Homeschool Style – Unit Study Approach

Hello there!! Today, I’m sharing what I’ve learned about this versatile and very popular  Homeschooling Style – The Unit  Study approach.

cross curriculum, thematic studies, integrated studies

What is The Unit Study Approach?

Unit Studies Approach is also known as:

  • cross curriculum
  • thematic units
  • integrated studies

It is a favorite among large families because all children learn about the same topic or theme but each at its own level and saves on the teaching and preparing time as well.

Think about it: if you are homeschooling 3 children,  and let’s say for Science one is learning about animals, the other one about the Human Body and the third one is learning about Weather, You have then 3 different topics to address and prepare. Now if you are using the Unit Studies approach you and your children choose a topic and all learn together about that same topic, but each one will learn according to their level.

The Unit Study Approach makes great use of hands-on activities and research. Projects and field trips can be done together and it is a great option for children with different learning styles. No wonder it’s a popular choice among homeschooling families.

Want to connect with some families that utilize this approach and see firsthand how it’s done? Check the links below.

I hope you enjoyed this series of articles regarding the most popular Homeschooling Styles. I had so much fun researching and learning more about each one and as an Eclectic Homeschooler because I can add a little bit of each one in our homeschooling routine!

If you have any questions please leave it at the comment section below or send me an email through the contact form, I’ll do my best to answer as soon as possible.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Vanessa Z. Pawlicki

Homeschool Styles – Montessori Homeschooling

Montessori Homeschool

Hello there! We are finally heading to the last posts of what I hoped to be a very informative series for you. Today, I’ll be sharing what I learned about the Montessori Homeschooling Method.

Montessori Homeschool

 

What is the Montessori Method?

The Montessori Method is a teaching method developed by Maria Tecla Artemisia Montessori (1870-1952), an Italian physician and educator. Maria Montessori believed the children are naturally inclined to learn and that they learn best when they are provided with an organized and well thought out environment.

Montessori Method encourages as much unscheduled time as possible, and the children are encouraged also to choose their learning material. The learning happens at their own pace.

Montessori Method like Waldorf Method discourages the use of screens (TV, tablets, computers). Wooden tools are preferred and all learning material is well organized and ready to be used by the students.

montessori wooden toys

The Use of Learning Centers

In order to promote independence and to fully reach the student’s learning potential, the Montessori Homeschool will have specific areas or learning centers. The child will go from one area to another as desired.

Some examples of learning centers are:

  • Sensorial Center
  • Reading Center
  • Math Center
  • Life Skills Center
  • Music Center
  • Arts Center

You can find more information about this popular Homeschooling Method by checking the following sites:

Wow!!! I can’t believe it, our next post will be our last post of this series!!! Time flies when we are having fun. I hope you have a chance to check the websites linked above and that the information here was somewhat helpful to you.

If you have any questions, leave a comment below or send us an email through the contact form. I will try my best to answer you as soon as possible.

Have a great and thanks for stopping by!

 

Vanessa Z. Pawlicki

 

 

 

Homeschool Styles Series – Waldorf Homeschooling

waldorf, good book, homeschool style, waldorf homeschooling

Hi there, I have a new post today about another great Homeschooling Style – Waldorf Homeschooling.

waldorf, good book, homeschool style, waldorf homeschooling

Waldorf Method is based on the works of Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner (1861-1925), an Austrian philosopher and social reformer. Steiner believed in educating the child as a whole – the mind, body and spirit.

Standard textbooks are not used, instead the child creates her own book also known  as “good book” for each topic studied. In these books the child records drawings, experiments, essays, poems and everything else that aided her in learning the topic.

The Waldorf Method is anti-screen (TV, computer, tablets). They believe that this technology impacts creativity and the well being negatively. However, computers can be used in moderation during the high school years.

Imitation activities are encouraged, therefore it’s very important to surround the child with good examples. The child also helps around the house with chores that are age appropriate.

Early intellectualism is discouraged since it’s believed that the child needs time and space to let their imagination flourish and to experience life in their own ways. By allowing the child to develop and learn in her own pace the child will grown stronger physically and emotionally and do well in the academic years ahead.

The Waldorf Method is composed of 3 stages:

  • Early Childhood Education: birth to 7, the child actively explore the surroundings, with a balance of active and quiet time. There’s no formal teaching at this stage, the child has lots of unstructured creative play with simple toys to maximize the imagination development.
  • Elementary Education: 7-14, the “feeling life stage”, the stage where the child learns more from the artistic and imaginative approach which stirs feelings. The topics are taught in 3-6 weeks main lesson blocks.
  • Secondary Education: 15-18, still uses the “good books” but now some textbooks and limited computer time are added. Focus on developing critical reasoning, with the goal of forming an individual who has the ability to be independent and to function in his adult life. An independent thinker, well rounded and well educated individual.

Waldorf Homeschooling seems to be a very interesting Homeschooling Style. I really liked the idea of creating the “good books” and the fact that the kids are truly involved in the day-to-day activities in the house.

Would like to connect with some families that practice Waldorf Homeschooling?

I hope you have a chance to visit these great families pages listed above if you are interested in the Waldorf Homeschooling.

Our next blog post will be about Montessori Homeschooling! I can’t believe  this series is coming to an end. I’ve connecting with some great families that are doing some wonderful job out there with all these different styles of homeschooling. Even though there are different styles of homeschool we are still one big community of homeschoolers who support and cherish each other.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email through the contact form.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Vanessa Z. Pawlicki

 

Homeschool Style Series – Charlotte Mason

homeschooling, Charlotte Mason, living books,

Hello there! Just wanted to say that hearing all the good feedback from this series of articles has been really encouraging to me. I’m so glad you guys are enjoying them. I put a lot of work to research and bring the most updated information to you.

Today, I’m sharing what I’ve learned about another popular Homeschooling Style: Charlotte Mason.

homeschooling, Charlotte Mason, living books,

Who was Charlotte Mason?

Charlotte Maria Shaw Mason (1842-1923) was a British Educator and she loved children. Education and how children were viewed in her time was quite different from  what we have today and even a few decades ago. In her time, many children were given little or no respect, they didn’t have a say on things and in most cases kids weren’t even allowed to express their opinions.

Charlotte Mason however,  had a high view of children and she developed an educational philosophy centered in educating the child as a whole person.  Her education method was based on Christianity and learning about God through the Bible is the primary knowledge to be taught.

What is the Charlotte Mason Method?

Charlotte Mason believed in the importance of giving the children time to play and learn from real life situations as well as teaching them to develop a love for learning that goes beyond the academic years.

Charlotte Mason’s method or approach has 3 pillars to be considered:

  • Atmosphere: the environment plays an important role since about 1/3 of the child’s learning happens through what she absorbs from her home environment. How the parents act and react, both in daily life situations and during the schooling.
  • Discipline: the discipline of  good habits and the first key to developing good habits is to practice them. For example, waking up every day at a certain time is a good habit that comes with practice. Remember, practice makes it permanent, repetition makes it habitual.
  • Life: the learning should be lively. The child will learn better with living books and thoughts rather than receiving a bunch of dry facts to be memorized.

Other facets of the Charlotte Mason’s Method include:

  • The use of living books: books that make the subject come alive.
  • Short lessons: a wide variety of subjects and a short amount of time spent on each subject.
  • Nature Walks: spending time outdoors, learning and exploring God’s creation.
  • Narration: the students must narrate in their own words what they learned about the book they were reading. Older students can also write their narration.
  • Copywork: the child will learn spelling, grammar and practice handwriting by using daily copywork from passages of great books.
  • Nature Notebooks: kids draw and write information about their nature studies and finds.
  • Art & Music Appreciation: by studying about the great composers and artists and exposing the child to a variety of artistic and craft activities.

There’s so much more information about the Charlotte Mason method. If you are interested in learning more take a look into the links below:

Would like to connect with some Charlotte Mason Homeschoolers? Check the links below:

Hope you enjoyed this post and have a chance to connect with other families.

My next Homeschool Style Series post will be about: Waldorf Homeschooling. Stay tuned!

If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below or to send me an email through the contact form.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Vanessa Z. Pawlicki

Homeschool Styles Series – Classical Homeschooling

Classical Homeschooling, Homeschool Style, Homeschooling Style, home education, homeschool approach

Hello there, today I’m excited to share what I have learned about this interesting Homeschool Style – Classical Homeschooling.

Classical Homeschooling, Homeschool Style, Homeschooling Style,  home education, homeschool approach

The Classical Education is also known as the Socratic Method. This approach dates back to the Middle Ages.

It’s based on teaching people how to learn for themselves. The Classical Education is language-focused instead of using images/videos to learn. This line of thinking is based on the principle that learning through language makes your mind work harder in processing the information and transforming the information into a picture in the mind of the student or create a concept. Whereas, watching a video or learning through pictures is considered a more passive learning approach. All subjects are connected.

The Classical Education has 3 stages of learning, called the Trivium – a three-part process of training the mind:

  • 1st Stage – Grammar Stage (Concrete): grades 1-4. During this stage the child has fun memorizing and learning facts such as rules for grammar, spelling phonics, math and so on and build educational foundation.
  • 2nd Stage – Logic Stage (Analytical): grades 5-8. During this stage the child is more interested in learning why, making connections and is ready to study cause and effect. The student applies the knowledge learned in the Grammar Stage.
  • 3rd Stage – Rhetoric Stage (Abstract): grades 9-12. During this stage the student is more independent and expresses  himself in a clear, fluent and convincingly manner. The student is constantly writing and speaking about what is being learned. At this stage the student also starts to explore in depth his personal interests and passions.

As often as it’s possible the Classical Homeschooler will not use textbooks but rather living books.

A great resource to learn more about this style of Homeschooling is the book:  The Well Trained Mind – Guide to Classical Education at Home by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise.

Another great resource is The Well Trained Mind website.

We will actually be using their Story of the World – Ancient Times for History this school year. Our choice of  Science Curriculum – Elemental Science,  is also based on Classical Education and this is our 3rd year using their curriculum.

Want to check other Classical Homeschooling Families?

Hope you enjoyed learning a little more about this Homeschooling Style. If you have any question or comments please either leave a comment below or send me an email through the  contact form.

On my next post I’ll be sharing more information about another great Homeschooling Style: Charlotte Mason, stay tuned!

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

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Vanessa Z. Pawlicki

Homeschooling Styles – Unschooling

Unschoolin, Chil Led learning, organic learning

Hello there! A new week started and I just can’t wrap my mind around on the fact that it’s already August and in a few weeks we will start 3rd grade, but let’s get to the reason why you came here today – another article about Homeschooling Styles.

Today, I will share more information about one of the most criticized and maybe less understood Homeschooling Style: the Unschooling.

The more I learned through my research about this style of Homeschooling the more I learned to respect the parents who opt and stand up for it. These parents are being bombarded by the criticism from all sorts, but despite all the criticism,  Unschooling continues to  grow.

Unschoolin, Chil Led learning, organic learning

Unschooling

It seems to me that it’s rather a life style. John Holt (considered the father of the Unschooling), in his book “What Do I Do Monday?”, said “We can see that there is no difference between living and learning, that living is learning, that it’s impossible, and misleading, and harmful to think of them as being separate.” Don’t you agree that there’s so much truth in these words?

Unschooling may also be referred to as:

  • Natural Learning
  • Child Lead Learning
  • Independent Learning
  • Interest Led Learning
  • Delight Directed Learning
  • Organic Learning
  • Real Life Learning

Unschoolers don’t use curriculum, they learn from the day-to-day life experiences and from the things that attract their attention. The parents don’t view themselves as  teachers but rather the facilitators of the learning process. They help the child to find the resources needed and they provide means to further develop their passions.

Unschooling parents believe that the learning happens naturally and motivated by the child’s  desire in learning more about something and it should not be forced on them. The child determines what he or she wants to learn, how and when to learn what interests them.

Some may even question why on Earth would a child be interested in learning Math, Geohraphy, Science or even History? If you think about it,  this type of thinking  just shows how the  school system has failed us, and to this day it is still failing  in teaching and in instilling in the children the love of learning.

Unschooling doesn’t mean the children don’t have responsibilities, or that they are spoiled and don’t know how to live in the “real world”. Every Unschooler’s schedule is different, the parents may assign chores for them to do and suggest different activities throughout the day. In some cases the children set up goals themselves.

Let’s summarize then, Unschooling:

  • doesn’t use curriculum
  • the parent isn’t the teacher but rather the facilitator of the learning process
  • the learning happens naturally and based on the child’s interest
  • the child determines when, how and what he’s interested in learning

Are there disadvantages to Unschooling?

Unschooling cons are:

  • because unschoolers don’t follow the guidelines of teaching set by the government, they may not do well on those standardized tests as some states require them
  • they may have a difficult time adjusting and just entering the school system if they ever have to

I was so fascinated by this research, let me now share some good reads in case you want more information about it:

Want to connect with some Unschooling families?

Hope you enjoyed this post, I had so much fun learning more about Unschooling. Hope you will have a chance to visit the links above,  great information from those who practice Unschooling.

Would like to know about other Homeschooling Styles? I have 2 previous posts:

Eclectic Homeschooling

School At Home

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email through the contact form. I’ll do my best to answer you or connect you to someone who can answer your question.

Disclaimer: this post contain affiliate links. This is not a sponsored post. 

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Vanessa Z. Pawlicki