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
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