This past month, I spoke at an “Educational Options” night at our local library. It was a great little get together with nine speakers, each taking between 5 and 7 minutes talking about the educational method that has worked for their family. The speakers were followed by half an hour of a “curriculum crawl” where folks displayed their favorite learning tools and people were free to ask questions, look around, and handle curriculum. It was a really inspiring night.
I spoke about All the Wrong Questions and encouraged those considering homeschooling to answer the WHYs of wanting to homeschool before they invested too much into the HOWs. I also provided an overview list of a few popular homeschooling methods and resources local to the Treasure Valley in Idaho. There wasn’t time or space to mention ALL the homeschooling/alt school options (I don’t know that I even know ALL that are available!) but wanted to offer what I could—getting into homeschooling can be SO overwhelming, it can be hard to know where to start.
Below is the handout I made available to everyone. I share it here for those looking for a place to start, along with helpful links, as I could find them.
An Overview of some homeschooling ideologies and methods:
Classical: Defined by a three stage approach to learning: Grammar stage (emphasis of memorization of facts), Logic Stage (emphasis on analytical thinking/cause and effect), and Rhetoric Stage (emphasis on expressing oneself clearly and eloquently.)
Books about Classical Education: A Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise and The Core: Teaching Your Child the Foundations of a Classical Education by Leigh Bortins
TJEd: Thomas Jefferson Education, also known as Leadership Education is an educational ideology and methodology that emphasizes learning through classic books in all subjects, family work, family projects, and through parental and mentor examples
Books about TJEd: A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the 21st Century by Oliver Van DeMille and Leadership Education: The Phases of Learning by Oliver and Rachel DeMille
Websites about TJEd: www.tjed.org
Charlotte Mason: This ideology emphasizes respecting children as whole persons and offering a broad education through "living books" (not textbooks), nature study, art, and music appreciation
Books about Charlotte Mason Education: The Original Homeschooling Series by Charlotte M. Mason, A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning by Karen Andreola
Waldorf: This ideology and method was developed in a more traditional school setting and emphasizes delaying academic studies until about age 7, reasoning that young children learn best through imitation and imaginative play. Heavy emphasis on art and developing autonomy and self expression.
Books on Waldorf Education: Understanding Waldorf Education: Teaching from the Inside Out by Jack Petrash, Waldorf Education: A Family Guide by Pamela F. Fenner
Websites about Waldorf: christophorushomeschool.org
Project Based Homeschooling: This ideology centers on combining personal interests with learning through making, doing, sharing, collaborating, and acquiring real-life skills.
Books about PBH: Project Based Homeschooling: Mentoring Self Directed Learners by Lori Pickert
Websites for PBH: http://project-based-homeschooling.com/camp-creek-blog
Unschooling: An ideology that advocates learner-chosen activities and personal interests as the primary learning tool. Unschooling is the most misunderstood homeschooling philosophy. Originally "unschooling" meant "not associated with public/traditional schools" and encompassed all the previously mentioned ideologies and methods. The definition/perception of unschooling has evolved to indicate child-led learning and to imply (falsely) no rigorous academic study. "Radical unschooling" is a term that typically denotes a complete rejection of formal academic curriculum, in favor of real life, hands-on experiences to learn life skills.
Books on Unschooling: Learning All the Time by John Holt, How Children Learn by John Holt, How Children Fail by John Holt, Unschooling Rules: 55 Ways to Unlearn What We Know About Schools and Rediscover Education by Clark Aldrich
Local Online Public/Private, and part time schools and co-operatives:
Online Charter/Public: Public school curriculum online and facilitated through your local school district--different programs are available IDEA, IDVA, Connections Academy, Harmony Educational Services
Websites for Online Charter/Public schools: http://www.idahoidea.org/about-us, http://www.connectionsacademy.com/idaho-online-school/home.aspx, K12 Idaho
Online Private School/Distance Learning: Liahona Academy (LDS Education) www.liahonaeducation.com
Part Time Private Schools and co-ops: Local part time private schools in the Treasure Valley are available to help supplement your child's learning at home. A few options are: Aaron Academy: www.theaaronacademy.com, Glen J. Kimber Academy: google kimber.academy, Vineyard Christian Home School Co-op: www.vineyardboise.org (families must sign a statement of faith to enroll--in which case,Vineyard may not be appropriate for Catholic, LDS, and non-Christian students.) Treasure Valley Commonwealth (A TJEd co-op that meets once a week): www.treasurevalleytjed.blogspot.com,
This list is not exhaustive---Google is your friend!