Monday, September 17, 2012

Sharing Our Eclectic Style of Home Education


In the past, I have shared about my love for unit studies and the teaching styles of Charlotte Mason. Both are wonderful ways in which to educate your children and we apply ideas from both to teach our children! We apply the Charlotte Mason concepts of living books, copywork, nature study, etc., into our unit studies (the best of both worlds for us!). The beauty of home education is that you don't have to limit yourself to one little box. You do not have to stand stiffly in front of a chalk-board and teach. You are free to cuddle on the couch and learn together!



In regards to additional curriculums, we do whatever looks good to our family. There are some curriculums written by experts in a certain subject that I may feel inadequate to teach (or to be honest, it may not interest me to teach though it is important to learn) and so we will include those into our studies. Or something may look so "good" that I know we will benefit. Then, that is introduced into our day as well. We are also flexible to what our family interests are at certain times and incorporate studies accordingly. That is the luxury of "eclectic" homeschooling! There is no forced program to follow. It is hand crafted by you to fit the changing needs of your family :)

Important Note: There is one area where I do recommend you teach according to a more rigid curriculum and that is math. I jumped around between different workbooks (bought 1st grade in one brand and the next year I would buy 2nd grade in another brand) in the younger years and found that they were leaving off in certain areas and restarting them in others (assuming we knew things we didn't yet know). There was no continuity. Math is like a pyramid and without certain foundations, you can not go to the next level. With that being said, I do recommend buying a math curriculum (same one year by year) and sticking to it as much as possible unless you detest it (then buy a new one by golly!). But to purchase a different one year to year depending on what looks "neat" or "cute" just doesn't work well (speaking from experience here) and leaves too many gaps to where the next set of math facts will not make sense.


How about you? What is your favorite style of home education? Do you like the textbook curriculums, Charlotte Mason style, unschooling, unit studies or perhaps the curriculums that blend a few of these ideas together? There is so much to choose from! It certainly makes things easier for the busy mother to have so many wonderful possibilities and I am thankful for them all.


“Tell me and I forget.
Teach me and I remember.
Involve me and I learn.”
~ Ben Franklin


This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: Modest Mom Monday'sTeach Me Tuesday,  Domestically Divine TuesdayRaising HomemakersWise Woman Link Up, and Deep Roots at Home. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these.

14 comments:

  1. Excellent post, dear friend. I've heard some wonderful things about unit studies, although we've never used them.
    And I love the Ben Franklin quote. :) I have found that to be so true with our children.
    Hope you have a week full of blessings!

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    1. Yes, good old Ben, he had a way with words :)

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  2. In Netherland, the childeren are going to school. Our childeren are going to a Christian school. But I think that homeschooling is very good too!

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    1. Thank you for sharing Carolien and for the homeschool support! :) We all could use that :)

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  3. Couldn't agree more! Math is a must have curr. In our house! :)

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    1. I must confide though… tis isn't our favorite subject… :)

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  4. A great post...I never knew of Charlotte Mason when my children were younger and still school age.... I wish I had! I love the quote by Ben Franklin..hadn't read that before...its a very true one indeed......blessings

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    1. Thank you for sharing. I think that is one of the good things of the internet (we know of so many bad!!!). We are exposed to a lot of ideas. Have a wonderful week!

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  5. So . . . what do you use for Math?!

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    1. Hi there :) I use the vintage but republished, no-nonsense series called PRACTICAL ARITHMETIC. I will be posting about it in a few weeks if you would like to see my reasons. Here is a link...

      http://www.keepersofthefaith.com/category/PracticalArithmeticsCurriculumSeriesForHomeschool.html

      Hope this helps! JES

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  6. Thanks for your reply and the link; I'll take a look. I'm still bouncing around and I know that this is not helping my children. I need to find something that we all agree on and be consistent.

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  7. I love the eclectic approach, with the Bible as our only non-negotiable textbook. I've found that Teaching Textbooks math works well for my children, as they can do it directly on the computer, and for them, that is a "treat." We love studying "His"story by reading biographies about Christians in the past, and then researching about the culture, geography, and time period represented by that individual's life. Science we study together in unit studies, and for writing, we love to write to a "real" audience, like a penpal. I even write letters back and forth with my children in a journal, which is a great way to find out what they are thinking, and to give spiritual input and encouragement! :-)

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    1. Excellent! Thanks for sharing! Sounds like we do a lot of similar styles of teaching :) And yes, the BIBLE is the foundation and REASON for it all!!!! Have a wonderful week!

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  8. Aw, this was a really quality post. In theory I'd like to write like this too - taking time and real effort to make a good article... but what can I say... I procrastinate alot and never seem to get something done.
    cbse study material

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