I learned about the idea for Homeschool Distinctives from the blog Raising Olives here. At the time I ran across the post I was struggling with being overwhelmed with homeschool, homemaking and homesteading. The idea of homeschool distinctives seem to hold the possible solution to my dilemma of balancing 0-1 year old twins (at the time) with 3 school age children.
One big issue we were having was bouncing around from curriculum to curriculum. I loved Charlotte Mason but it was too labor intensive for our growing family. Homeschool Distinctives gave me an opportunity to give our homeschool the focus it lacked.
So here are our distinctives:
- Christ focused curriculum.
- Proverbs 2:6 For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
- Emphasis on independent study by the student with Mama in the role of tutor. Thus we adopted much of the methodology of the Classical Method. Which allows me to insert Charlotte Mason type elements into our homeschool without usurping the role of teacher. (again see Proverbs 2:6)
- Keep it Simple. By this I mean I need to not overload my children which is a tendency I have since they are quick workers. To meet the goal taking the simplest path
- Classical – We are utilizing the classical model but we are not purists and I also really like Charlotte Mason’s ideas. I utilize the book Teaching the Trivium by the Bluedorns as a guide.
- Frugality – I am adding an emphasis on both reusable and free curriculum’s from this point forward. I am trying to save money in our homeschool and stick to a budget.
- A prudent man seeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished. Proverbs 22:13 Darby Translation
6. Building Relationships within our family is a top priority and we will use our homeschool to strengthen relationships. For example older children have 15-30 minute time blocks in which they play with their 3 younger siblings.
- “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”John 13:35
7. We are trying to create competent communicators for Christ. Accordingly, we have an emphasis on speaking and writing well. So participation in things like speech & debate, essay contests etc… are a part of our school.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Matthew 28:1
8. Volunteering simply stated our time is the Lords and if he needs us we will be there regardless of what the schedule says.
- “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
I have done a lot of bouncing around between curriculum in our homeschool career. I must say that this list of distinctives has kept me more focused on the task at hand. I have been able to ignore curriculum like ‘All About Spelling’ (which I hear is wonderful) but it conflicts with distinctives 2 ,3 & 5. Recognizing I am not looking for the perfect curriculum to perfectly educate my children but instead I am looking for a curriculum to teach them to educate themselves while I guide them toward the Great I AM.
We are participating in the following ….