Homeschool Methods: (or, HOW exactly am I supposed to teach these kids??)

I am so excited!! The TOS crew is hosting a “Back to School” blog hop about all things homeschool and I am participating!! I hope you will join us for all 5 days of this blog hop. I am looking forward to being inspired by all of the ideas my fellow homeschoolers come up with!! So, here we go: the first topic for this week is Homeschool Methods!

I will admit, I was a former teacher for many years before I began homeschooling my kids, so you would think, I would HAVE this, right?? Wrong!! There is something SO very different about being totally responsible for the education of your own children, versus, being responsible for teaching a bunch of kids (that don’t belong to you) one subject. Yes, I did have experience with teaching in general, but did all of that experience transfer to homeschooling my own kids?? Not exactly!

First of all, in doing my research, I was absolutely INUNDATED with all the different homeschool methods (Charlotte Mason, textbook, unschooling…etc. etc….). Wow!! This is a LOT to take in at first. I checked out a lot of books from the library, and spent a lot of time on the internet in order to conclude, that I am an eclectic homeschooler!!

What does this mean? Well, basically, I use a LOT of different methods to homeschool my kids, based on the subject we are studying and the NATURE of that particular child (oddly enough, my classroom wasn’t that different! :)). So, we use a Charlotte Mason style approach for history and literature, but we use standard textbooks for math, grammar, and spelling. We also like a hands-on approach to science!!

Basically, we do this because I have taught long enough to know that each child is different!! They may not all be talented in the same way, but they are still talented. The beauty of homeschool is that you can teach to your child’s individual strengths, while also giving them one on one attention in their areas of weakness.

Examples: My oldest is like me, a natural reader. He has ALWAYS loved books and getting him to read is NEVER a struggle!! (in fact, finding enough books for him to read is a challenge!!). His weakness is math (as is mine). In contrast, my youngest does NOT enjoy reading, unless it is a comic book!! Taking him to the library is a chore, all he wants to do is play on the computer!! Reading is a struggle for him, which is one of the reasons we pulled him out of school to begin with!!

Since we homeschool, I can fuel my oldest child’s love of books, while also addressing the struggles of my youngest. For my oldest, I introduce books that tie into our history studies, or books that I loved as a kid. We discuss and enjoy them together. With my youngest, we do a lot of read-alouds and shared reading. Seriously, his reading level has improved DRAMATICALLY since we started homeschooling!! He is starting to read more chapter books (without my prompting) and is a more confident reader overall.

For subjects like math and science (my personal weaknesses) I like structure. I choose textbooks with clear directions, because they make it easier on me!! I also look for classes through local co-ops and homeschool groups for extra support in these areas!!

The beauty of homeschool (once you get beyond the initial fear!) is that you can truly tailor the methods to what suits YOUR child. The key thing to remember is that every child is different, and as the parent, you need to adjust for that. I am thankful for all the amazing approaches there are to homeschooling, and I am grateful that I get to mix them up to suit my kids!!

If you are looking for more information about homeschooling methods, check out these websites:

Charlotte Mason:
http://simplycharlottemason.com/

The Robinson approach:
http://www.robinsoncurriculum.com/

textbooks:
http://www.titus2.com/

Unschooling:
http://www.unschooling.org/

Unit studies:
http://homehearts.com/step-by-step-guide/step-4-develop-your-approach/the-unit-study-approach/
To see what other members of the crew had to say about homeschool methods, click here:
BacktoHomeschool

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6 thoughts on “Homeschool Methods: (or, HOW exactly am I supposed to teach these kids??)

  1. I found that my education degree was a bit of a hinderance too. lol Had to get out of the “this is how you teach that subject” mindset and start trying different.

  2. I find it funny that most hs parents expect great things out of me because I am a former teacher as well. I think you summed it up great by admitting that the best teacher is the one who teaches with her student in mind! Thanks for sharing.

  3. I am still a newbie at all this…but I learning quickly that no one person schools the same way, which is SUCH a relief to me!! Although, some days I wish there was a magic formula to get me on the right track!!

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