Saturday, December 16, 2006

Making Change, part 3

Thanks to everyone who posted their comments in response to the second article of this series. The answers varied more than I thought, so they definitely did not fit into a box (i.e. into one set of pre-defined rationale). Hmm...how we categorize our political beliefs???

Remember, though, the intent here is not to sell homeschooling. I am not an expert, and do not play one on TV. I am using a movement I am familiar with, which I believe is similar to the movement that needs to occur to change the political landscape.

So, how many methods are there for homeschooling? One? Two? There are plenty. For the sake of the topic, let me describe a few of them (the terms and definitions are mine, and I'm sure Mrs. Quipper and others can correct my comments if necessary).

Classroom style:

  • Formal schooling - this is school at home. Classroom setting. Fixed schedule times. Blackboard/whiteboard style. Like the old, small country school brought home.
  • Unschooling - no classes at all. All topics are taught out of the classroom setting.
  • Something in between - in homeschooling, everything you do becomes an opportunity to educate.
Curriculum selection:
  • Full formal curriculum - parents exclusively use pre-developed curriculum by companies that excel in creating them. The parents follow all the recommended schedules meticulously, and don't stray from the books.
  • Home grown curriculum - parents do not use any pre-developed curricula, but shop and choose subject material based on the parents teaching strengths and the student's learning styles.
  • Something in between. Parents may choose pre-developed curricula for some subjects, and other curricula for other subjects.
What classroom style do you use, and why? And how do you select curricula - do you use a full formal curriculum, pick and choose everything, or use a combination fo both?

How do you decide your vote? Full formal (i.e. within party lines), pick and choose (no pattern, always look at all candidates), or something in between?

4 comments:

Susan said...

We started with a lot of unschooly unit-studies when the kids were littler. The motivation was that they had interests that they were self-compelled to learn about. As time passed, and as medical needs began to infringe upon our academic time, we became even more unschooly. When we got closer to college-age, there were a few subjects that required some traditional formal study, so that got thrown into the mix too.

As for selecting curricula, I don't do that very much anymore. Once upon a time, I bought materials. There wasn't as much choice back then. So the few things I purchased (a few math books and a few science things) were usually the only thing available at that time that actually fit our style. But for the most part, my version of "selecting curricula" is to go to the library and grab whatever tickles our fancy.

I think it took until the oldest was 5th or 6th grade before I obtained any traditional-looking curriculum, and that was only some hand-me-down math textbooks.

Jane said...

We started with full, recognizably schoolish, box o'curriculum, homeschooling. After a few months of frustration we dumped the structure and have been fairly pure unschoolers.

When I do buy curricula I choose it based on recommendations from people whose opinions I respect or because we have had positive experience with something else that the company has produced.

GDAEman said...

Yes. In your words, "how [can?] we categorize our political beliefs???"

I hope we can explore our common political "categories," even if we come at it from different parts of the political spectrum. The current political elite, both Dem and Rep, certainly don't have the answers. It falls back to We the People, as it should.

Quipper said...

GDAEman: We are slowly accumulating a network of acquaintances who are deeply offended by the two-options-are-no-option look of the current political landscape.

There are some issues that are more important than the ones the two major parties want us to believe. And those more important issues, therefore, get thrown under the bus.