Finding Your Homeschool Teaching Methods


It’s interesting that after 8 years of Homeschooling, I’m just now learning about the different Homeschool Teaching Methods. I guess I’ve really always known that there were different methods but more so didn’t know their ‘official’ names or what makes them all different. My method is most close to the traditional method.

Traditional Method – This method can also known as school-at-home, structured homeschooling, scope and sequence schooling, or school-in-a-box. It is the method which most closely follows a traditional school model. Traditional homeschoolers usually purchase a complete curriculum which includes textbooks, teacher’s guides, tests, etc. Each child will most likely have his own set of textbooks and workbooks, and will study each subject separately according to grade level.

Over the years though, I’ve started to take a less traditional approach. I kind of wish I would have come to this conclusion/realization awhile ago but it’s not too late to make a change now.

While on vacation, I was able to get in a little bit of reading. I took along the book, “Beyond Survival: A Guide to Abundant-Life Homeschooling” by Diana Waring. Diana explains the different teaching methods and really made me think about my teaching method. As I’ve been teaching each of my 4 children, I’ve had to be a little more flexible as they each learn differently. I think this is part of the reason of my wondering away from the traditional approach.

My oldest, has always picked up everything very quickly and easy. The traditional method has worked for him. Although, even with him, I do not see a huge love of learning. That is something I’d like to change. If children have a love of learning, they’re going to remember more of their education and want to continue learning the rest of their lives. We can always learn something so I feel that is so important to instill in my kids.

In my public school education, I can’t say that I remember a lot of what I learned. Yes, I have the basics and I wouldn’t consider myself stupid, but do I remember details from history or science? No. I’m learning more through my children’s education now than I ever did when I was in school. So why would I want to follow that traditional method with my kids?

I’m thinking that my teaching method is going to start evolving into a few of them combined. I want to make sure that my kids have a strong foundation of the 3 Rs. For Reading, Writing and Arithmetic, I’ll most likely continue with the Traditional Method and flex when necessary. For the other subjects, I’d like to start taking a little bit of an Unschooling approach combined with a Unit Studies approach. I still want them to be learning History, Science, Health, etc. but 1. when they are excited to learn the subjects and 2. in a fun way through Living Books vs. the traditional text books.

In case you have no clue about these methods, like me, here are some brief explanations of each:

Living Books – books of excellent literary value that inform and inspire a child’s mind. Basically the opposite of a text book.

Unschooling – also known as natural learning or child-directed learning, focuses on the child’s natural interests and goals to create a learning environment in which children educate themselves. Letting them learn what they are most interested in at the time.

Unit Studies – Unit studies use your child’s interest and then ties that interest into subject areas like math, reading, spelling, science, art, and history.

Finding what works best for you and your child(ren) is the most important thing. It’s not going to be the same for everyone. I just encourage you to do some exploring and some research and see what might be the best fit for you.

 

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About Dawn

Dawn is a stay at home, homeschooling mother of 4. She writes for Blogging Mom of 4, Mommy Needs Her Coffee and Blogging is a Trip.

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Comments

  1. I use the Charlotte Mason method. It would fit into living books in your list here. You don’t have to have a label to homeschool, but it is helpful, I think, to consider the different perspectives on learning.
    Happy to meet you and connect on G+ as well as Twitter.

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