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We cathegorize ourselves as an eclectic homeschooler, who takes advantages of any homeschooling methods that suit us. It is impossible for us to adopt single homeschooling method as there are some subjects that can’t use other resource than textbooks.
As it was written in our recent curriculum, we use mathmammoth in our Maths lessons. It suits us very well as Ms. Miller, the author, is also a homeschooler whom I think understand well the needs of homeschoolers. The curriculum has a homeschooling circumstances. What I mean here is that some other curriculums are “too schooling”. I also like the balance of problem solving and drills.
We adopt classical curriculums inspired by Susan Wise Bauers for the language lessons which include reading, writing, spelling, and grammar. They are almost similar with Charlotte Mason method. I have been inspired very much by Ms. Mason’s method which has been built up by wonderful philosophy. Both of those methods use classical resources which we enjoy a lot. I couldn’t differenciate between them. The main differences that I can observe so far are:
- Charlotte Mason forbides strictly interupting any mistakes in grammar, spelling, and vocabulary while kids are doing naration. Ms. Mason insists that children need to have freedom when they are “showing” their thought. On the other hand, the classical method explained by Ms. Bauer rejects any mistake made during on going naration as any little mistakes can be a kind of habit for the children. Once the mistakes become habits, it will be very difficult to put them on the right track. Both of the arguments are reasonable for me. I try to compromise them as I think that we cannot apply any of them strictly. English is a foreign language in our country, Indonesia. I thought that kids weren’t ready with the freedom proposed by Ms. Mason yet. They have just started learning narration and I think they need to have great foundation to get into the freedom. Considering the strong foundation in language curriculum lift up by Ms. Bauer, I decide to do just classical using her methods.
- Charlotte Mason method proposes short learning time for each lesson so kids can use their time to play a lot when they finish already. I do really agree with this idea and we are putting this as a goal. However, what happen with our kids is slightly different. It took more time for them to “get into” each subject. It is similar with Ms. Bauer’s statement that some kids need more time to concentrate. In addition, the older they are, the more time they need to focus in subject.
For civics and social studies we have to use text books as they are not available in any living book in addition, Indonesian curriculum standard which is only available in Indonesian textbooks. It is great that we can modify the standard text book. For social studies, I classify the topic into geography, history, and economics. We do them consecutively, not at the same time. I exclude world history lesson out of our social studies.
In science, I took a lot resources recommended by Ms. Bauers. We also use some resources from Science a to z to get the lessons not boring. We do a lot of notebooking and lapbook to get more variation.
Although we tend to use classical methods, I cannot say that we are classical because we still have to use school textbook. Therefore, we put ourselves into eclectic category.