Why Being Confused in Your Homeschool is GOOD!

In our short tenure of homeschooling (3 years) we've tried a little bit of everything.   I feel very confident that we've dipped our toes in the waters of every homeschool method pool that's out there.

The first year was spent being VERY structured, trying to survive and learn.  {You know what I mean.}   We used Sonlight and stuck to the schedule rain or shine.   Year two we began to blossom into Unit Studies and Interest Led Learning, Classical, and Charlotte Mason. 


Now, we live in a state of methodical confusion, and I LIKE IT THAT WAY!

I'm not trying to be cheeky (that's my new favorite word with my kids!), but it's true.   I love having the freedom to adpat to my children's needs, interests, and desires.   No one homeschool method will fit that bill 100% of the time.   

When people ask me which method we use I really need to figure out what to say... but for now I'm just confused.   

Lots of homeschool bloggers will each putting their own spin on this topic today - I'm excited to read (and possibly become even MORE confused!) about what works for other homeschool moms.   

Following are the Top Ten Reasons I'm Confused - and Like It That Way! 

(or why I choose a little from each homeschool method)


1.  I love the STRUCTURE of a Classical Education!  We use Story of The World, Writing With Ease, and First Language Lessons with great success.  The LOGICAL side of me gets this method!   (Have you seen my vlog about how we use The Story of the World?)


2.  The sensitive, nurturing side of me relates to a Charlotte Mason Education.   We enjoy nature studies and tons of living books!   We pull many read alouds and science studies from Ambleside Online.   The Burgess Book of Animals is my favorite living science book.  


3.  We have had a lot of success with unit studies.  I love being able to choose a topic and spend a lot of time with it.   After a while it feels like it's just a part of our lives.  


4.  My children are sometimes the most happy when I let their interests lead us.  Whether it is baseball, knitting, cooking, mummies, or orangutans, an interest led study is always successful.


5.   There are times (and I used to think this was the "lazy mom's" way out -- boy, was I wrong) where I have thrown caution to the wind and just let my children dictate their learning.  At certain points during the past few years I've just gone off on some tangents that were very meaningful.   They were based on HOW WE WERE LIVING OUR LIVES at that moment in time.   I have a lot of unschooling in me.  


6.  Sometimes I will sit with a mom during lunch at our co-op and learn about something new they have been trying, or a particular resource they have enjoyed.   We will change course for a bit, or incorporate the new resource how we can.   I found myself investigating a lot of the principles of Classical Conversations this way (although we don't do CC formally).   


{ Are you starting to see why I can't state for certain what method we use?  I do, however, think it's important to be well versed in whatever you are doing with your children at that particular point in time!}

7.  I was brought up in TRADITIONAL schools.  I have two degrees in education - which I am fairly certain are traditionally based.   Sometimes I think to myself "If it was good enough for me, then surely it's good enough for my children."   Our spelling curriculum, for example, is very traditional.   Certain elements of our homeschool reflect this background.   I like the ability to pick things from a traditional school of thought that work for us.


8. Each of my children learn in very different ways.  My oldest loves to read and very much enjoys creating and being more of a free spirit.  My youngest is VERY methodical... loves nubers and memorization.   Why in the world would I make them both use the same homeschool method?   This leads to more planning and work for me, but it's my job, right?  


9.  I'm confused because I know that as my children get older I will need to narrow down our methods used... I've heard you can't be as carefree once the upper middle grades arrive.  I'm taking it one day at a time, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit helps me make sense of the confusion.  Above all, I  strive to keep our homeschool SIMPLE - to allow time for reflection and guidance.  


10.  This confusion is something I feel is necessary for me to be a better homeschooling mom.  I'm always observing my children to see what method/curriculum/program would be best for them at a specific time in their educational development.   


I'm not confused, I'm well mixed.

                                                    ~Robert Frost



*photo credit