Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tidal Homeschooling - finding a label for what we "do"

I have been asked so many times what kind of homeschooling method we use. To be honest even after all this time, I cannot seem to embrace completely, any one particular method for our home learning.
I had a tendency to describe it as eclectic, which describes it well, however we do lean toward a Charlotte Mason and Ruth Beechick Method and also tended to fall into patterns of ramped up structured learning and relaxed learning as well.

I was over at Melissa Wiley's blog Here in Bonny Glen and decided I finally found something we can embrace~ Tidal Homeschooling ~ here is how Melissa explains it;

"Over the years I have written with enthusiasm about the Charlotte Mason method (which is highly structured) and unschooling (which is not). These educational philosophies seem to have intertwined themselves in my home, so that the *what we do*read great books, study nature, dive deeply into history, immerse ourselves in picture study and composer study is highly influenced by Charlotte's writings and their modern counterparts; and the *how we do it*through strewing and conversation and leisurely, child-led exploration ïs influenced by the writings of John Holt, Sandra Dodd, and other advocates of unschooling. But I couldn't say we're 'real CMers' because I don't carry out Miss Mason's recommendations in anything like the structured manner she prescribed; and I probably do too much behind-the-scenes nudging for us to be considered 'real unschoolers.'

"The truth is, I couldn't find any label that completely fit my family, so I made up my own. I call us 'Tidal Learners' because the ways in which we approach education here change with the tide. Now, this doesn't mean that we're flighty or inconsistent, changing direction haphazardly. We aren't Fiddler Crab Homeschoolers. What I mean is that there is a rhythm to the way learning happens here; there are upbeats and downbeats; there is an ebb and flow."- Melissa Wiley

This really explains us well ~ How at times we can be very structured in some aspects of our learning and how other ways many things can be delight directed, and even though they are following their own interests it is quite easy for us to stay within guidelines for our state without having to completely follow a structured program.
We do use programs, but as you have often heard me talk about, they are only used as a guide - a kind of spring board if you will, the rest is up to them. It really can be an exciting journey.

Our textbooks we use are picked up looked at and then most often cut up for picture study or maybe to use for a notebooking page. We find ways to use them, often times our textbooks have great pictures in them for something the boys are working on, but to really get into details and the more in-depth learning Living Books are what help us much more.

Here is more on Tidal Homeschooling from Melissa~ I love how she explains it and can truly relate to this. It explains to me the rhythm we have at times while homeschooling. Something completely different than those children who attend a structured school each day ~

I never would be able to fully embrace completely an unschooling method, nor would I be able completely absorb all our learning as a CM'er or Beechicker, Using both in the way we need to suits us just fine. I think knowing who we are, what we are and being true to ourselves and family is what is most important than trying to find that perfect "fit".

I kind of like using different ways to adapt learning in our home. I think our boys really like it too~ although I will admit that my oldest tends to enjoy the unschooling part of learning and delight directed much more than our structured learning~ he often reminds me of this and as time moves along his learning will become more and more his own.

This time of year we are ramping down and our "tide" is moving out (we homeschool year round) so this time of year is "our time" I am sure I will look back on this and really cherish our times exploring together~

Every year about this time, as things begin to wind down and I begin to look back on our year I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to teach my own children in the ways they need to learn.
Their needs are the most important thing to me and my husband in teaching our children and meeting them where they are at has been our philosophy from the start.

I am convinced that labels mean very little in a homeschool environment. Happy children who are enjoying their studies and embrace their opportunity to learn freely and enjoy their families while growing seems so much more important to me~

Happy Home Learning~

Science Fun~ Chemistry !

We will be starting a unit on Chemistry and I think this book will be lots of fun
to work with.

We are also going to be working with this unit to go along with the book, from Homeschool Share.

Once we have pictures of our lapbook, I will be sure to share~

Happy Element Explorations ~ !

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