September 28, 2020

Do You Know Your Homeschooling Style? (Neither Do I.)

A couple months ago, I came across this homeschool quiz and thought I’d take it just for fun.

Well, not just for fun.

I kind of hoped it would tell me conclusively what my homeschooling style is. Then I could read up on whatever the result might be and master the method. Plus, I’d have an answer for all the other homeschooling moms that ask what kind of approach to education we take.

I took the test and my heart sort of sunk after I clicked “Submit.” Here’s what I got:

  • Score for Waldorf Education: 6
  • Score for Traditional Education: -15
  • Score for Unit Studies Education: 17
  • Score for Montessori Education: 14
  • Score for Thomas Jefferson Education: 2
  • Score for Unschooling: 10
  • Score for Classical Education: 9
  • Score for Charlotte Mason Education: 18

Very conclusive. Not.

It wasn’t a surprise to me that I scored negatively for traditional education; being a second-generation homeschooler probably had a lot do with that.

I expected to score higher in Classical Education since that’s the method my parents used with me. Also, one of my favorite books on homeschooling is Teaching the Trivium by Harvey and Laurie Bluedorn, a comprehensive manual for giving your children a Classical, Christian education at home.

I anticipated scoring the highest in Charlotte Mason and did, but barely. Apparently, I’m a Unit Study and Montessori gal, too.

I volunteered in a Montessori school as a teenager, so a fairly high score for this method was a bit surprising. Maybe my philosophy of education has changed over the last decade.

Unschooling? I agree with a lot of the unschooling principles, but don’t believe the premise of this educational method is Scripturally based. Whether our children feel like doing school or not, I am their Mom, their education is my responsibility, and their responsibility to adhere to instruction is not always dependent on their readiness or willingness. (More thoughts on unschooling another day).

Thomas Jefferson Education?

Waldorf education?

Good thing I didn’t score high in either of those methods, because I don’t know a single thing about them. Now I feel like I should, and I will because my curiosity has been piqued and I won’t be able to rest until I find out at least the very basics.

According to the test, I guess you could call me a

 Charlotte Mason Montessori Unit Study Unschooling Not Really Classical Definitely Not Waldorf  Or Thomas Jefferson And Certainly Not A Traditional Homeschooler.

Maybe you took the quiz and scored squarely inside a particular method, but I’m going to wager a guess that you came up with an equally long title.

So what should we do?

Read all the books on all the approaches?

So far, I have never come across one written for the  Charlotte Mason Montessori Unit Study Unschooling Not Really Classical Definitely Not Waldorf  Or Thomas Jefferson And Certainly Not A Traditional Homeschooler.

This is where knowing about all the homeschooling styles and methods has its limitations. Homeschooling is supposed to help us escape the classroom mentality, but here we go, trying to put ourselves in a homeschooling-style box and feeling like some sort of failure if we don’t quite fit.

Break free!

You don’t have to do all the things Charlotte Mason did (but you can if you want to).

You can use Unit Studies to teach, but you don’t have to only use them. Maybe you just want to use them through the Summer, or maybe they serve your family better as a supplement.

You can teach your child perfectly well without ever knowing the details of the Waldorf approach.

You can mix and match from every approach to education there is (yep, even traditional!).

You can do all of these things or none of these things, or things about which there has never been a book written for.

That’s the beauty of homeschooling! You get to create the perfect method for your family.

So the next time someone asks you what your homeschooling approach is, you can tell them you’re a Charlotte Mason Montessori Unit Study Unschooling Not Really Classical Definitely Not Waldorf  Or Thomas Jefferson And Certainly Not A Traditional Homeschooler.

(Or some equally complicated tongue twister. It makes you sound important.)

Or you could just call it “Eclectic.”

(But that’s not nearly as fun.)

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