Sunday, November 21, 2010

Curriculum, Method and Philosophy

There is a difference between curriculum, method and philosphy.
Here is my how our homeschool operates.

Curriculum: Eclectic- This is code for I use whatever materials I want.

•Math- Classical
Saxon, Kumon Drill Work, lots of extras- currently Hands on Equations and Math Mammoth

•Poetry, Grammar, Composition, Vocabulary- Textbook
MCT Island

•Literature- Eclectic
Sonlight books, Open Court Readers, history related, etc

•History- Weekly Unit Studies
Based on Gombrich's Little History

•Science- Trimester Unit Studies
Great Science Adventures- Space
Great Science Adventures- Human Body
Great Science Adventures- Tools and Technology

•Memory Work- Classical

I like to pull our curriculum together using several methods.

•a little bit of Waldorf- the part that emphasizes imagination and creativity in learning

•a little bit of Montessori- the part that emphasizes supporting a child's nature by allowing them self-exploration within prepared materials

•a chunk of Charlotte Mason style Classical- the part that emphasizes narration, chronological history, living books, enjoyment of poetry and short lessons

My overriding homeschool philosophy is adapted entirely from Charlotte Mason.

My child is not a blank slate, but is a whole person complete with his own personality and capacity for good and evil. I respect that he is born whole and that his mind is naturally designed to learn. I can provide the nourishment of education for his mind to grow healthy through a learning lifestyle where he is trained to be disciplined not in subject matter but in life for "education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life."

My child must be taught the difference between what he wants to do right now and his will to do what is appropriate/ right. He must also be taught to be careful not to rationalize something to be right simply because he wants it to be so. Along these lines, there can be no true happiness without first taking care of responsibilities. “…the chief responsibility which rests on them as persons is the acceptance or rejection of ideas. To help them in this choice we give them principles of conduct, and a wide range of the knowledge fitted to them.”

"I am, I can, I ought, I will." is the place from which I instruct, because we achieve through diligence not through intelligence or imagination. I use habit training as a road to success, but I exercise this alongside the idea that “perhaps the business of teachers is to open as many doors as possible.”

Gotta love CM.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this! I love your breakdown. It is hard to answer the question "what kind of homeschooler are you?" or "how do you homeschool" when it isn't answerable in a single sentence. :) I'm just starting to investigate Waldorf ideas for my younger ones. How about some future posts the subject??
    I came searching for your blog because I used your cupcake birthday idea for my just turned 1 year old this week! I have to download the pictures still, but it turned out just right!!