Monday, May 30, 2011

Linky Monday~ Homeschooling Methods~ Pt. 1

I have been doing some research into the different methods of homeschooling and thought I would take a few weeks to share my findings here. Since our group is inclusive and open to all homeschooling families, it would be nice to become familiar with other methods out there. That way when you meet a family whose methods are different than yours, you can understand where they are coming from. I also find there are so many interesting ideas and techniques to check out. Even if you don't use a method solely, you may pick a part of it or a theory you can incorporate into your home education plan.

This will also be of interest to those families who are researching home education. There are many terms out there and I hope to give a little bit of understanding to what they are. These posts though are not meant to stress anyone out! You don't have to pick a particular label and then identify with that for your whole homeschooling adventure. Some people choose to and that's OK too. I am hoping these will help sort out some information and show how diverse a community home educators are.

Today we will be looking at Charlotte Mason, Classical and Cyber Schools.

Charlotte Mason
Charlotte Mason Method
A method of education popular with homeschoolers in which children are taught as whole persons through a wide range of interesting living books, firsthand experiences, and good habits.

Charlotte Mason was a British educator who lived in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Her method, the Charlotte Mason method, is centered around the idea that education is three-pronged: Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life.

By “Atmosphere,” Charlotte meant the surroundings in which the child grows up. A child absorbs a lot from his home environment. Charlotte believed that atmosphere makes up one-third of a child’s education.

By “Discipline,” Charlotte meant the discipline of good habits — and specifically habits of character. Cultivating good habits in your child’s life make up another third of his education.

The other third of education, “Life,” applies to academics. Charlotte believed that we should give children living thoughts and ideas, not just dry facts. So all of her methods for teaching the various school subjects are built around that concept.

For example, Charlotte’s students used living books rather than dry textbooks. Living books are usually written in story form by one author who has a passion for the subject. A living book makes the subject “come alive.”

She taught spelling by using passages from great books that communicate great ideas rather than just a list of words.

She encouraged spending time outdoors, interacting with God’s creation firsthand and learning the living ways of nature.

Charlotte Mason Information

Charlotte Mason in Action


A Classical Curriculum includes reading great works of literature and studying rhetoric and logic. Advocates of this approach are critical of progressive trends that, they believe, water down education. Their main goal is to cultivate independent thinkers, and develop great communicators and leaders.

“Classical education depends on a three-part process of training the mind. The early years of school are spent in absorbing facts, systematically laying the foundations for advanced study. In the middle grades, students learn to think through arguments. In the high school years, they learn to express themselves. This classical pattern is called thetrivium” (Susan Wise Bauer,

You can find a great description of the trivium here.

Classical Homeschooling Blogs

Cyber Schools/Distance Learning

Some homeschooling families choose to enroll their children in correspondence schools for all or part of their education. The courses are taught by teachers with the parents facilitating at home and the students participate via the internet. Some public schools offer an online program for students who wish to work from home.

In her blog, The Cyber School Mom Diaries, follow one families journey through online education.

A few Distance Learning Schools~


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