Monday, August 3, 2009

Homeschool Helps - Homeschool Teaching Styles

Once you figure out how your kids learn, you need to figure out what kind of homeschool method fits your family. I am not talking about curriculum right now. I am talking about style. There are many different approaches to home education and each one has its place. Our home is not set up as a school environment; instead it is a learning environment. Daddy Reg and I decided we wanted our children to be able to obtain information and apply it to their lives. We do not want our children to depend on us feeding them information that they regurgitate to us. We want them to always be teachable and always be hungry for more knowledge, understanding and wisdom. We have encyclopedias and books everywhere. We have a globe that the kids are allowed to use whenever. We have a map on the wall and right now, Mr. Bones our skeleton diagram is hanging on our dining room wall. When the kids have a question, we do not usually give them an answer; instead we teach them how to find the answer on their own. We have made homeschooling and learning a way of life in our house not just a set time in the day to pull out the books. We are very eclectic in our school curriculum choices. This means that we use a little bit of everything. We are not afraid to change something if we see that it isn’t working. In our home learning is a way of life not just something we do.
There are many homeschool methods out there. A few include:

Charlotte Mason – Children are taught as a whole person using a lot of literature and and nature studies.

School at Home - Setting up a school environment at home. Usually using a box curriculum like A Beka, or Alpha Omega.

Classical Education - The early grades focus on facts. The middle grades focus on learning through analyzing those facts. The highschool years focus on learning how to express what they learn. It is also called the trivium.

Unschooling - Only teaching what your child wants to learn and not teaching anything else. This is also called Delight Directed.

Eclectic - Basically a mixture of all the different styles is some form.

Unit Studies - Studying a topic in depth while covering every course of study at the same time.

Many homeschoolers will begin using one method (usually school at home) and then gradually and naturally change towards a different style as they discover what works best for their family. Do not be afarid to change how you are homeschooling even mid year or even right after you have started. Being flexible is one of the biggest benifits of homeschooling.

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