Monday, August 13, 2007

I've finally nailed down my educational approach

I've been bouncing between classical education, Charlotte Mason, and unschooling for quite some time. Now I think I've finally got it all sorted out.

I am a
(wait for it)
classical unschooler, with Charlotte Mason influences ;).

I suppose you could consider that a cop-out (I love labels, but I rarely fit nicely into one slot), but I think it is pretty accurate, nonetheless.

What I mean by it is essentially classical subjects via an unschooling methodology (with some CM habit training thrown in for good measure). My academic goals are that, before my kid(s) leave home, I want them to be proficient at reading, writing, speaking, and listening in English and at least one other language; I also want them to be proficient at arithmetic, algebra, and geometry; as well, I want them to be exposed to the essentials (as judged by dh and me) of history, science, literature, art, and music.

My current, highly-subject-to-change plan is:
Grammar stage: Focus on reading widely in English and any other language to be mastered - most of which is child-selected - using the content of the reading to achieve exposure to many concepts. Do copywork, oral narrations, and some memorization, letting the child(ren) choose most of the examples to copy/narrate/memorize. Informal math teaching only, although math workbooks available for kid(s) who want them.
Dialetic stage: Start introducing more structure. Do formal grammar study of English and foreign languages. Do formal arithmetic. Do progym exercises. Do formal logic.
Rhetoric stage: Assist each kid in designing and executing a high school curriculum of their choice.

So there it is. You might be noticing the extreme lack of anything connected to the Bible or Lutheran theology. Rest assured it is *not* because we plan to completely neglect the Queen of the Sciences. Rather, it is because, for all that I embrace the unschooling ideal of no distinction between academic subjects and the rest of life, I still do it anyway =shrug=. The above subjects all fall under my mental heading of "academic". Teaching our kid(s) our faith falls under my mental heading of "part of daily life" - where it should be - and so I don't discuss in the context of (un)school.

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