Every year I have elaborately laid out a homeschool curriculum plan to inspire an incredible year of learning. Just check out last years curriculum. Good intentions. And then life happens, and all of those well-intended plans get tossed to the wayside. We tend to go full-on unschooling about a quarter of the way into a school year, mixing in random days of unit studies, workbooks, and read-aloud books. While I believe that learning is possible with an unschooling method, sometimes (more often than preferred), my boys lack the motivation to learn “academically.” For this reason, I want more structure – I am sure I have said this once or twice before – in our homeschool.
As I mentioned in my Homeschool Mama’s Daybook update, I am hoping to take our very eclectic, unschoolish ways and heavily soak them with Charlotte Mason inspiration. This year will be a BIG learning experience for all of us, probably mostly for me, as I learn to “stick with the plan” and not let the urge to unschool completely take over.
Out of curiosity, I took this little quiz to see what kind of homeschooler I am. Here are my scores:
- Waldorf Education: 7
- Traditional Education: -18
- Unit Studies Education: 19
- Montessori Education: 23
- Thomas Jefferson Education: 11
- Unschooling: 21
- Classical Education: 2
- Charlotte Mason Education: 15
That’s no surprise that traditional education has a negative score. Unschooling and Unit Studies both had high scores, we have used these two methods the most in our homeschool, so I expected that outcome. I was a little surprised that my highest score is for the Montessori Method. The Charlotte Mason method had a relatively high score as well.
Although we have been homeschooling for almost 13 years, I decided to spend a little time learning more about the methods that we tend to use most often in our homeschool: unschooling, unit studies, and Charlotte Mason.
So, what is unschooling, exactly? This article from Eclectic Homeschooling about Unschooling in an Eclectic Homeschool was very enlightening and inspiring, redirecting my thoughts on unschooling. Although I understood that unschooling was a child-directed method of learning with plenty of resources on hand for the child to use, I tended to leave the boys to their own devices to learn; this is where their lack of motivation to learn “academically” came from.
The Unit Studies method is probably my favorite “curriculum” to plan. The basic concept of unit studies is to base all of your subjects (history, science, language arts, etc.) around one theme or topic. I prefer to use a book as the base of our unit studies, like with the Five In A Row curriculum.
Now you can read through Charlotte Mason’s Original Homeschooling series (all six volumes) to learn about her educational philosophy and method, but seriously it would take a bit longer than one summer to complete. I found the website, Simply Charlotte Mason to be an excellent resource for learning about the Charlotte Mason Method.
After learning a bit more about our preferred homeschool methods, I started reading several books to give me some inspiration and ideas for planning our curriculum for the 2017-2018 homeschool year. Owning all of these books for two or three years, I never took the time to read them thoroughly. I made it a priority this summer to finish them.
*I “read” the audiobook version for a few of these books while mowing the lawn, walking, or cleaning. Multitasking Mama here!!
Now that I have searched the internet and read a few books, it’s time to put together this eclectic, unschooling, Charlotte Mason inspired curriculum. Wish me luck!!