Have you ever thought about what your homeschool philosophy is? It is important to know what your homeschool philosophy is so that you have a focus for your children’s education. But it is also important to understand that your philosophy might change as your family grows or new situations come up. Over the past few years leading up to officially homeschooling my personal homeschool philosophy has begun to develop. I’ve taken this quiz many times to hone in on my homeschooling philosophy and the results haven’t changed much. So I think I can use this to start creating a homeschool philosophy that works for my family! This post will help you get started developing your own homeschool philosophy.
Creating a Homeschool Philosophy
There are many ways to choose a homeschool philosophy for your family. One way is to simply adopt one of the many already defined and follow it. Popular homeschool philosophies include: Charlotte Mason, Classical, Traditional, Unschooling, Montessori, Unit Studies, Reggio-Emilia, Waldorf, and Thomas Jefferson Education. By Googling any of these methods you will find a ton of information on each one.
Many homeschoolers fall into the eclectic category, meaning they borrow from many homeschool philosophies to come up with their own homeschool philosophy that works for their family. This is the group that we fall into.
How My Homeschooling Philosophy Evolved
By taking this quiz I was able to narrow down our homeschool philosophies to the top three we gravitate towards. The top three homeschool philosophies I most identify with are: Charlotte Mason, Unschooling and Montessori.
If you’ve been a long time reader of this blog it is very clear in the posts I tend to write about. In the toddler years I tried to carry out a Montessori at home philosophy. But organizing practical life activities started to not make a lot of sense when I could just incorporate learning practical life skills into our daily life. This gave way to a more unschooling or a natural approach to learning.
To me, unschooling means learning naturally through daily life and play, or learning about topics of interest as they come up. We incorporate a lot of this type of learning in our home. We love to cook and bake together, we clean and shop together, we play games and build LEGO together. This is just part of our daily life, our home atmosphere.
But I also like to incorporate good books into our play. I’ve created many sensory bins and small world play scenes inspired by children’s books. This is where the Charlotte Mason method comes in for us. Charlotte Mason was a big fan of great books and reading aloud to children. She also believed formal lessons shouldn’t begin until age seven and that the early years were for outdoor exploration, play and reading great stories.
What Our Homeschool Currently Looks Like
The more I learn about the Charlotte Mason method, the more I adopt and the better our homeschooling goes. We start our day fairly relaxed and wait until we (ahem… mostly me.) are fully awake to start school work. Then we usually start with one of these fun ways to transition from morning cartoons to school time.
Once we have transitioned to school time, we start with one of our core subjects (reading or math) followed by a short break to play or move, while I prepare the next subject. Then we cycle through school work and short breaks until we are finished with that day’s assignments. This method of short lessons followed by short breaks is in tune with the Charlotte Mason method.
After schoolwork we spend our time playing indoors or outside, attending extra curricular classes, going to the library, running errands or making something in the kitchen.
Tips for Creating Your Own Homeschool Philosphy
Start by taking this homeschool philosophy quiz. Then do some research to learn more about your top three philosophies or any other philosophies you might be interested in. Once you have read a little about each philosophy you can adopt a philosophy or take a little from here and there to create your own eclectic homeschool philosophy that works for your family. And remember it may take a little trial and error to figure out what works best for your family.
Things to Keep in Mind
When developing a homeschool philosophy it is important to keep your teaching style, your children’s learning style, how much time you have to devote to homeschooling and your homeschool budget in mind. By keeping these things in the forefront of your mind you’ll be less likely to get caught up in a homeschool fantasy that will not work for your family and you’ll be able to focus on what will work as you adopt or create you own homeschool philosophy.
If you enjoyed this post you’ll probably be interested in reading “How Educational Philosophies Vary from Public School to Homeschool” by my friend and former public school teacher Devany of Still Playing School.
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