This week we are all talking about Our Method of Homeschooling. I've called our homeschool method a lot of different things, but Lit-Based Education seems to sum it up best.
When we started seriously looking at homeschooling, we attended a small homeschooling fair event in Colorado Springs. That was early in 1999, and until we went there, I had no idea that there actually was curriculum designed for homeschoolers. I assumed that in order to provide the type of education I wanted, I was going to be creating it all pretty much from scratch.
At that event, there was a booth for Sonlight, run by a family that included Mom, Dad and a boy of about nine. I think there was a younger child there too, but those were the three who were actually talking with those of us who were browsing at the fair. I was pushing Connor in a stroller, and Dale was wearing William in a Snugli. Both parents were busy with "real" customers when we got to the table, and they had Basic 3 (now called something like Core D) laid out on the table. I was mentally oohing and aahing over all the amazing books when the 9-year-old asked me if I had any questions. So, I asked him how this Sonlight thing worked.
He proceeded to show me the Instructor Guide, talk about all the amazing literature, point out how easy it was for his mom to teach, and generally just completely blow me away with how enthused he was about history, and how he was intelligently conversing with strange adults.
I took a catalog.
And I read it cover to cover, multiple times, over the next few weeks. Usually in the middle of the night, while nursing William.
I fell in love.
We used Sonlight very faithfully for the next decade, but I found myself trying some other things too. Did a bit of classical, tried unit studies, did some textbook... and kept finding myself being pulled to more literature-rich approaches.
One big discovery while doing classical types of things was the book Latin-Centered Curriculum by Andrew Campbell. First off, that book freed me from the idea that classical education is defined as a 4-year chronological approach to history. Second, he highly encourages reading aloud. A lot. The biggest take-away, for me, was the idea of multum non multa. Basically, that means quality, not quantity. We don't have to read every classic, we don't have to read every modern classic, and we don't have to learn every detail of history. What we need to do is to do a few things well. And read aloud a lot, without dissecting every piece of literature we cover.
A book a couple of years ago, The Eternal Argument by Robin Finley, pushed me into defining our style as lit-based. It was emphasizing the need for discussion-based approaches, and I recognized that discussion was exactly what one of my kids desperately needed.
|William's school shelf: Core 300 and Illuminating Literature|
|The Core G shelf|
The big difference with us as far as Sonlight now versus Sonlight fifteen years ago is that I no longer stress about reading all the books, nor about doing all of the included discussion questions. Some books we just skip entirely. Some books we read and talk about, but I never look at the included assignments or discussion questions.
Sonlight chooses great books, they really do. But we don't have to read them all to be "well read" and we certainly do not have to analyze them all either.
This means a lot of great books, and a whole lot of discussing the situations the characters find themselves in and what we think the author got right about a time period and what wasn't quite so authentic sounding.
When it comes to science, we make it a point to read at least one biography of a scientist for some perspective on the human side of great scientific discoveries.
What do my fellow homeschool bloggers have to say about their Homeschool Method? Go visit them to find out!
- How Our Academic Co-op Completes Our Eclectic Homeschool by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
- A Method to Our Madness by Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays
- Finding Our Homeschool Method by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
- How We Homeschool by Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool
- Give Us.... by Annette @ A Net in Time
- A day in our Home by Sarah@DeliveringGrace
- Overhauling Our Homeschool - Adjusting our "How" to fit our "Why" by Sabrina Scheerer @ Kids, Crunch, and Christ
- A Day in the Life of a Homeschooler: Expectation Vs. Reality by Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road
- How Charlotte Mason Transformed Our Homeschool by Brittney @ Mom's Heart
- Captain's Log, Supplemental - Our Homeschool Days by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
- How we get it done. by Kim @ Good Sweet Love
- How to Organize Daily Curriculum with the School Cart by Jeniffer @ Thou Shall Not Whine
- Learning For LIfe by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens
- Eclectic Homeschooling: When It All Comes Together by Jen @ A Helping Hand Homeschool
- A Typical Day? by Lizzy @ Peaches@Home
- This is the Way We Do Our School, So Early in the Morning by Laura @ Four Little Penguins
- A Little of This and a Little of That: Eclectic Homeschooling by Laura O @ Day by Day in Our World
- Still Classically Educating After All These Years by True North Homeschool Academy
- So what exactly is Life Led Homeschooling? by Dana @ Life Led Homeschool
- The way we learn ~ 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair by Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning
- Our Homeschool Routine by Joelle @Homeschooling For His Glory
- Homeschool Methods � 8 Tips for the Journey by Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset