Methods of Madness

Recently, it seems that a large variety of blogs have to do with which method of homeschooling you use. Should I be Classical, Unschooled, a little Charlotte Mason, or perhaps Montessori?

It all makes me pause and think… Do I have a homeschooling method? I confess, I had never thought about it! When we went into homeschooling, all I knew was that I wanted to be with my children and follow the calling of the Lord.

It wasn’t until I had already picked my curriculum and started schooling my little ones, that the thought even occurred to me. Do I have a method? If I do, which one do I subscribe to? Does it benefit me to stick to a method?

Reading about the different methods, I can see the benefit of each one and the purpose behind their philosophy. Each one brings something different to the table of learning.

On the other hand, I can see the weaknesses in each one; the areas that just don’t meet our family’s needs. Like the Cinderella story, I need the perfect fit.

Looking through our curriculum choices, I went with what worked for my kids. I didn’t worry if that fit a particular method. I prayed and went with the company that best met my standards. 

After reading the different methods, I think I have finally found where we “fit in”. We are Eclectic Homeschoolers. There is no one method that completely fulfills all we need. So, we take a little of everything, add a huge dose of prayer, mix in real life, and run with it.

I have come to realize, it doesn’t necessarily matter which method we use. If the Lord is the center of our home and growing in His wisdom is the backbone of our learning, we are sure to succeed.

How do you feel about the different methods of learning? Do you have one your family prefers?

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11 thoughts on “Methods of Madness

  1. Right now we don’t have a specific way, since this is our first year. I would like to think, though, that we are eclectic. I have a lot of books that we’ll be using (early readers, and books that we can make lessons from), I find a lot of worksheets online, and I’ll be making a lot of my own. I have not purchased any curriculum, but may eventually choose to do so. Mostly, at least at this age, I think we will be unschooling. All of my kids being K and younger, I think it’s important to let them discover a lot of the things they want to learn on their own, and I’ll direct bigger lessons that relate to that subject matter. We’ve already got a big list of things they want to learn this year.

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    • That sounds like a well laid out plan! I agree, with kids that little, it is better to use a more “delight directed” method. What they want to learn, teach them! The only subject that was required, for my kids, at such a young age, was reading. I am huge on getting our kids to read at a young age. I have never regretted our decision.
      Thanks for sharing and for stopping by!

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  2. I think when I started out, I just went with the traditions “school at home”. This was how I learned and this was how I was comfortable teaching. So in order to survive my first year, its what I did. Then as time went on, I loved certain aspects of Charlotte Mason. I loved her idea of studying composers and art, of learning hymns, and of being in nature and learning by simply walking outside and taking time to explore nature in God’s world. However, some things I didn’t like about CM were the copywork and handwriting as well as other aspects that just did not work for us. We now use My Father’s World, but I could just as easily make my own curriculum because I’ve edited out things I don’t like about MFW and use other stuff. I think the longer I homeschool, the more I realize packaged curriculum is really difficult to use. OF course I love what MFW offers and the fact they have things already planned out, but I could just as easily do it myself. My kids are all so different. I’m constantly changing what we do, although we keep the core of what we use. We do changes things up quite a bit each year. And yes, with God at the center of your homeschool, it doesn’t matter what you use.

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    • It certainly sounds like you could write you own curriculum! I agree, I like certain aspects of the Charlotte Mason approach, but I don’t like heavy copy work. I have never used MFW, but I have heard some neat things about it. I chose to work with KONOS instead, it met our needs more efficiently.
      Kids do tend to vary in their areas of study. That is one of the great things about homeschooling, no? We get to tailor our learning to match our children and not the other way around.
      Should you ever decide to write your own curriculum, let us know! We’ll gladly test it out for you (hint, hint)!

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  3. I’m starting small, and then adding to it: I guess we’d fit under eclectic. I’m starting with some books my friends have recommended, I’m going to try to get bible, reading, writing, and math in during the mornings, also we’re going to do 5-in-a-Row for our afternoons. Some nature journals, some music and art classes, and some online stuff. That’s the plan, we’re starting next week!

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    • I am beginning to think that MOST homeschooling families are eclectic and the die hard “methodist” (like the joke?) are the rare ones!
      Oooo… We loved Five-in-a-Row! I have all the books! It was great for learning lots of literature and building a unit study. The best part was that once we got started, we wanted to build unit studies around almost every book we read! It can get addicting!
      Good luck with school next week! I am sure you will do just fine! Keep us posted on how your year goes.

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  4. We are eclectic also. I recently wrote a blog about that http://twtmtl.wordpress.com/ titled “School is Life.” It was funny. We were at a park date today and my son actually told the other mom that “life is school.” So, in a nutshell we live life and have school work mixed throughout the day. I did the same thing as the comment above and tried to use the school at home approach. It quickly failed. That was good though, because it got me out of my comfort box to experiment and I’m actually much happier. Not to mention the kids are happier too.

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    • Oh, I know about your post. I actually read it and liked it! God often pushes us out of the comfort box into something more in line with His plan. While the initial jump may be nerve racking, we are often happy with the results. It is so nice to hear from other people who feel the same! Thanks for stopping by and for offering your advice!

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    • I know what you mean, but when it comes right down to it; does it matter what method you use? As long as you follow the calling of the Lord. I am so glad you like what you are reading, that is very encouraging. Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. Pingback: Required Reading | A Homeschool Mom

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