I'm gong through fluxes with this homeschooling thing. Part of me is all "Rawr! I can totally do this!/I am mommy, hear me roar!" and the other part of me just wants to know what the hell the other part is thinking taking on this.

Mostly, this is because looking at all this curriculum is making my eyes cross. I talked about all the religion-based stuff available yesterday, so today I decided to make a serious effort to find something that was going to work for us.

Today, I started off by reading a bit about each method (these are
probably the top homeschooling methods).

Here is a list of some homeschooling methods: 

1. Charlotte Mason Method – Charlotte Mason (1842-1923) was an innovative educator who developed a unique approach to education

2. Eclectic Homeschooling Method – An Eclectic Homeschooler is one who looks at the different approaches and methods of homeschooling and takes from each forming his own unique philosophy.

3. Montessori Method – According to Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1952), learning is a natural, self-directed process which follows certain fundamental laws of nature.

4. Unit Studies Approach – The Unit Studies Approach integrates all school subjects together into one theme or topic.

5. Unschooling or Natural Learning Method – Unschooling or Natural Learning is a philosophy of child-led learning.

6. Waldorf Education Method – Waldorf education is based on the spiritual-scientific research of the Austrian scientist and thinker Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925). According to his philosophy, man is a threefold being of spirit, soul and body whose capacities unfold in three developmental stages.

7. Traditional or School-at-Home Method – Traditional Homeschools would be set up public school style with a complete curriculum, traditional grading system and record keeping.

8. Classical Education Method – Dorothy Sayers well-known essay "The Lost Tools of Learning" is the basis of the new classical Christian education movement.

My take is:

1. Charlotte Mason is bit too "much" for me. Reading her website makes me think of hippies and free love.

2. I don't even know why this is on the "list"- I think pretty much everyone does this, whether they're admitting it or not.

3. I married for love, not money.

4. I read a bit about this yesterday. It sounded interesting, but Seamus would be bored out of his mind. The same subject for a week straight. No thank you. Never mind Seamus, *I* would be bored out of my mind.

5. Noooo. My anal Virgo husband would not stand for it.

6. I am totally against Waldorf and his philosophies (for example, Waldorf felt that handicapped people were sub-human). I know a lot of people insist that they do his educational plans without buying into all philosophies, but I just don't see how you can do that.

7. and 8. I'm probably going to do a mix of these (which would technically put me in Category Two: Eclectic Homeschooling, wouldn't it?). Seamus thrives in structure, but he needs to be challenged or he'll get bored and melt down in a major fashion- which is one of our big issues with school. Seamus does fine while he's learning, but as soon as the teacher steps away to correct a student for more than a few minutes, it all goes pear-shaped. He gets bored, he starts acting up and it's hard to get his focus back.

The Well-Trained Mind is the bible of Classical Education. From Wikipedia (because their explanation makes more sense than mine): "The Classical education movement advocates a form of education based in the traditions of Western culture, with a particular focus on education as understood and taught in the Middle Ages, with a further glance back to the Ancient Greek concept of Paideia. "Classical education" was first developed by Martianus Capella, and systematized by Petrus Ramus. Capella's original goal was to provide a systematic, memorable framework to teach all human knowledge." With the way my son's mind works, this sounds like a great method of teaching him- FINALLY! I'M MAKING HEADWAY IN FINDING A CURRICULUM FOR US! *does a dance*

…Shame the vast majority of the people who talk about utilizing it on message boards are as crazy as a betsybug.

Yep. In fact, "betsybug" doesn't even really begin to describe the crazy, to be honest. These folks are hardcore. I read a few people's lesson plans for next year and they contained enough work for 3 kids. I realize you believe your child may be gifted and you're trying to keep them challenged, but schoolwork shouldn't be a full-time job. One lesson plan I read for a six-year-old contained: reading (3 separate curriculums), handwriting (2 curriculums), spelling (1 curriculum planned, hoping for a second), grammar (1 curriculum planned, hoping for a second), writing (1), math (4 curriculums), science (1 curriculum with a lot of supplements), history (2 curriculums, 2x/week), Spanish (1 curriculum), Latin (for the car on CD), religion, art (structured lessons), music, health (?!?!), and PE.

Ho. Ly. Crap. I don't think I even did that much in high school. That's 14 separate subjects! FOR A SIX YEAR OLD. And that's not the exception, it's the rule. For Seamus, I planned on doing: reading, writing, handwriting (because he needs it), math (because he enjoys it), science (because he enjoys it), art, music (maybe once a week), and a bit of a language. I'm torn on what language to do. Spanish is a prominent language, but I took it in high school and would rather have my toenails slowly extracted through my nasal cavity than go through that again. We'll be living in Italy, but how useful is knowing Italian outside of Italy? Maybe Latin, at least it would help with reading and spelling and such. Anyone have an opinion on any of this?