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Sunday, July 12

A Homeschool Story - Stylistic Approaches

There are as many different homeschooling styles as there are homeschooling families.  This is our story…  (Psst…If you’re new to homeschooling, look for information on the different styles throughout this text.) 
We use traditional math and grammar curriculum, because we feel that backbone is important.  Another strong base, the Song SchoolLatin program, is the foreign language we have selected to teach them.  Does this mean we ascribe to the Classical methods?  Hm.  Partially, but not really.

We may use curriculum as the backbone of our school, but it is the unit studies that make it memorable and fun.  In this way, we are more of Charlotte Mason, Unit Studies, or Waldorf schoolers…and somedays, it’s just plain Unschooling all the way.
First, decide what matters most to your family, or where the focus will lie.  My husband and I are both into geography and history, so that's what we chose.  I create units based on our current location (we travel frequently with his job) and our at-home studies are one to two-week units on subjects that the kids choose.  This is how we end up doing seemingly random units on Ancient Asia (Lego Ninjago) and Scandinavia (doesn't everyone think Vikings are cool?).

Engaging and hands-on learning is an integral part of our units.  Some of our favorite resources include :
·        "We Were There books - Easy to read and provide exciting, entertaining stories, based upon true historic events. Though written simply enough for young readers, they make interesting reading for boys and girls well into their teens."
·        Little Passports - Help to reinforce world geography lessons.  Little Passports covers either US or World geography (depending on your package), and includes activities, stickers, a toy / art project, and a letter each month from a different state / country.  (For example, the United Kingdom kit came with a double-decker bus to build.) 
The Young Scientists Club (monthly science kits) and the Science Labs (four school-bus options with 25-30 experiments in each) are great hands-on learning experiences.  They are well-made kits with reusable pieces, and a good investment if you have multiple children that will be replicating the experiments.
·        Jim Weiss audiobooks - An entire line based on classic books.  Many are available at our local library.

If you're not in the mood, or don't have the time, to pull together units, many of my posts have links to the books, movies, lapbooks, etc that we use for each unit.  You can find a complete list on our site. Feel free to take advantage of these and use whatever you can. 

I also want to mention the Enchanted Homeschooling Mom. Her home-business is the development of curricula, and she's very good at it!  For $15, you get lifetime access to everything that she EVER creates.  Currently, she has about ten full-year curricula and several short units.  There are many freebies, such as this one on Knights & Castles, for you to assess her work. 
Educents store 
We also have our own store, where we have Lego-themed printables, herbalism for mom, history unit studies, freebies, and more!  Pop in and check us out!!
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