People often ask me what kind of homeschoolers we are: Classical? Charlotte Mason? Eclectic? Delight-Directed? Unschoolers? How, they want to know, does learning happen in our home? Am I in charge or do I let the kids lead the way?
Over the years, I have written with enthusiasm about the Charlotte Mason method (which is highly structured) and unschooling (which is not). These educational philosophies seem to have intertwined themselves in our home, so that the what we do – read great books, study nature, dive deeply into history, immerse ourselves in other cultures (geography and language studies) – is highly influenced by Charlotte’s writings and their application to our modern world; and the how we do it – through conversation and leisurely, child-led exploration – is influenced by the writings of John Holt, Sandra Dodd, and other unschooling advocates.
There are times I read Charlotte Mason and think, “She makes so much sense!” Other times, I will read Sandra Dodd and say to myself, “That’s it! We are unschoolers!” But in reality, my philosophies do not line up solely with either. Instead, I take what works for us from both. As stated in the title of this post, our homeschool motto is Homeschooling. Naturally. We have a nature-centered curriculum and use a unique blend of materials and methods suited to our lifestyle of learning. The way in which we approach education flows and changes direction as comfortably as the tides. There are five things I try to make a part of our every day:
beauty (art, music, nature)
ideas to ponder and discuss
With the “rule of five” in the back of my mind at all time, I have come to realize over the years that very powerful learning takes place in unexpected little visits, errands, jaunts, and of course our travels. We travel often and we love visiting historical sites and national landmarks. Though we generally know in advance where we are going, we don’t always know in advance what we will learn and what adventures are in store for us.
The following list is a collection of the learning adventures which have entered our lives because we were open to the opportunity. I hope you will find some value in them.
I’ll be adding to this list as we progress along our journey. If there is a post you feel belongs in this list, please let me know. 🙂
October 15, 2013 at 10:20 am
I have barely gotten time to look around your site, but I tell you, I am I love.
October 15, 2013 at 1:54 pm
Thank you and welcome. I look forward to getting to know you. 🙂
April 29, 2015 at 5:27 pm
Hi! My name is Peter. I’m going into Sixth grade and want to study mammals. Is your zoology book amazing animals challenging enough for me? i’ve been through the apologia book land animal books and am looking for something more in depth!
April 30, 2015 at 6:31 am
Hi Peter! Thank you so much for reaching out to me with your inquiry. I have sent you a private message and have attached a sample of the unit for you. I thought I would post here as well. I have not personally seen Apologia’s materials so I can not compare. However, I feel strongly that the materials in Zoology: Amazing Animals are advanced for middle school. Though evolution is not a component of this unit, the lessons are secular in nature. Please let me know if you should have further questions.