I think if you break it down, we all have our own styles of homeschooling. Yes, there are technical names for a lot of them. But not all ways are established, published styles. I like to think I lean more toward a Charlotte Mason style in some ways, but I am certainly not hard-core. We also do a lot of classic work, like grammar, handwriting and creative writing, math, etc. We have a basic schedule and stick to it most days. When I looked at what makes us really tick, however, I see two things: Reading and Doing.
We have got to where we read (extensively) about every topic we study. We oftentimes translate what we read into a notebooking page of some sort, just to put our thoughts on paper. But a lot of times, we just discuss it.
When I look back on my favorite weeks of homeschooling, they have all definitely looked something like this (with an example).
I hear about a field trip opportunity. This week we will be going to the Tulsa Historical Society to see the Dream Exhibit as part of their One City, One Book initiative with The Legacy Project. It looked interesting, so I signed us up.
I go to any available website. The Legacy Project has a website for this initiative, with tons of suggestions for teachers and parents. While browsing the website I learned that the majority of the initiative is in teaching students about the importance of dreaming for their future and how their grandparents and the past have formed a legacy for it.
I choose books for us to read. The initiative is based on the book Dream: A Tale of Wonder, Wisdom and Wishes by Susan V. Bosak and illustrated by 15 different amazing illustrators. I immediately requested that book from our library.
Then I looked at the recommended books on the website and chose other books for us to read that week.
I plan activities. The website gave an abundance of activity ideas. We will do some "ZoomArt", make a 7-point stained glass star, and make a Dream Chest to include our dreams for our future.
We go on the field trip. We will meet our good friends for a day of learning and fellowship. We are planning to meet for lunch and then attend the exhibit, taking all we have learned from the week of books, activities and discussions.
We have recently done this same type of planning on fossils and The Trail of Tears. In a couple of weeks we will be doing the same thing based on an exhibit of replicas of the Nina and Pinta that are appearing in a nearby city.
Yes, the worksheets are important. Yes, the 3 R's are vital. Yes, we need to learn to follow some sort of schedule and learn how to plan and complete projects. Yes, we need to be writing.
But, for us, we always, without exception, learn the most when we can read about a topic, do activities surrounding it, and then touch it!!
These weeks are what make me giddy about homeschooling.