One of my first college education courses asked us to analyze our experiences and determine our own educational philosophy. Up until that point, my experiences were limited to my childhood and so I reflected on attending public school until third grade (when my family moved), struggling to transition at my new school, and ultimately being homeschooled.
As I thought of the standout moments in my schooling, I realized my most memorable moments were hands-on learning experiences–composing my thoughts through journal and letter writing, using fractions while baking and adapting recipes, exploding a volcano replica, studying the life-cycle of a butterfly by raising caterpillars, and listening to my mom read aloud. Reflecting on these hands-on experiences helped me develop a teaching philosophy I was eventually able to apply to my public classroom teaching.
Fast forwarding to now–while debating over our family’s schooling decision, I spent hours and hours researching different curriculum options and quickly became overwhelmed until I realized there is no ONE right way to “school.” Whether you public, private, or home school, it’s important to develop a learning philosophy that feels right for your family.
Since our family has chosen to homeschool, we considered different homeschooling philosophies. [This and this by Simple Homeschool helped me understand the different homeschooling philosophies.] Our approach (which may be very different from what YOU would choose) is quite “eclectic.” I liked what several theories had to say, so we pieced together a curriculum that would fit with our kids’ personalities, learning styles, and our own interests and beliefs.
This is my story, but I’m wondering, how have your own educational experiences helped shape the choices you’re making (or will make) for your kids?