Resources for Early Learning (2011 Curriculum Fair)

Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and founder of Steady Mom

Ages of my children: 7.5, 6.5, and 6
Educational Philosophies I Pull From: Waldorf, Leadership Education, Unschooling

When I had two children, both still toddlers, I planned out their entire education for the next 15 years. I spent hours drawing charts, researching, thinking about socialization, and narrowing down curriculum options.

We haven’t followed any of it.

Since then I’ve found a better strategy is to plan for tomorrow, not next week or next year. I don’t mean you should never look ahead; I just mean that when stress or overwhelm kick in, that’s your clue to stop.

Today I want to share not only the resources we’ll be using in the upcoming year, but also what we’ve used in the past. Hopefully this will help those of you with younger children as well.
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The Evolution of an Educational Philosophy: My Journey of Baby Steps

Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and founder of Steady Mom

I wished I hadn’t shown up that day. But God knew better.

The late summer sun spun rainbows through the window of my minivan, as I sat in the parking lot of a church–journal and pen in hand. I had just attended my second homeschooling conference, and was completely freaked out.

Without knowing it, I had registered for a conference on unschooling–a term I had never heard before that day.

I wasn’t sure I ever wanted to hear it again.

What do you mean, children don’t need to be taught? How will they learn otherwise?

So before heading home, I took deep breaths and tried to make sense of this new information. Tried to rationalize it away with ink and words on paper.

If only I could go back and tell myself what I know now.
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The 4 Phases of Learning in Leadership Education

Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and founder of Steady Mom

When I was first began learning about homeschooling, I stumbled across the book Better Late Than Early by Raymond and Dorothy Moore. The authors’ premise is that delayed formal academics often fit better with the growth and development of children than the current early childhood education movement. As a mother of toddlers at that time, this idea resonated with me.

At the heart of the better late than early concept is the idea that children progress through various phases in their learning. Many educational philosophers over the years, including well-known Jean Piaget, have agreed. The educational philosophy known as Leadership Education (or Thomas Jefferson Education) divides this progression into four specific phases.

Though I wouldn’t define our family as Leadership Education purists (Which homeschooling family can fit within the constraints of one single philosophy?!), I do keep the four phases of learning in mind as they pertain to our homeschooling environment.
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The 7 Keys of Great Teaching in Leadership Education

Leadership Education, also known as Thomas Jefferson Education, is a philosophy based on the style of education received by great leaders and thinkers throughout history.

It centers around principles instead of a specific curriculum, seeks to honor children as individuals instead of teaching them as little adults, and groups childhood education into four phases, which we’ll cover in a later post.

The goal of Leadership Education is to teach students how to think, as opposed to teaching them what to think. To do this two main methods of instruction are employed–classics and mentors.

Many of us are familiar with classical education, but what exactly makes a good mentor?

Learn about these seven key ideas to find out. [Read more...]

Educational Philosophies Defined, Part II

Last week we explored four educational methods–giving a brief overview of each and providing links for further research.

So many methods exist that we could go on and on (& on!). For today, let’s cover five more and what they look like from a homeschooler’s perspective.

1. The Classical Method

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