What approach do we use for homeschooling?
The most accurate response is eclectic. I have a hard time fitting our homeschool approach into just one category! I think many homeschoolers feel the same. With my personality and teaching styles, deciding on just one approach is too difficult.
We use a:
- Classical approach,
- Traditional approach, and a
- Fun approach
Yes, I made up “the fun approach.” I value enjoying this wonderful world God has given us, and making time to see friends!
We really are a combination of a classical approach and a traditional approach. We are classical in that I teach the children about a wide variety of topics during the Grammar Stage (elementary age) and we focus on learning a lot of facts and ideas. My kids just absorb learning about different topics; I am blessed that it’s easy to get them excited about new things and learning. My husband and I started from a very young age to teach our children to wonder about the world.
We have a traditional approach to education, too. A lot of what we do during formal school time probably looks a lot like what classrooms are doing around the country. I have a background in education; I am a speech-language pathologist. I am trained (and have experience) working with babies up through adults (birth-adult). I enjoy having a structured aspect of our school day. My husband is a mathematician and college professor. Language and math are very big in our home, and we appreciate learning a multitude of topics (my husband also majored in classics and philosophy).
I don’t know what your experience is with homeschooling, but we are active in our homeschooling community. We rarely stay at home all day long. We do stay at home to do our formal lessons, but an important aspect of home education is to also enjoy many other opportunities outside of our home. We try to go on one fun outing per week (e.g., visit a new park, or go on an outdoor field trip). Every week of the school year, we go to dance lessons, piano lessons, play dates, church events, and attend our weekly Catholic Schoolhouse co-op. The picture on this page was from a special event to remember Laura Ingalls Wilder; the kids loved dressing up and playing games from the 1800’s. We are blessed to have many great opportunities. There are community events geared towards homeschoolers, and it’s a blessing to meet others who homeschool.
There are more types of approaches. I’m sure you could name more! Charlotte Mason is another big one, and we sometimes incorporate aspects of it.
What approaches most describe you? If you are not sure, I encourage you to read about different educational approaches. They can guide you as you informally–or formally–create your philosophy of education for your personal homeschool.
You may try one approach, and decide it’s not a fit for your teaching style, personality, family needs, or season of your life. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you, and you will find something that works for your family.