When I decided to homeschool, the first thing I did was try to figure out how I’m going to homeschool and what type of homeschooler I’m going to be.
The approaches to homeschooling you often hear about are classical, Charlotte Mason, unit studies, and unschooling. Then there’s an eclectic approach, which takes bits and pieces of different approaches to formulate something that works for your family. I’ll talk about these soon.
For now, here’s a quiz, which, if you’re interested, will let you know where you stand on these philosophies, which might be cool to do before you know much about them, assuming you’re not a seasoned homeschooler already: What Kind of Homeschooler Are You?
Score for Waldorf Education: 1
Score for Traditional Education: -17
Score for Unit Studies Education: 14
Score for Montessori Education: 21
Score for Thomas Jefferson Education: 12
Score for Unschooling: 16
Score for Classical Education: 21
Score for Charlotte Mason Education: 18
I’m glad I took this quiz because, oddly, I’ve always been interested in Montessori but never thought about incorporating it into our homeschool. I’d been planning to do an eclectic (and secular!) mix of classical and Charlotte Mason, with some unschooling thrown in (as much as you can throw unschooling into a mix of such non-unschooly things), but now I’m going to learn more about Montessori and add that, as well. Formulating your homeschooling approach is like making a quilt — take a piece of this and a slice of that and wait no, move this one over here and add that and okay cool, this is starting to look like a big picture that makes sense!
Of course I’m going into homeschooling because I think it’s the right thing for Soren, but from a purely selfish perspective, I am SO excited about this. After being at the same job doing the same thing for 10 years, it’s freaking awesome to be learning something new and taking my life in a totally different direction, one I never expected to even consider.
And this doesn’t really fit in a discussion of homeschooling approaches (or maybe it does, because an eclectic approach can and should incorporate stuff like this) but I’m so stoked I have to mention it. Last night I remembered that I’ve been wanting to see In Bloom at the Denver Art Museum. There’s a book — Working Among Flowers: Floral Still-Life Painting in Nineteenth-Century France (available from the DAM store or Amazon or wherever) — that goes with the exhibition. I realized that I can get the book and Soren and I can look at it and I can read parts of it to him before we visit the museum. Then we can go to the museum to look at and discuss the paintings, then come home and do our own floral still-life paintings. That can be a school day for us. And I seriously cannot imagine anything being more awesome than that!