Let’s get to why I’m writing about homeschool philosophies and why you don’t need to care before a haze falls across your eyes as opaquely as the haze of smoke settling into my mountain valley homestead in August.
Why, why, why would I talk about homeschool philosophies in such a glib way. Why, why, why would I need to talk about homeschool philosophies, and why you don’t need to care?
If you haven’t heard that there’s more than one way to homeschool, I shall direct you to these approaches:
- Classical homeschooling
- Charlotte Mason homeschooling
- Eclectic homeschooling
- Project-Based Homeschooling
I’m sure I’m missing a couple (dozen). There’s a list a mile long about how you COULD homeschool, even suggesting how you SHOULD, homeschool.
So now that we’ve got that out of the way…let’s talk about YOUR actual homeschool philosophy.
The philosophy of education that you have inside YOU. The one that is born out of your own experience, watching your own kids, and your own values.
The unsaid and said philosophy that influences…
- how you see your children
- how do you approach your child’s educational goals
- how you approach their interests
- whether you tell them they’re in a grade
- whether they get report cards
- whether they get a recess
- whether you know who the great Johns are (and I’m not talking about the apostle John or your John Henry)
- whether you can explain Charlotte Mason’s principles
- whether you know about the grammar, logic, and rhetoric phases of learning
- whether you know how many pages are in Susan Wise Bauer’s famous tome (PS it’s a lot).
My first few weeks of homeschooling are a whole lot different than now.
I remember the first few weeks we homeschooled.
- We sat in a circle,
- rang the bell at 0830 each morning,
- opened and closed our books on a bell schedule,
- sat in our home classroom,
- and dictated presidential quotes for the kids.
Anywho, that lasted two weeks.
Early in my homeschool years, I attended a homeschool conference where I was encouraged to write a formal family homeschool philosophy statement each year.
Oh boy! I don’t have time to DO the homeschooling let alone write my philosophy statement. As much as I like writing, this suggestion seemed tedious.
And it is if you’re trying to be declarative, unshifting, firm, and dogmatic. What do I believe about homeschooling for the rest of my life? If you’re like me, you’ll discover that your thoughts change over the years. Especially when you do something long enough.
Homeschool philosophy statements are like a general outline for a book, a mission statement for a business, or a budget for your family income.
Random acts of homeschool intention might not get you where you want to go, so you might want to direct your intentions.
Assume you’re making guesstimations as you write your homeschool philosophy. This is not a permanent record of the statement, not a marriage vow, not a hand on the bible in the courtroom moment, not a declaration of presidential integrity (haha, sorry, couldn’t resist).
This homeschool philosophy statement is a general outline that you will hone for the rest of your homeschool years.
If you sit with a cup of tea and ponder the following post (maybe even write your thoughts), you’ll have the base outline for your homeschool philosophy: writing your homeschool philosophy statement.
And if you just gotta know where your homeschool philosophy sensibilities lie, for no reason but JUST FOR FUN, you can check out this quiz and see where your homeschool philosophy quiz most aligns.
Watching my kids approach learning, questioning why I was homeschooling, and asking myself what the benefits were, compelled me to consider, what is an education anyway?
Ponder these thoughts, consider your values, your family, and your goals: what is your intention toward your child’s education?
Then write it down.
Count on it that whatever you write THIS YEAR, will definitely not be the same as you write NEXT YEAR.
You don’t need a fixed homeschool philosophy. You’ve got kids that will teach you every step of the way.
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