You have researched your state, and congrats, you found out it is legal to homeschool there! So exciting, but now what?
I would start by researching styles. There are about as many styles of homeschooling as there are crayon colors, but they can be boiled down into about 6 different groups. Many homeschoolers (including us!) may not actually subscribe fully to only one type, but use a mixture of these philosophies in their homes and with their differently made children.
I hope this will be a sweet synopsis that peeks your interest and encourages you to dive deeper into what may fit *your* family best.
Traditional Homeschooling, in a nutshell, is ‘school at home’. Imagine the classroom at home- wall charts, desks, textbooks, dedicated time for each subject, etc. A lot of former school teachers I know have taken this path, because it’s the one they know! If stepping too outside the school box is uncomfortable for you, this could be an easy way to slide into homeschooling.
Unschooling may be considered the opposite of Traditional Schooling in some respects. Subjects are chosen and catered to the interests and learning style of the student. Depending on the parent, some homes may be more organic and loosely structured, while others may be more measured. The ultimate goal of unschooling is to drive a love for learning by engaging the student In subjects that they want to learn more about.
Classical Education is based on the ancient Trivium (3 levels of learning)
1. Grammar Phase: When children are young, they are parrots- they learn by repeating and mimicking. Their brains are sponges and they can memorize easily.
2. Dialectic Phase: Children are approaching the teen years and begin to question and challenge the things around them. The Dialectic phase uses all the information they memorized in the Grammar years to challenge and debate and discuss.
3. Rhetoric Stage: The high school years are built on the previous two: using the knowledge from the grammar phase and the understanding from the dialectic phase to gain wisdom and mastering subjects they are studying.
Late 1800’s educator, Charlotte Mason, taught that education is “an atmosphere, a discipline, a life” and believed much time needed to be spent reading excellent literature, exploring outdoors, journaling, and appreciating art, music and nature. Focus is also spent on self-discipline, as well as narration, dictation and copy work.
I think there is a little bit of eclectic learning going on in every homeschool, being that no two children are the same and that truly, no homeschool plan is going to be 100% perfect for everyone you teach, at every year you teach them. Eclectic homeschooling, is essentially, using a variety of homeschooling methods to teach. As a seasoned mom to a newbie, I would say leave room for grace in your journey as you learn your strengths and weaknesses, as well as your children’s. If it’s not working, change it...but hang on to the things that do.
In the late 1800’s Italian Dr. Maria Montessori studied how children learn And developed an early childhood education program from her findings. Individual learning style, active and hands on learning, cooperation, mixed-age classes and child-guided activities are the focus of her program.