I’m new to this homeschooling thing. (This probably isn’t news.) Before I started down the homeschool path, I did research. Oodles of research. I mean, sure, I got a teaching degree and all that, but based on my studies, I know that there’s actually quite a bit of theory and thought behind teaching and the education process.
Which you’d never know sometimes, when you look at some teachers and classrooms.
There are an equal amount of theories for homeschooling. Who knew, right?
While going through the books, articles, and other materials, I learned that there are homeschooling “styles.” I saw this and thought, ”I have to find my own homeschooling style?” Dude. I don’t even have my own fashion style, and I’ve been wearing clothes for over thirty years.
But, okay. I guess it’s like having a teaching style, right? Your own way of teaching that’s most effective for you, that allows your students to learn the most in the most fun (or at least the least painful) way possible. Er, right?
I quickly ruled out classical style (whatever that actually means). I also eliminated Montessori (don’t have the training), strict curriculum (there aren’t really any full curriculums for preschoolers that have textbooks and all that other stuff), unschooling (for some reason I can no longer remember), and a few other styles.
Which left me with unit studies.
And I figured that was a good fit, and we’d be good to go.
We were okay for a while. I planned some units. Only the response I got from my kids was…lackadaisical at best. So I went and bought a multi-age preschool curriculum that I could supplement with my own units.
Only…it was still only going “okay.” I mean, on the whole it was good, and the kids were enjoying themselves. (Er…at least, I think they were.)
But last week, I realized that unit studies weren’t completely working. Our daily schedule is sometimes all over the place, and with my kids being 2.5 and 4 years old, they sometimes can’t sit still long enough for a complete lesson. (I suppose the home environment is a lot different than being in a classroom with a full class of other kids.)
And THEN I realized that we’re really a group of unschoolers. Actually, we’re probably more like “unit study unschoolers.” (Which may or may not actually exist, but there you go.)
No, really. I mean, yeah, we do learn some things from the units we decide to study. We also use the curriculum when we can use materials from it. But overall, we learn about whatever we come across, in whatever order the kids seem interested in. Not everything we study at any given point in time has to do with the particular unit we’re supposed to be studying, though. After all, we’re supposed to be studying space right now, but the kids also like to dig around in the backyard and find bugs and butterflies. So we learn about bugs and butterflies too.
Anyway. What I’m trying to say is that our setup might be unconventional, but so far, it’s working for us.
Of course, that may change in the future. But if/when it does, our homeschooling style will change too.