Jul 29, 2012

A Method All Our Own

Do you follow a method in your homeschool? Over the years, I have checked out a lot of different methods: Charlotte Mason, Unit Studies, Montessori, Classical, Unschooling, The Well-Trained Mind people (which I think is Classical, but I've never really been sure) Delight-Directed, and so forth, and they all sound so amazing and so perfect and such a great idea. I love methods because they seem so... simple, cut-and-dried, black-and-white. I want so badly to be able to say, "We are...", to join a group, to know what is expected of us, to belong somewhere. But I've never been able to pull it off. I just can't. I always have to preface everything with, "Well, we aren't purists..." So we claim to be "Eclectic", but, deep down, I have a suspicion that we aren't purists even when it comes to Eclecticism. (I'm pretty sure that's a word. Well, it is now, anyway.) So, when, somewhere, I read the term: Us Schoolers, I was pretty happy. That's what we are. Us-Schoolers.

We use curriculum, but we tweak it to suit ourselves. If we can't find the right curriculum for us, we feel free to make our own. We have set school times, but we don't mind skipping school for field trips, snow days, or memory-making opportunities. We don't do grades but work for mastery. We do know what grade level each child is "supposed" to be in, but our actual school work is all. over. the. place. (The kids don't know that, though.) I do ask the kids what they are interested in learning, but feel free to override their opinions if necessary. We use narration (after a fashion). We like notebooking. We rarely take tests. We keep lessons short and varied. The kids get lots of free time every day to just be kids. We limit and monitor screen time, but don't forbid it completely. We learn Latin. We drill math facts but rarely mention history dates. We like to memorize Scripture, but have yet to come up with a fail-proof system for doing so. We have done a unit study or two. We use our own method of workboxes. We use a four-year-cycle, that seems to be taking longer than four years. We don't mind tossing aside things that aren't working and we love trying new ideas. We use worksheets, make crafts, put on plays, read books, watch videos, cook edible body parts, label maps, use textbooks, and throw in a lot of life living.

So, yes, I guess our Method is: Us Schoolers. We do school just like us. Now I just need to find a group to join.



Our Side of the Mountain said...

Oh, wow! This is us! Us Schoolers! Love it! Your schooling sounds a lot like ours most weeks! Stopping by from the TOS Blog Hop!

Stefanie said...

Perfect! Us-Schoolers. Love it! I decided to call our method "madness" which I define as whatever works for us at the point in time.

Joelle A. said...

Love your post! You should start a yahoo group. I am sure you will find people to join starting with us on the crew!


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