Hi Everyone! Welcome back to Episode 8 of the Homeschooling and Loving It Podcast – today we’re starting our series on Homeschooling Methods and Philosophies. Have you ever nailed down what type of homeschooler you are? Did you know that your homeschool method can affect everything you do in your homeschool – so it’s super important to figure that out…
Even though that isn’t what I did… so I’m encouraging you from my own past mistakes! For many years I homeschooled. PERIOD. I had no idea there were special ways to homeschool, I just jumped in and started homeschooling like I had taught my class when I was a teacher. After a lot ( and I mean a lot) of trial and error (aka falling on my face) I found my groove. My own personal homeschooling method which as it turns out is a quite an interesting blend of a few methods. Which works great – – each of us is different and each homeschool is different so mixing together a few methods to meet your unique needs is a great way to go!
Today it’s so great… we have clearly delineated homeschooling methods and philosophies that make it so easy for the homeschooling parent to find guidelines and encouragement for meeting their unique needs. Not to mention the fact that some of these tried and true teaching methods can really save you the hassle of making a mess of things. But discovering what kind of homeschool method you lean toward takes a little research. I recommend starting with a homeschool methods quiz – there is a quick and fun online quiz on homeschool.com – – just search homeschool methods quiz and you’ll see it! This will give you a nice starting place with a general idea of what type of homeschooling you are looking for your family.
After you’ve got a general idea of a few methods you have tendencies toward, you’ll need to dig a little deeper. I know – – homework – right? Yuk – but trust me – you won’t regret doing this homeschool homework! Take the methods that you had a propensity for – typically everyone leans toward more than one homeschool style – and research everything you can find about them. How the method is implemented in a homeschool setting as well as the different types of curriculum or courses that align with that style.
To help you get started in that direction, we’ll take some time during the month of July to talk about the different homeschooling methods and give you an idea of what each entails. So, today we’ll be looking at the Montessori method and a couple of additional methods that are very similar, including the Reggio Method and Moore Formula.
The Montessori Method was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori in the early 20th century. Dr. Montessori focused on how young children learn. Out of her research she developed a philosophy of learning that changed early childhood education. Even today daycares, schools and homes continue to be influenced by Dr. Montessori’s philosophy.
The Montessori philosophy of education was originally developed for classroom use, but many homeschoolers have seen the benefits in the home as well. This approach is child-centered and focuses on each child as unique. Many homeschoolers begin with Montessori principles from birth. Students are encouraged to seek knowledge for themselves and parents strive to provide opportunities for exploration. Stemming from this concept, “self-regulation” is an important part of daily learning and encourages the child to regulate his or her learning and conduct appropriately.
The room where the child learns is very important in the Montessori philosophy since it is the incubator or preparatory location for life. It should encourage learning with all sorts of educational opportunities to investigate.
It’s with this idea in mind that parents can look at their home through the eyes of a child. Look for ways that your home can be set up as a place conducive to learning. Do you see an empty shelf – display interesting educational books or toys. Do you have an empty corner? Set up a craft area, music area, or woodworking station. Leave it there until the child’s interest is exhausted. These centers for learning invite the child to learn and follow their interests. As the child gets older this same process can continue. Montessori learning follows the delight directed learning path and produces amazing results. Children typically develop a strong love for learning.
For the most part, Montessori homeschooling does not have to be expensive, and most of the resources can be made by the parent. As children grow and advance in their learning, parents can provide experiences as well as suggest studies that would fulfill certain basic requirements. But with the suggestions students should still be given options and allowed to choose what to study. The child is never forced to do lessons or read specific material, and parents are encouraged to model patience and kindness and personal love for learning.
If you are looking for Montessori materials, there are several good websites that provide Montessori supporting materials as well as great books on how to implement this method in your homeschool.
Before we close I’d like to mention two other homeschooling methods that are very close to the Montessori method. The first one is the Reggio Method. When I was researching it, it is truly so close to Montessori…
Reggio Emilia began in a small town by the same name in Italy in the 1960s. This small community wanted to start a preschool that would focus on developing a child’s intelligence with a desire to learn. A few hallmarks of this method include:
1. Children should be allowed to develop and follow their own interests
A multi-sensory approach to learning is encouraged.
The environment is considered another teacher so materials are carefully selected and the room is to have natural light, beauty and order
Project-based learning is fundamental. Children will often have more than one project going on at once.
Students are encouraged to research their passions and interests from many different angles. What they want to learn about, they read about, write about, and even do art about.
Documentation and communication are vital. Project examples are display and teachers record what the student communicated.
Reggio Emilia Method asserts the concept of the One Hundred Languages of Children. By this they mean that children can express their learning in a hundred different ways.
The use of mirrors throughout the learning area is said to promote the understanding of a different perspective in learning.
Finally, the other method that I wanted to mention is the Moore Formula. Unlike the other two – this method was designed specifically with the homeschool in mind. Raymond and his wife Dorothy were often referred to as the grandparents of homeschooling. Their formula for learning is designed to be low cost and low stress as well as have a focus on being God directed learners. The Moore Formula tailors the curriculum to each child, balancing study with work and service which teaches how to earn a living. It is high in basic skills – science, math, and language. It builds character and creativity.
Some of the foundational concepts for the Moore formula are:
1) STUDY — from a few minutes to several hours a day, depending on the child’s maturity. Readiness is vital!
2) MANUAL WORK and ENTREPRENEURSHIP — at least as much work in family or other business as a study.
3) HOME and/or COMMUNITY SERVICE — an hour or so a day. Focus on kids’ interests and needs. Be an example in consistency, curiosity, and patience.
The Moore Formula says that work is encouraged because selfless service is a cornerstone of character.
Did any of these homeschool methods stand out to you? They’ve definitely piqued my interest…
Of course, if you have any questions you can connect with me on FB or IG or email me at [email protected]
Jamie Gaddy, B.S., M.Ed., Ed.D. has been a college education professor for over 17 years. Education has been an integral part of her life in both the classroom and as a principal. Six children later found her dissatisfied with traditional schooling and homeschooling became the better fit. She is also a pastor’s wife, remote project manager, and entrepreneur who now homeschools four of her six children (ages 11-17) in southern Georgia. Jamie loves to share about her homeschool experience and help other homeschoolers find success. Connect with her at [email protected]