Sunday, September 15, 2013

The First Steps

When I first began our homeschooling journey, my oldest child was three.  I had been planning to enroll him in a local play school, as people in our country do.  I had never considered homeschooling, and never really wanted to. I had a prejudice against it, I guess. It feels so long ago, I have no idea now even what that prejudice was based in.  But there it was.

I felt a prompting by the Holy Spirit to ask a good friend of mine about homeschooling. I just felt like I should at least consider it based on its true merits, because I had never taken the time to learn about it.  I sent her a quick email and said, "I've never considered homeschooling, but feel like I ought to, so give me your hard sell."

Well, she did.

Literally, after reading the email she sent me back, I couldn't NOT do it anymore.  The benefits were incredible, and she had laid it all out in a way I could not argue my way out of. She summarized her points in this blog post.  Jess has a lot of other great, inspiring articles about homeschooling on her blog too, Making Home.

I began furiously researching curriculums, and became very quickly overwhelmed.

Over the next two years before Luke began school, I spent quite a bit of time reading reviews, reading forums and threads, downloading samples from curriculum websites, talking to other moms, trying to figure out what was the "best" thing.  (News flash: There is no "best.")

I wasted a lot of time, though, because I was looking at all kinds of different methods of homeschooling and comparing the curriculums to each other.  But comparing a school-in-a-box curriculum to a Classical curriculum is like apples and oranges.

We've only been at this three years, but now I realize that instead of reading about every curriculum out there, I should have studied up on the different philosophies of education to see which one resonated most with me.  If I had done that, and realized that Classical education is the way for us, it would have narrowed down my choices a lot. In the end, I figured that out by realizing all the curriculums that were the most appealing to me were Classical. But that was the long way around. :)

I'm really tempted to write my own summaries of the different methods.  Even though this is my blog, I don't think that would be fair.  Because through researching them, I've become really, really sold on classical education.  I think it would be great for everyone. : )  Not everyone agrees, so I don't want to try to influence people.  So, since my goal is just to get you to find your homeschool style, instead, here's links to a quick run-down of a variety of homeschooling philosophies and methods. If you're just starting out, or if you've never thought about this, give them a quick read to see which fits you the best! (Better yet, google them yourself after you read this and find things other moms have written about why they chose what they did!)

-Classical Education

-Charlotte Mason

-Montessori

-Unschooling

-Wikipedia Overview of Homeschooling


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