OK, so I was pretty sure that I really preferred unschooling, with some unit studies and a few more formalized things thrown in. Then I read The Well Trained Mind. Now I wonder if I’m not really more of a classical education supporter? I have to laugh at myself because I’m a very balanced and analytical person in most respects. For example, just because I decided unschooling was the way I wanted to go, I didn’t stop reading everything I can get my hands on. Ummm… my point? You ask. Of course. My point is that I have continued reading about all different types of homeschooling education, and the more I read The Well Trained Mind, the more I believe that this is “it”. That our children will be better educated, more well-rounded, and more analytical thinkers than if I don’t expose them to some type of structured curriculum. As a side note, it also makes me realize that I – a confirmed, card-carrying bookworm – have not read out loud to my youngest children NEARLY enough. They’re 5, will be six in November, so all is not lost. But it’s something I need to be remedying NOW.
I (coincidentally?) this week received a phone call from my sister-in-law, Nikki. She has 2 complete A Beka curricula. One is from 8th grade (what I’m hoping to accelerate Chris to this year, which will put him in line with his age group), and the other is 10th.
I still believe that we will be an eclectic homeschooling family, as I still really enjoy the idea of unit studies, and being able to have family study time. But incorporating a lot of classical educational models into our children’s homeschooling, I believe, is more the direction we’ll go. I’ll teach to the A Beka curriculum (please keep in mind I haven’t even seen it yet, so that could change, very easily), supplement with ideas from A Well Trained Mind, and also keeping the mindset that I’m actively teaching my child every moment, whether by play or by activities, field trips and such. The hardest part I see at this point, in going with a classical mindset, is the fact that he has not been taught that way in the past, and the textual base of what I’ve read of a classical education is not how he learns best. He is, without question, a kinesthetic (hands-on) and auditory learner. He reads well, he has good comprehension skills, but he does not learn best from a book, from what I’ve seen. So from that point, we will need to adapt this method to suit his learning style.
I debated on posting these thoughts, because I don’t want to appear wishy-washy. I’ve done a lot of research, and I’m still finding my way. Technically speaking, we’re still in a period of de-schooling, and this is our first time at it. So, one of the reasons that I decided to go ahead and post it is because as a new homeschooling mom, I have read a lot about the different methods that parents have arrived at. I haven’t read much, though, about those who are going through the same process as me… trying to figure out what works best for their children and why. So I hope that someday, when I really know what I’m doing (hahahaha), someone will stumble across this old post, and see my progression through all of the questioning, and see that they’re not alone if they’re suffering some of the information overload and sorting through the incredible amounts of information out there… and hopefully it will give that reader a chance to see that you can think you have it all figured out, and you can still question, adjust and make changes along the way. I think most homeschooling parents have done it. I know I’m in it now. 🙂
I’ve read a lot… and I do mean a LOT… so this is one of the few times I’m not going to ask what you think… because I already have too many choices. 🙂 But I will ask something… you’ve made a decision of your own. What type of homeschooling do you do, and why did you arrive at that choice? Oh… and have your own homeschooling blog? I’d LOVE to see it (if I haven’t already), so please, feel free to leave a link to it.