Happy Monday and Happy Homeschooling!
Did you catch the line when the girl says, “You might be a homeschooler if you are filled with fear and dread when you hear the word ‘Saxon'”? That may not be the case for all homeschoolers, but it is certainly the case for this homeschooling momma. There’s other strange homeschool vocabulary words that give me shivers. Abeka, Lifepac, and FIAR, oh my! The list could go on but I’ll stop here so you won’t get frightened too.
I suppose I should explain. Those strange words are names of popular homeschooling curriculum. If you have ever had the opportunity of being around a group of homeschooling parents, you have most likely been trapped in a discussion (aka debate) on which curriculum is best.
I suppose I should explain more. First, every homeschool family is different. God designed us that way. With that being said, what kind of cirriculum works best can only determined by the individual family. What works in your homeschool is probably not what works in mine or in the Jones’ homeschool. The second reason why curriculum discussions are so scary is the reactions of others when I say (insert a slight southern, country, redneck accent), “Oh, we don’t use curriculum, I make it up.”
However, over the course of our 15 year homeschooling journey I have practiced a more refined response to the “What cirucculum do you use” question. “Our family learns with a history timeline based unit study approach that includes notebooking and lapbooking. We choose this reinforced learning method because it enables me to teach history, science, language arts, music, art, and religion to the children all at the same time just altering the lessons with more requirements for the higher grades. With these unit studies, we use online resources, text books, video, audio, and library materials. Each child has his own spelling and math programs based on their skill level. Also starting in the middle grades, each child gets to choose his own elective for each grading period. We research catalogs, talk with other home educators, read reviews, compare costs, and assess our children’s individual weaknesses and strengths before deciding on each years educational choices.” That’s better, huh?
So my advice to the new or dissatisfied homeschooling parent is to pray it through before you start buying curriculum. And figure out your child’s/children’s learning style and your preferred teaching method so you can narrow down your choices.
Kinesthetic – Student learns best with hands-on activities
Auditory – Student learns best through hearing
Visual – Student learns best by reading, viewing pictures, observing
Unit Study – Reinforced learning in which the same topic is covered in several subjects
Classical – Latin, Trivium, Rhetoric
Charlotte Mason – Real life observation and discussion
Unschooling – Informal lessons determined by child’s interests
Traditional – Text books and work books
Eclectic – Some sort of combination of the above methods
For another article with advice for the new homeschooler wondering where to start click here https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/03/24/another-new-homeschooler-and-another/