The way we think about things is super important. Our thoughts dictate our decisions and actions. If you believed that cats were super evil little monsters sent from Hades, for example, (I don’t- no. Just sometimes.) you won’t leave one alone with your teeny baby. If you think that sneezing into your elbow will keep everyone around you from catching your cold, you’re more apt to actually do that. Unlike your husband that thinks you’re bonkers and should just use your hands like normal people.
That being said, there are many different methods out there for homeschooling, along with the thinking that lies behind them. It’s good to know where you feel most comfortable. Then, you can explore teaching resources and curriculum that most closely align with what you like. I’m going to give a very brief, as unbiased as I can make it overview of the major methods, along with links to further study-up on any you find interesting.
Eclectic/Relaxed– Most homeschooling families fall into this category. These are the parents that like a variety of materials and workbooks, choosing whatever they feel best meets the needs of their child rather than a one-size-fits-all, ready-made curriculum. They may follow a routine, but it probably won’t have times written beside each subject to be covered. This family will concentrate on meeting educational goals rather than being super-strict on exactly what gets studied when. To make sure they are staying on target, parents may study-up on what their local school system or respected book on homeschooling suggests should be accomplished per grade level. They will probably also periodically have the children tested to make sure they are covering all that they need to learn. Some use mornings for basic school subjects needing to be covered, leaving afternoons for things like library or field trips, art classes, music lessons, etc.
Classical- This approach stresses teaching children how to learn. The Trivium is an understanding of the different stages that children go through throughout their education, based on their stages of development. Subjects are taught in such a way that compliments these different stages. The Grammar Stage (k-5th) concentrates on giving little ones a lot of information to soak in. Memorization of facts is stressed. The next stage is called the Logic or Dialectic Stage (6th-8th). Here, critical thinking and reasoning are encouraged. There are serious discussions and in-depth studies, using the information gathered during the Grammar Stage. Finally, the Rhetoric Stage (9th-12th) deals with communicating the child’s thoughts. Arguing of theories, writing papers, and research are important in this age group. Many classical parents keep a well-established routine. Some join classical groups that meet to encourage oral reports, memorization, and the study of Latin. There is also a branch off of this called Classical Christian Education, which is just what it sounds like: classical with everything taught from a Christian worldview.