Do I Need a Homeschool Method
About a year ago we made the decision to homeschool. One of the first questions I asked myself was, do I need a homeschool method?
There is Unschooling, Classical, Charlotte Mason, Montessori, and the list goes on. Honestly, it can be a bit overwhelming. As much as I would like to read a book on each, I just didn’t have the time.
With Kindergarten being mainly play based, with very little academics, I decided I’d sort of “wing it”. As we are closing in on our first year of homeschooling, I have learned so much.
Choosing a Homeschool Method
I am a firm believer that the most important thing for a homeschool family is the parent/child relationship. That being said, who is to tell you what “homeschool method” would best suit your household?
When choosing a homeschool method, I encourage you to not choose one at all. Take a couple of months, or even a year and just build your homeschooling relationship. Get to know your child, figure out how they learn best, and what works for your family.
As the year goes on, you might see connections on what you’ve built, to one of the methods. You may connect with families who use a certain method, and realize it’s very similar to yours. You might read books and take ideas from Charlotte Mason, or Montessori. Throughout these moments, you may find exactly what method works for you, or you may just find that a little of each is ideal for your style.
My Homeschool Method
At the risk of rambling, I’ll start by saying we are a little of each. I believe that formal education doesn’t need to start until the age of eight, but I also believe that an hour of school a day won’t do any harm.
In our home play and time in nature is the most important part of our school day. (shhh the kids don’t know this) Reading and math are combined for about an hour of school. We sprinkle in days of science when it fits into our schedule, but most of our science is done on our nature walks. We also spend a lot of time reading.
I love learning in nature, hands on activities, playing games, and child led learning. While I’m not the type of homeschool mom who will go the unschooled route, I believe the richest learning happens when they’re outside playing together in the forest. I occasionally peak out and just know that there is absolutely nothing I could teach them at a table that could possibly trump what they soak in playing together.
So Where Should you Begin?
If you’re beginning kinder or preschool, start with play. Get to know your child and start with their interests. My biggest piece of advice? Start with zero screen time. I guarantee, after a while it won’t be missed. ( but I also understand if you need some, I’ve been there). The best learning won’t happen with a screen.
If your child is older and has already been in public school, start by deschooling. Take a couple months off away from learning. Get to know your child and find your own routine!
Remember there is no right way and if you love your children unconditionally, you can’t really go wrong!
If you are looking for some inspiration here are some books that I love (affiliate links)!