Sunday, November 9, 2008

Homeschooling Styles

At our last General Meeting we had 5 members form a panel and talk about their homeschooling practices following a particular style. Represented were; Charlotte Mason, Unschooling, Waldorf, Curriculum Based and Eclectic. I think most people follow a combination of styles but it was nice to hear these speakers focus on one particular method. I took a few things away from this meeting:

1) Use more living books and try to cut out the "junk" books. Allow a few but limit them. I'm really noticing quality when it comes to finding early and advanced readers for Mason. The "junk" readers don't advance logically and use words which are inappropriate for the level.

2) Start a nature journal and get some good field guides. Utilize Handbook of Nature Study

3) Make outside/physical activity time a regular part of our day. We've gotten quite good at this but with winter approaching I want to make sure that we continue on!! It's too easy to hibernate!

4) Formal learning in the morning, field trips and extracurricular in the afternoon.

5) Being organized makes homeschooling easier.

6) Plan a character ed program. I've been wanting to do this for a while. Perhaps I'll choose 10 characteristics and we'll work on those.

7) Sources for copy work

8) Art is definitely a part of my program already but we're lacking in music this year. We'll incorporate a music study and appreciation on a monthly basis and aim to have music lessons in our schedule by next year.

9) Continue with my plan to start a Lifelong Project Timeline. It will not be in a book format as many of them are. Rather it will be accordion style so that it can easily fold out into a true line. I'll post more on this, hopefully in the near future!


Melisa & Erik Nielsen said...

Good morning! I came across your post and wanted to share some thoughts that might help your path... on the readers, in Waldorf it is common practice to make their own readers from their writing - you get to hit two thigs at once which is a dream for a homeschooler! So you would for instance read a story together, and then when you help him write the summary, you write it together in words he's working on reading, he then draws a picture as well, furthering his understanding of the letters and sounds by making a relationship with them. This of course assumes he's ready for head work. There are also some great little readers that we have used to supplement, they are by Shelley Davidow and they are in a series. Once you move on from those, there are some other great ones by Arthur Pittis based on the great classics (Grimm's, fables) that they should be reading at this age.

Just some thoughts, have a wonderful day and best of luck on your journey.

Melisa Nielsen

Melisa & Erik Nielsen said...

Oh I nearly forgot... there is great work on virtues out there too! Try this link, she has some work for families