Monday, July 30, 2012

Back to Homeschool Blog Hop - Homeschool Methods

Homeschool Methods - Each homeschool is unique in its own way.  Different styles, methods, curricula, schedules.  Today's blog hop is about the variety of methods homeschoolers use.  Complete packages deals, Traditional Textbooks, Classical, Unit Studies, Unschooling, Charlotte Mason.

When I first began homeschooling, I bought the whole package deal.  Complete sets from online sites for the first two years.  I was knew to homeschooling and didn't feel very confident.  So I wanted a curriculum that would help me to "get it right."  This approach was best for me as a beginner.  It helped me to gain self-confidence.

With a few years of experience, I began to piece together curricula from various publishers.  Finding what I could used and then ordering the rest that I needed new.  This worked better for us.  It saved a ton of money buying used at homeschool book sales, yard sales, and online auctions.  It also helped to find books and programs that were a better fit for my children.  Company A's math book might work great for my daughter; but Company B's grammar book might be a better fit for her.  I like mixing and matching to get what really fits for my daughters.

With a few more years of experience, I realized that traditional textbooks weren't working for us when it came to Science and History.  The more I read about using living books and unit studies, the more intriguing the idea was.  Living books are great because they are typically written by someone who is not only an expert on the subject, but also is passionate about it.  Unit studies are wonderful because you don't just touch on a topic on page 42 and move on.  You stop and dive in and soak it up.  Once we pick a topic to learn more about, the possibilities are endless.  Living books, magazines, documentaries, online videos, lapbooks...

Then we came across other alternatives besides using the traditional math textbooks.  I'm loving the new options available for teaching math, especially the higher grade levels.  Lectures and tutorials are available on CD-Roms, DVDs, and online websites.  CD-Roms and Websites often even do the grading for you!

Next we were introduced to Charlotte Mason style grammar and literature programs. No more stuffy workbooks and textbooks.  These CM style books teach in a whole new way, different from what we have been used to, but different in a great way.

So our homeschool adventure has been a journey.  Starting with the box packages, moving into an eclectic mixture of this and that, and now gradually making our way into a more Charlotte Mason/Living Books method.  I am intrigued by the Charlotte Mason Method, but I still have a lot to learn and a long way to go before I will truly grasp the whole concept.  Until then, we are enjoying the journey.


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