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Your homeschooling style isn’t working.
You read about all the different homeschooling styles. You chose one that sounded great. You bought the books and supplies and created a schedule. Your head was filled with pictures of engaged and eager children, beautiful work produced, and time filled with interesting and impressive projects.
Then you got started, and reality wasn’t so kind.
Now, the children are complaining the work is boring, you wouldn’t classify anything they produce as beautiful, and there’s resistance every step of the way.
They beg not to do their work every day, and you’re tempted to say THEY don’t have to so YOU don’t have to go through the ordeal.
Your homeschooling style is just not working.
Homeschooling Style Mistakes
Most homeschooling style mistakes occur because we choose them based on our insecurities, instead of considering what actually suits us and our children.
- We feel reassured that the classical method is academically rigorous – no-one can criticize us if our children can retell the story of Odysseus and diagram sentences!
- Waldorf/Steiner requires the child to produce lots of beautiful work we can proudly show off.
- The focus on time outdoors, habits, and classic literature makes Charlotte Mason seem wholesome and virtuous.
- We picture future success when we read the stories of unschooled children achieving amazing things because they were able to focus on their passions.
But it doesn’t matter how great a homeschooling style sounds on paper. It just won’t work if the style and activities don’t suit us.
And the more we try to make it work, to make ourselves and our children fit the way the homeschooling style is set up, the worse our days get.
Before you write off that homeschooling style (and yourself) as a failure, and choose another style to follow zealously, know that it could be something very simple – as simple as letting yourself think outside the boxes.
Thinking outside the homeschooling curriculum boxes
We homeschool. We have educational freedom. We can choose what we do each and every day. And I decided early on that we wouldn’t limit ourselves to one homeschooling style.
As a result, we’ve dabbled in EVERYTHING. We’ve done classical history, Charlotte Mason literature, Waldorf/Steiner craft, school-at-home workbooks for handwriting, Montessori environments, dozens of unit studies, and project-based homeschooling, all while heavily influenced by unschooling theory.
And not because one style has ‘failed’ and we’ve desperately tried another.
Because they ALL have something to offer.
All homeschooling styles have great ideas, theories, and strategies. All of them have interesting resources.
And if you know what each homeschooling style involves and how it approaches learning, you’ll be able to pick the best approach and resource for each child and subject when you need to find something new.
The solution to homeschooling style problems
Decide to be eclectic. Yes, that is actually a style!
It’s the style for people who don’t want to be limited by choosing just one homeschooling style.
Us eclectics don’t choose a style and then use that approach and resources for every single subject.
Instead, we like to pick and choose from all the styles depending on which subject we’re covering, our child’s age, ability, and personality, and what our life is like at the moment.
In that way, we end up with a truly individualized homeschool that caters to everyone’s interests, learning styles, and abilities.
So don’t stress if you love Charlotte Mason’s approach to literature but have no interest in training habits! Take what you like, discard the rest, and fill your time with other activities that suit you more.
Maybe a unit study about pond life?
Diagramming sentences in Latin, Classical-style?
Or even felting gnomes, Waldorf-style?
You can do ANYTHING, so don’t soldier on with a homeschooling style that doesn’t suit you. Take advantage of your freedom!
Want to get a quick overview of the most popular homeschooling styles so you can put together your own personalized eclectic homeschool? Watch the free homeschooling styles workshop here!