Play. The best lesson plan for children growing up in the Information Era.

Preparation for the 21st C and the Information Era. What our kids SHOULD be learning!

Real Mathematics. (Not "Math")

Hope this helps


The anti-Ezzo king
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#5 of 6 Old 02-05-2002, 11:18 AM
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My kids are 4 and 2 and I feel as if I've been homeschooling since birth! Personally I'm very glad I took the time to research differing educational methods when my dds were so young, because now not only am I confident in our decisions, but just let doubting family members try to find a foothold to argue with me

I'm also spared confusion or doubt when I hear about something "new" - a few minutes of reading, and I can figure out where the new information fits (or, more likely doesn't fit) in our "scheme"

I joined a local support group when my older dd was 3 b/c she was jealous that all of her friends "got" to go to preschool. I was surprised to find that I was not the only mom with kids WAY younger than school age. My kids have already developed a great peer group, and there are plenty of open-ended activities that we participate in.

So far as method, right now I see us as unschoolers who borrow heavily from a waldorf philosophy. But, I realize that in order to best meet my families needs, I have to watch my kids and see what is in their best interests. my dd went through a worksheet phase recently, and a year ago she begged me to teach her to read. I meet both of these requests because I don't want her to form any permenant ideas about her education just yet. Besides, different things work at different times in all areas of life.

The best way to learn about different h/s philosophies is to read, read, read. Don't purchase a lot of books at first, b/c you will wind up with a shelf full of things that don't fit your family. Visit the library and see what is in their collection - search the internet and look up recommended books from other sites. There are some "general" books out there that give an overview of different philosophies to give you a starting point. I dont have a url handy (new computer) but one good site to start with is "jon's homeschooling page". It's really big, so a search should turn it up. I am sorry, though, that I can't think of a h/s montassori resource just now - I know it does exist. There is a book called "montassori at home" but if I remember correctly, it was mostly ideas for making the articles used in the classrooms. (which could be fun too.)

Good luck - you have lots of reading ahead of you, but it's FUN!

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#6 of 6 Old 02-06-2002, 12:56 AM
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I've seen some montessori homeschooling websites, but I can't remember where. sorry about that. try home education magazine's website - they might have some info on montessori.

for info on unschooling, read John Holt - just about any of his books will help you. he also has some criticisms of montessori that might interest you.

there are several waldorf home school programs. you'll find out more about them on other threads in the homeschooling section.

home education mag is also a good read. if you can browse it at your local library, it will give you a good feel for the range of approaches.

i spent about 2 weeks using some traditional school materials, and then switched immediately into our own form of unschooling using a unit studies curriculum. i consider us unschoolers because we do not rigidly adhere to the curriculum, we may leave the curriculum for weeks at a time, we skip things if they don't interest dd, and we delve deeper into the things that do. but we both like having the curriculum as a guide or a suggestion.
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