I've been blessed to be able to share my thoughts about scholé along with a few friends - Sara from Classically Homeschooling and Chelli at The Planted Trees. Over the past year, we've shared a look at how we've been using the principles of scholé in each of our homeschools. We certainly haven't exhausted the subject but have decided to branch out a little. We're going to take a look at the eight essential principles of a classical education this year. Today I'll be sharing how I use those principles to create a personalized homeschool philosophy.
Why you need a homeschool philosophy
Don't be intimidated by the idea of creating a homeschool philosophy. In it's simplest terms, it is simply the methods you use to foster learning in your homeschool. Why is this important?
As an example, a simplified educational philosophy for kindergarten may focus on play, songs, and repetition, as modes of learning. There isn't a particular curriculum tied to this philosophy - just the idea that young children learn best with these simple methods. Are there many tools and resources you can use? Of course! But it all begins with your educational philosophy.
It is so easy to get sidetracked (that 'new, shiny curriculum' syndrome that hits us all at one time or another) by the latest program or method when you don't have a solid foundation in place. Instead, if you understand the methods and tools that will work for your and your family, it is much easier to decide if those programs or methods will fit into the framework you've created.
Your educational philosophy is simply the foundation that your homeschool is built upon. It goes beyond the methods of homeschooling (like Classical, Charlotte Mason, unschooling, etc.). The method you choose will depend on your philosophy.
Think of homeschooling like a building: your educational philosophy is the foundation, the method you choose is the framework, and the teaching principles you employ are your drywall. I've discovered that the eight principles of Classical teaching combine those three areas to create a solid homeschooling 'house'.
The 8 Principles of a Classical Homeschool
The eight principles of Classical Education as outlined by Dr. Christopher Perrin are practical techniques that will help form your philosophy, create a solid framework, and provide teaching methods that will work in any homeschool with children of all ages. Over the next few months, Chelli, Sara, and I will be taking the time to delve deeply into each of these topics, share practical ways to apply these principles, and show how that looks in each of our homeschools.
The eight principles outlined in the video below include:
Festina Lente ('make haste slowly')
Multum non multa ('much not many')
Repetitio mater memoriae ('repetition the mother of memory')
Watch the video embedded below or bookmark it on YouTube:
Creating your own educational philosophy
The best way to begin creating your personal educational philosophy is by educating yourself on the methods and techniques that homeschoolers use. Read books and websites, listen to podcasts, watch videos, and immerse yourself in the homeschool culture. Take notes on the things that interest you and that you believe would fit your family's educational needs. There are not right or wrong answers! Educational philosophy is a personal choice.
Your philosophy will continue to grow and change as your gain more experience as a homeschool mom. I know that my own homeschooling journey reflects this. I often joke that TJ is my 'test child' and that, if I were to ever have more children I would have a much better grasp on the methods that work for us. But, one of the best reasons to choose homeschooling is that no matter the mistakes, instilling a love of learning will never steer you wrong.
Now, I find that I have slowly found my way to these eight principles without even realizing it. The move was not intentional on my part, but more of a gradual transition as I've come to realize that less is more and making time for contemplation and individual pursuits is a foundational part of my own homeschooling philosophy.
Learn more about these Classical Principles
I've shared my thoughts about using these principles to create your own homeschool philosophy and you can find more practical application from Chelli & Sara. Click on the images below to read their posts.