Homeschool Philosophy, Approach and Curricula

Once we had decided to homeschool, my husband and I delved into the world of homeschool philosophies, approaches and curricula. Again, like everything these days, there are so many options to choose from. We did most of our research on the internet, talked to a few families and read a few books. We learnt that there are many popular philosophies/approaches to home education, and they are (among others):

  1. Classical Education
  2. Charlotte Mason
  3. Unschooling
  4. Eclectic

Read this helpful article if you want more details about the benefits and drawbacks of different approaches.

Some years ago we had read Dorothy Sayer’s article on “The Lost Tools of Learning” so we decided to research Classical Education more. I spent some time reading “Well Trained Mind” by Susan Wise Bauer, “The Core” by Leigh Burtin and “Classical Education and the Homeschool” by Doug Wilson to understand the classical approach to education better.

I also discovered that a lot of people were blending Classical Education with the Charlotte Mason approach. This started my research into the British educator, Charlotte Mason. I found out that all her works are in 6 volumes called “The Original Homeschooling Series” which is also available for free online. This seemed like a lot to read initially, I was happy to read all the volumes at my leisure at another time, but for now, I needed a concise version of her teaching principles. Enter Karen Andreola’s lovely book called “Charlotte Mason Companion” which was an easy to read guide. I wouldn’t say that it is a complete guide to all of the 6 volumes of Charlotte Mason principles though. The book is more about how she applied certain CM’s principles while teaching her own children.

Later on, I also read the book “Consider This: Charlotte Mason and the Classical Tradition” by Karen Glass which was a fascinating exploration of the links between CM and CC in more detail.

Once we decided to use the Classical/Charlotte Mason approach in our homeschool, our next step was to start researching the available curricula out there. I found out that for Classical Education, these were some of our options:

  1. Memoria Press
  2. Veritas Press
  3. Classical Conversations

Among the three options, I was intrigued by the Classical Conversations model because of one aspect: community. In CC, families meet together once a week in a co-op style environment for 24 weeks to study material provided by CC.

More on CC in the next post.

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