Friday, September 25, 2009

More Common Questions about Homeschooling

"Which method should I use to homeschool?"
There are so many different methods of homeschooling that you'll definitely be able to find one--the trick is finding the right ones. what is right for one person won't be for another. In fact, what is right for one person this year may not be right next year. Before you try to choose a teaching method, think about what learning means to you.
School curricula and methods have evolved so that one adult can teach a classroom of 25 or 30 children. Curriculum has been developed for this setting but not necessarily for sparking the interest of an individual child.
Homeschoolers can use these materials and adjust them to fit. Some families like the security of having a packaged curriculum. Some want to pick and choose from what's available and use a little of everything.
Let's briefly go over some of the most common homeschooling methods:
Traditional--this is probably how you learned if you went to public school. The traditional method usually starts with a curriculum with graded textbooks in each subject that follow a scope and sequence covering each subject in daily increments for a 12-year, 180-days-a-year academic program.
Classical--children under age 18 are taught tools of learning in a sequence known as the trivium. The modern proponent of the classical approach was British writer and medieval scholar Dorothy Sayers. As the Nazis rose to power in the 1930's, Sayers warned that schools were teaching children everything except how to think.
Unit Studies--this is often the method of choice for multi-level homeschooling. Integrating language arts, science, math, and so on, all learning is focused on a particular topic with each child learning at his or her own level of understanding.
Living Books--Charlotte Mason was a turn-of-the-century British educator who disliked several things in modern education. She believed in respecting children as persons, involving them in real-life situations, and allowing them to read really good books.
Unschooling--this term came about because of a 20th-century American, John Holt. He taught that learning comes from real-life experiences. Children pursue their own interests with support from their parents.
Principle Approach--Principle Approach homeschooling is an effort to restore to American Christians three vital concepts: knowledge of Christian history, an understanding of our role in the spread of Christianity, and the ability to live according to the Biblical principles upon which our country was founded.
Eclectic--this is any combination of the above! Pick and choose your own options.
The book Homeschooling Methods: Seasoned Advice on Learning Styles (Broadman & Holman), by the publishers of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, details many tried-and-true homeschooling methods and models. Dr. Ruth Beechick, Diana Waring, Clay and Sally Clarkson, and Christine Field are just a few of the contributors represented.

(Again, as you can see by the last paragraph, this was taken from the little brochure I received with one of the issues of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.

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