Philosophies & Methods
Do you have a homeschool philosophy? Here is a compiled list of differing philosophies and methods. To read more, click on the titles.
Classical education had its resurgence with a well-know book called The Well Trained Mind written by Jesse Wise and Susan Wise Bauer. The heart of a classical education lies in the trivium - grammar, logic and rhetoric stages - these coincide with what our natural learning tendencies are during childhood. The WTM lays out some great ideas to build a classical education on, but for most families it is a dedication to an in-depth education in Latin, mathematics, the arts and sciences, elocution and a deep understanding of world history and its effects that lure them in.
A CM schedule would feature short lessons (10 to 20 minutes per subject for the younger children, but longer for older ones) with an emphasis on excellent execution and focused attention, whether that is in thinking through a challenging math problem, looking carefully at a painting and then describing it, copying just a few words neatly, or listening to a short Bible episode and telling it back. Habit training is emphasized from a young age; children are taught the meaning of the CM school motto "I Am, I Can, I Ought, I Will." There are no gold stars or prizes, and competition with others is discouraged; each child is simply encouraged to do his best in everything.
Unit studies are a popular homeschooling method because they can be hands-on, literature-based, or even geared towards the Charlotte Mason method. Unit Studies typically encompass all of the scholastic subjects through the study of one topic. (Sonlight, Five in a Row, or KONOS character units, for example). They can be specific to a specific subject (Evan-Moor science units or Teacher Created Materials units, for example).
The Principle Approach is a philosophy and method of education based upon Biblical reasoning and a Biblical, Christian worldview which requires considering and pondering the purpose of everything in God's universe.
The traditional method would look very similar to how you were taught in school, with traditional textbooks although your children are in the comfort of their own homes with sometimes very little guidance needed from mom. The traditional method would also include computer based learning and teacher's on dvd. Abeka and K-12 are good examples of a traditional method.
Generally implies that the parents have consciously adopted a lifestyle with few textbooks or workbooks, and no grades, tests or labels. The child is encouraged to learn at their own pace through hobbies and interests that the he/she wants to pursue.
Encourages the use of real "living" books rather then text books. The family that wants to focus their lifestyle on whole-heart learning will set goals for the family as a whole and for each individual child. This lifestyle, known as whole-heart learning has a firm belief that the heart is the key to all learning. Ruth Beechick and Sally Clarkson are two advocates of whole-heart learning.
This article is reprinted here courtesy of The Curriculum Choice, a wonderful online resource for homeschoolers.