Mix It Up: Dabble in Many Home Educating Approaches
by Beverley Paine
As a home educator I liked mixing things up, taking what works for me and the children from whatever is on offer out there. There are gazillions of site on the internet offering resources and information about the different approaches and philosophies preferred and used by home educators: let Google or your favourite search engine be your friend and do some exploring.
The focus on seasons and nature attract me to a Steiner approach to education, as does their approach to art, which seems to me to be less intellectual and more emotional than we're generally familiar with in the school curriculum.
There very many elements of a Charlotte Mason approach to education I like too: the short lesson, (verbal) narration, its approach to art, and the concept of using 'living books', are the ones with which I am most familiar.
I really like the way the environment is structured in Montessori to allow children to learn simply by interacting with it on their own terms, in their own time. Making everything accessible and within reach enables children to learn and grow independently too. It's self-correcting aspects are really appealing.
Children also learn naturally through play and everyday life and capitalising on this streamlines education and helps to build efficiency in learning: not teaching something the children will learn naturally on their own simply makes sense. Quite a bit of the curriculum can be learned this way provided the child is nurtured within a nurturing culture of curiosity and creativity and an environment that is busy, creative, constructive and productive and responsive to needs.
And every so often we enjoyed working together (or on our own) on a project, deep diving into a topic, exploring it as thoroughly as we need to satisfy our curiosity or need - this is the cornerstone of an eclectic or unit study (project based) approach to home education. This sometimes looked like 'hitting the books', working through a text book or manual, short course or regular classes.
Home education can be whatever we want or need it to be to fit in with the seasons of our lives, changing as we change.
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Beverley Paine with her children, and their home educated children, relaxing at home.
Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active supporter of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine
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