What is your homeschooling style, and how did you choose for your family?
When we first started thinking about homeschooling, I was in the mindset of a teacher looking for textbooks that would fit each subject. The more research I did, the more I realized that we weren’t going to be constrained by the “public school” way of doing things.
We started our journey using the unit study based approach. One study that encompassed all of the subjects. While I did like this, I found myself staying up late many nights finding materials to supplement and expand on what we had learned. I’m not opposed to doing this; however, I knew there had to be a little better way. One that wouldn’t lead to burnout.
So, we began to pick and choose based on what we liked or didn’t. One thing we have stuck with all three years has been a living books approach to literature coinciding with what we are doing in history. I love this because the boys may or may not digest all of the facts thrown at them, but they will remember the nuances of a time period when told in a story. We are reading Guns for General Washington right now. It’s a quick read, but it has really helped us visualize the race to get the guns from Ticonderoga to Washington before the British fleet arrived during the Revolutionary War. I’m almost sure without the books, they wouldn’t remember these details. We have completed several lapbooks with history as well. Tying all those little details together as much as we can.
For math and science, we do go textbook. I like to supplement with field trips and hand’s on exploration. I think kids do need exposure to textbooks as this is what they will encounter once they are in college.
I think what is most important as one begins or continues the journey of homeschooling is to keep an eye on what works while not being afraid to change course when something doesn't. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to push through a curriculum that neither you nor your kids enjoy. You get stressed, they get fussy and don’t learn, and in the end it’s not a positive experience. Some like to say – “I don’t quit what I start.” In most cases, I agree. However, when it comes to homeschooling, our motto is “Never stop learning,” and sometimes that means taking on a new direction.
I guess we use the TextLitClassicUnit approach to homeschooling - wait, I mean eclectic.