How To Homeschool Using the Classical Homeschooling Approach
The “Classical” homeschool approach has existed since the Middle Ages and has produced some of the greatest minds in history. The goal of the classical homeschool technique is to teach people how to learn for themselves. The five tools of learning, known as the Trivium, are Reason, Record, Research, Relate and Rhetoric. Younger children begin with the preparing stage, where they learn the three R’s. The grammar stage is next, which emphasizes compositions and collections, and then the dialectic stage, where serious reading, study, and research take place.
All the tools come together in the Rhetoric stage where communication is the primary focus. For help, homeschoolers following the classical homeschool technique will read books about this method, find websites about classical homeschooling, and possibly join a classical homeschooling support group.
Classical homeschoolers have a unique way of creating “History Notebooks.”These notebooks are very popular with Eclectic homeschoolers too. Many Eclectic homeschoolers will borrow this way of teaching history and will add it to their own Eclectic curriculum. The most popular book on the Classical approach is “The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home” by Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer.
Example of a Classical Homeschooling Schedule
- 5-6:30 a.m. Parents rise, children rise, showers, dressing, early morning chores.
- 7:00 a.m. Breakfast, morning family meeting or worship.
- 8:00 a.m. Daily chores from a pre-determined list.
- 8:30-9:30 a.m. General lessons where children:
- 1) recite memory work
- 2) practice reading
- 3) practice oral narration
- 9:30-10:15 a.m. Mother reads aloud to all the children (child’s choice)
- 10:15-11:30 a.m.
- 1) phonics instruction
- 2) copy work (the student will copy verbatim a written piece, like the Constitution, that is at their level).
- 3) history notebook and time-line (For the time-line the children keep a running time-line where they can note names of people and events that they are currently studying. The history notebook is laid out by date and children add information from their copy work, photos from their field trip to the Civil War re-enactment, or their entry into the National History Day Competition (www.thehistorynet.com)).
- 11:30 a.m. Prepare lunch and straighten house.
- 12:00 noon Lunch and mid-day chores.
- 1:00 p.m. Naps and quiet time.
- 2-2:45 p.m. Mother reads aloud (Children may do arts & crafts at the same time). Children finish up their oral narrations.
- 2:45-4:30 p.m. Finish up academic work from the morning, play time, walks, field trips, library, and volunteering.
- 4:40-5:00 p.m. Prepare supper, straighten house.
- 5:00 p.m. Supper and evening chores.
- 6:30 p.m. Evening family worship (optional).
- 7-7:45 p.m. Father reads aloud to the family.
- 7:45-8:30 Family activities (like games).
- 8:30-9:00 p.m. Prepare for bed.
- 9:00 p.m. Bedtime
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