Saturday, June 25, 2011

Defining Your Homeschool Style

The beauty of homeschooling is the freedom to do what fits your family. Rather than an institution with a set schedule and a set curriculum that everyone must follow, a homeschool is essentially tutoring. You are your child's own personal tutor, catering to his needs, his learning style, and your family's lifestyle.

As freeing as that is, it begs a number of questions. What is my style? What are my children's needs? What are my priorities? What do I want my homeschool to look like?

If that's where you are right now, then take a moment to draw a picture, complete a vision worksheet, or in some other way get a concrete idea of what you envision.
  • Is it a tidy school room with textbooks and workbooks for every subject? Is it nature walks and messy crafts, a kitchen converted into a laboratory?
  • Is it fun at every turn, or character-building studies? Is it structured with tests and quizzes, or embellished with library books and notebooking pages?
  • Is it an 8:00 to 3:00 schedule, or whenever life happens?
Next, think through your priorities. Who do you want your child to be at the end of the journey? What will be your emphasis?
  • Is it Biblical knowledge and character training?
  • Is it pursuing your child's passions and interests?
  • Is it critical thinking and depth of expression?
These questions help to define your style and purpose. They serve to narrow your search for curriculum and materials. But homeschooling is life in action.

In other words, your vision and purpose statement will probably be changing and evolving along the way. Child #3 may not follow your vision nearly as well as Child #1 and #2 did. That's okay. Go through the process once more for that particular child. Remember for each child, you are their own one-on-one tutor. Resist the urge to institutionalize your family and enjoy the journey of discovery at each bend in the road.

Need a little extra help finding your style?
  • Find explanations for several common homeschooling styles.
  • Check out these free ebooks on choosing curriculum.
  • Try this free ecourse for more info on different homeschooling styles and find recommendations for the curriculum to match your style.
Tracy's style is rather eclectic right now but gearing up for a classical twist. You can read more about her homeschool journey at Growing In Grace.

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