Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Trying to Decide on a Homeschooling Method

I just finished reading Homeschooling Methods: Seasoned Advice on Learning Styles, in order to try and decide which method I will be using to homeschool Carlee. I'm so glad I found this book. It is a Christian oriented book in which each chapter has essays about different methods of homeschooling, and each chapter made me excited about each method! haha. But overall, I think I am still more inclined to the "unschooling" or "relaxed" method of homeschooling, where you don't follow any certain curriculum or use textbooks really, but instead follow the child's interest, read "real" or "live" books as they call them, and use the world as the "classroom."

However, I plan on working in parts of other methods as well, as they interest Carlee, including some Charlotte Mason ideas. Some of her ideas I already incorporate naturally into our lives, such as putting an emphasis on nature and being outside. I will also use whatever Carlee is interested in using at the time. For example, right now, she is really interested in workbooks, she loves them! So, I'm just going to follow her lead.

Perhaps I'll be using more of an eccletic method, then, since I will probably be borrowing from all of the different methods. Maybe we'll even do some unit studies, once she gets older. I really liked the idea of learning Latin from the Classical method of homeschooling. The book brought up the point that learning Latin really helps comprehend English vocabulary better since you can recognize the root words and their meanings. And of course, since Carlee is such a social butterfly, a few homeschooling co-ops and activities such as girl scouts and sports, etc. are surely in her future. I'm very excited to see the student Carlee will grow into.

Today, after a women's church group event, I was talking to one of the ladies and found out that the homeschooling group I had joined a few months ago was in fact not the actual group! It was a yahoo group they had started and that was supposed to have been deleted a long time ago! I was wondering why no one was posting or discussing anything. So, as of today, after sorting things out, I am officially a member of the homeschooling support group here. I plan on attending their monthly meetings, and they're even going on a field trip this Friday! How cool is that?! :) Can you tell I'm so excited?

So, currently, Carlee is doing really awesome with her learning. I've been homeschooling her now for 2 months. I wondered if perhaps I had started her too early, but felt reassured when I remembered that she was the one who started learning her alphabet first (I'm still not sure where from,) and initiated wanting to learn more and more. I really have just been following her lead, and we've been pretty relaxed about the learning anyway.

We have a fairly stable schedule where we work on one letter a week (that Carlee chooses,) a number, a shape, a color, and an extra concept (right now we're working on one set of opposites per week.) We do crafts with the letter, learn about animals that start with the letter, practice counting with various objects (her favorite is with a deck of cards,) read a TON, sing songs, read poems, play A LOT, work in preschool workbooks, etc etc. And she loves all of it! She really looks foward to "school time" and I'm glad that I started it now, because she knows that this is something that is just hers (for the next 4 years anyway.) She knows that it is something she won't have to share with the baby when he/she gets here. Because as she puts it, "Babies are too little to do school, only big girls get to do school." She is definitely becoming quite the big girl. :)


mira said...

seems like being AP and unschooling/montessori schooling go hand-in-hand, so I'm not surprised you are leaning in that direction, and as long as you're teaching her what she wants to learn, there is no way you're going too fast! I'll be interested to see what my teaching style ends up looking like as the years go by. Probably a really odd mix of classical and unschooling.