Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Naming My Method

Last month, I talked about why we take a summer break from school and I promised I would also talk about my homeschooling method.   I never thought much about my "method" at all until this year.  Well, let me clarify.  I'd given it thought, but I never thought about what to call it.  It wasn't until I had conversations with two different friends who were trying to settle on their own family's homeschooling method that I said, "What do I call our method?" 

I was stumped. 

Before we began formal schooling five years ago, I knew that it was important to me that the majority of our learning be done together so that it eased the pressure of me trying to direct multiple kids while still caring for younger ones.  I also wanted most of our learning to be done from "real" books, not textbooks.  I also felt it important that our learning be natural and not forced.  I wanted to guide my kids by their ability, not by what they "should" be learning at a particular age.  I wanted them to love learning. 

Much of what we do can be considered Charlotte Mason method.  We draw in nature journals, we study works of art and beautiful music, we read poetry, and  we read scads of living books. We do a bit of narration in lieu of grades and  quizzes, though I have one child who thrives on letter grades (and will put a grade on his own papers if I don't). Sometimes we do projects or activities like you would do with unit studies and sometimes we take a topic and run with it like with unschooling and sometimes we even use a textbook.  

I still don't have a name for our eclectic jumble of methods, but I'm not sure it matters.  Maybe doing what works for us and being willing to adapt when a change is needed doesn't need a official moniker. 

Do you use a homeschooling method...or do you mix it all up like I do?  


  1. Yes! Although I love (and agree with) many of Charlotte Mason's concepts, I have never considered myself a "purist." I know my children best...not to mention the fact that I pray for His guidance all along the way! So we'll continue on with the "no name" method too. :D

  2. Loved reading this! It's nice to find other families that haven't placed a definitive or hardcore label on their homeschooling. :)

    We are definitely eclectic homeschoolers, with a tendency towards unschooling, lol. The boys do a lot of independent reading, and we use the computer for most of our resources (sites like Time4Learning and SpellingCity are our most frequented and most favorites), but we also let the boys grab onto certain interests or things they want to know more about and run with them. For a time...sometimes we have to reign them back in.

    Again, really enjoyed reading this. Looking forward to checking out more of your blog! :)


  3. Good Morning! I don't think you are alone in naming your homeschooling method.

    Have you heard of "Tidal" Homeschooling? I wrote about it on our blog and I have referenced the original concept.


    You are not alone!

    Just savor the joy of learning with your children.

  4. I have a feeling we're going to be quite eclectic as well. I love aspects of so many methods. But isn't that one of the many benefits of homeschooling, that we can pick and choose and make it fit our family's needs? I feel like sticking purely to one method would just be like doing school at home not true homeschooling, does that make sense?

  5. I've always tended toward the "eclectic" title, in homeschool and in life. :) I love that learning at home makes it possible!

  6. I call ours a literature based education w/ a Charlotte Mason flair. =)
    and our breaks and summer are definitely labeled as unschooling in which I prefer it's alias of "delight-directed learning".

  7. @Tamara, I have heard of tidal homeschooling. A friend posted a link a few weeks ago and I think it does sound a lot like us!

    @Allyson, YES! Homeschooling does allow us that freedom to do what works and forget the rest. I definitely understand what you are saying about "school at home" versus "home school." Such an important difference!

  8. CM Unschooling, Tidal Homeschooling, Eclectic Jumbling ... method shmethod :)

    what matters is that they're learning, and we're 'teaching'

    great post, Kristin!

  9. We love to mix it up, too- although most of what we do is very similar to yours with *scads* (love that word!) of living books and much emphasis on education being an atmosphere, a discipline, a life...

    Thank you for sharing this! I've been pondering much lately about a particular way I am when it comes to change in home schooling... maybe I'll write about it soon. :)

    Love to you, friend!


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