Some people know that they will homeschool before their children are even born. These moms attend homeschool conventions when their child is two and purchase curriculum by the time they are 3. They have plans in their head and have researched homeschooling for years. I’m familiar with these moms because I am one. But I am keenly aware that most people are overwhelmed with the initial decision to homeschool and find themselves completely lost when it comes to curriculum, methods, and learning styles. Over the years, I have walked with many friends who feel this way.
Sometimes this overwheleming feeling can lead to good homeschool intentions that sadly leads to gaps, disappointment, and burn-out. So how do you avoid this?
It’s crucial that you have a vision for the end goal. With goals on paper, you can make choices that will help you attain them. Now, I am not implying that your curriculum will look exactly the same every year or that it will come in a neatly packaged box. In fact, it probably won’t. But if you don’t have a goal…you have no possibility of reaching it, right?
A homeschooling method is simply a possible way to meet your educational goals. Note that I didn’t say that a method is the ONLY way to meet a certain goal. A method organizes your thoughts. It helps you make choices for the daily activities in your homeschool. It’s not necessary to commit to one particular method, but it can be helpful in weeding through the thousands of great choices that we are faced with in the vendor hall.
Perhaps my purpose for homeschooling will surprise you. My end goal for our education is not college, a good job or a big paycheck. It’s not status or fame.
My goal for them is to know God…and His goal for them is to make Him known. I want my kids to grow up knowing who made them, why He made them, and what they can do to honor Him.
I have chosen the Classical method, more specifically Classical Conversations, because I believe that it fits beautifully with my goals. Why?
1. Classical trains children to develop the rhetorical skills needed to make God known to others. I Peter 3:15, challenges us to always be ready to give an answer as to the hope that lies within. A classically trained student is prepared to defend their faith with strong apologetics and Biblical truth that has been matured in their lives.
2. God wired our brains this way. The brain requires exercise to keep it from atrophy. It must be challenged just like every other organ in our body. Just like in exercise, our brains need to feel like we are in over our heads. Education that feels comfortable all of the time is not challenging enough to exercise our brain.
3. Classically minded education is Biblically supported.
- By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures. Proverbs 24:3-4
- Love the Lord, your God will all your mind. Matthew 22:37
4. Classical Conversations provides a community. There is absolutely nothing better than being surrounded by a body of believers. People who love you and take care of you even when times are tough.Our Classical Conversations community is a blessing of service, love and friendship.
5. Classical learning provides a strong frameworkfor experiential activities such as note booking, journaling, and nature walking. There is so much freedom to dabble in concepts that we have interest in and yet still feel confident that we have covered the concepts that will be necessary pegs for later years.
6. To teach them how to appreciate truth, beauty and goodnessas it integrates God as the creator of the universe. With God in the center, all subjects relate to each other. All subjects show the beauty of His story. Classical challenges us to explore all subjects equally and as interrelated ideas.
7. Hard work is required for anything useful in life. Education shouldn’t be an exception.
8. The practice of presenting topics… The skills of presenting translates directly to sharing about and defending your faith. This is a call on all of our lives, not just for people who feel comfortable speaking. Classical provides weekly sharpening and confidence building of this necessary skill through presentations.
9. Classical Conversations provides science experiments, art lessons, and music appreciation activities beyond what I am likely to do in my home. Let’s face it. Sometimes our best laid plans don’t turn out quite the way we’d like. I love that Classical holds us accountable, as well as fills in for what I might lack.
10. Provides a social setting that is still monitored by myself and/or adults who require students to bless others. I love that there is accountability for the standard of behavior that I am calling my children to. And I love that they are blessed to be helps to that standard by other adults, as well.
Interested in learning about other methods? Check out my Homeschool Methods pinterest board.
Do you have a homeschooling method? What is it? Why do you like it?
I hope you have enjoyed this post. Each Tuesday, I am teaming up with a wonderful group of homeschool bloggers to bring you 10 weeks of Top Ten Homeschooling Lists. Be sure you stop by ihomeschool network where you will find a list of over 30 other bloggers participating in the series.
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