Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Baby in a Basket

Riley and Ruben turned their laundry basket into a "car" and pushed Levi all around the house.  He smiled and cooed until he fell asleep.....

 ....Life is good :)

5The daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, while her attendants walked beside the river. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maid to bring it. 6When she opened it, she saw the child. He was crying, and she took pity on him, “This must be one of the Hebrews’ children,” she said. 10When the child grew up, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and she took him as her son. She named him Moses, “because,” she said, “I drew him out of the water.”

                                                                                 Exodus 2:5-6,10

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Various Methods of Homeschooling

Over the past five years, I have researched various types/methods/approaches of education.  Here are some notes/generalizations that I've made about those various methods.

1.    Traditional textbook/workbook
a.    Text based = read excerpt, answer questions, take test, repeat
b.    Instructor driven, often classroom oriented
c.    Less teacher prep & easier to grade
d.    Provides scope & sequence, teacher manuals, answer keys, built in tests, various teaching aids
e.    Less flexibility/freedom
f.     Student memorizes for test, then may forget
g.    Doesn’t fit all learning styles
h.    Student who doesn’t fit curriculum may feel inferior or become bored
i.      Divides family as everyone typically works separately
j.      Sequential – avoid “gaps”
2.    Classical
a.    Teaches Trivium – Latin for “where three roads meet”
1.    Grammar Stage – early elementary – child absorbs factual information
2.    Logic/Dialectic Stage – middle school – child is more inquisitive and analytical
3.    Rhetoric Stage – high school – child is more creative expressive
b.    Follows stages of development, sequential
c.    “Training of the mind” – develops independent thinkers
d.    Incorporates Logic & Latin, uses Socratic Method
e.    Most emphasis on history and classic literature
f.     Little prepared curriculum available
g.    Requires more direct instruction (discussion), teacher prep
3.    Unit Study
a.    Most subjects are covered by studying one topic or time period
b.    Read variety of books, hands on activities, field trips
c.    Useful for teaching multiple grade levels/multisensory learning
d.    Children retain what they are learning/doing
e.    More teacher prep & involvement
f.     More uncertainty about covering all subjects – fear of “gaps”
4.    Charlotte Mason/Living Books/Literature
a.    Turn of the century, 1800-1900’s, educator in England
b.    Use real/living books and primary sources, avoid “twaddle” = books written down to children with short sentences and fancy pictures, cartoons, requiring little imagination, etc.
c.    Narration instead of workbook – narration = tell back what we just read, saw, or heard
d.    Copywork, dictation, recitation
e.    Nature study, nature walks, journal/notebook
f.     Art appreciation
g.    Stimulates love of learning
h.    Various subjects integrated into reading, but not necessarily as purposeful as in unit study
i.      Learning is low-key and comes as a natural process of simply reading a good book
j.      Not all subjects are covered at all times, may not follow traditional scope & sequence
k.    Useful for multiple ages and learning styles
l.      More teacher prep
m.   Fear of “gaps”
5.    Charter/Virtual/Umbrella School
a.    Computer based
b.    Assigned curriculum
c.    Scheduled with limited flexibility, deadlines, scope & sequence
d.    Each child working at different level on various subjects
e.    Can be public school or private school based
6.    Unschooling
a.    Student directed learning
b.    Flexible, loose schedule
c.    Useful for multiple ages and learning styles
d.    May have “gaps”
      7.  Eclectic – use a variety of methods

We have tried many of these in our homeschool including traditional textbooks, classical, unit studies, Charlotte Mason, and eclectic as you can see by our past curriculum choices (post 1, post 2, post 3). There are pros and cons to each.  But lately I keep coming back to Charlotte Mason.  Here's a series of posts that I did regarding our CM homeschool (post 1, post 2, post 3, & post 4).

What type of homeschool method do you prefer?