When I first started homeschooling it was suggested to me that I one find out what type of learner my child is and two what homeschooling method I plan to follow. I thought it was brilliant advise when I first started and knew next to nothing about homeschooling. I may even still give that same advise to other new homeschoolers because it helps to narrow down the curriculum search. At the same time I am a bit leary of giving that advise because I see so many others become so attached to their method that the have placed themselves inside a box.
Well Waldorf homeschooling says we have to do some kind of handcrafting everyday. Or we need to delay reading until after a certain age. Waldorf also suggest you not introduce any kind of technology until the children are I believe middle school age. See that would put me into a box that I feel I don't 100% agree with. Now I am not saying children should be overly exposed to technology but let's face it we live in the technology age and I have see the 1,000 upon 1,000's of resource for learning that technology offers. Yet I am in love with the aspect of Waldorf that focuses on the spirit of the child.
Montessori method says to allow the child freedom within limit. It also suggest large blocks of learning in one area. I love the idea of mixing ages because I feel that is very normal in society or at least it once was. I also like the freedom of the child to learn at their own pace. Yet for me personally it is the large blocks of learning I find my children have an issue with.
Charlotte Mason method uses a ton of living books instead of dry textbooks and I 100% agree in that area. Yet I feel the focus on copy work was a bit much for my taste.
Unschooling/radical unschooling - I guess first I should say that even though these two follow the same guidelines for the most part when it comes to education they differ some what in parenting. I love the freedom to completely follow the child's interest and the strong sense of trust and respect. I personally feel it is my role as the parent to say No in some cases even when it goes against the child's desires.
Now these are just a few on the major methods they are in no way all of them. My point was that even though I can clearly see pros and cons to just about every method I also have some reservations to each personally. If there is one thing I have learned on this journey with my children it would be that there is no perfect way to educate. If there were then everyone would be doing that one way including public schools. Every family and even every child is different. They are even different at different ages. What worked great last year may be a total flop for what the child needs this year. Yet I see so many homeschoolers attached to their method. It worked for little Susie so it has to work for little Johnny too. I also see the parent loves the method so that is it bottom line we are doing this. I also see the other side of that coin. I really wish my child would learn to read yet they have no interest so we are not going to push it in any way. I feel these parents have become attached to their methods. Sure I can agree that in the end the child is not going to be harmed by learning to read later in life. I can also argue that they would learn more on their own if they did read earlier. Wouldn't it be great if we didn't become so attached to these methods that we could jump outside the boxes to address the different needs/desires/ weakness of each child better. Wouldn't be great if we could say for the most part yes we unschool but I still make sure my child learns to read around 6-7 yrs old. I still make sure that my child gets the basics in math. Sure I agree there are some guidelines for each method but they are just that guidelines. Remember that all educational methods are not set in stone not only can you be flexible you should be flexible. Don't be afraid to drop a guideline if it isn't working or borrow something amazing that is from another method. Make your homeschooling journey your own. I am no educational nor homeschooling expert. I'm just one mom on an amazing journey with her children attempting to allow my self and my children the flexibility to use what works whether or not it fits in side a method box or not.