You know you’re a homeschool mom when…you’re afraid of a method! For me, it was the classical homeschooling method.
I admit it: I’m Demetria, and I once was afraid of classical homeschooling. Go back and look at any of my videos where I talked about my love for Charlotte Mason , my journey away from my rough start in classical, my dabbling into classical communities and not finding a good fit, and finally how I just didn’t feel like I agreed with the trivium, and it’s quite obvious: I was turned off by the classical method.
“Why?” you might ask. So many reasons, my friend. However, what I’ve come to find is that many of my reasons stemmed from a poor experience I’ve had, and not necessarily due to a fault in the method itself. Much of it has been misunderstanding on my part, and as I grow, evolve, and mature I am learning today what I didn’t know yesterday.
I invite you to watch my video about my journey into understanding what classical education truly is and how I am slowly beginning to understand the beauty in so many different methods of home education. First, you might want to watch this Charlotte Mason vs. Classical method video comparison, then I invite you to watch the video below to see my final take on things.
My main concerns with classical education were:
- presenting too much repetition and pushing unrelated facts
- rigor without grace
Is this true for all classical learners? Absolutely not. And here’s what I’ve learned.
What I know now
Classical homeschooling doesn’t have to be information overload
Classical homeschooling, as with any approach, should be presented with grace. I love Charlotte Mason for what feels like a grace-based approach to me. However, classical homeschooling presents a methodology that I crave for my daughters as they are growing older. And I found that memory work really is okay. It really is!
I’ve always avoided information overload at all costs, and the idea of pushing facts into my kids and having them recite robotically repelled me. This was before.
Now? Now I’m beginning to see that it’s not about parroting at all. It’s about exercising the mind, making the brain more fluid, giving our kids nuggets for their brains to feast on. It’s all very much integrated with Charlotte Mason’s ideas of giving kids a buffet. Throw the beautiful and the good ideas out there and watch them feast.
Kids learn specifics best at certain stages
I didn’t always agree with this explanation of learning content, but I understand now how closely this is related to Piaget’s theory of child development. (Child development majors will appreciate this.)
The classical stages of learning are essentially:
- Grammar stage
- Dialectic stage
- Rhetoric stage
Find out more about each in detail on this podcast episode I created all about the classical method. Each stage holds a purpose, each stage is intended for our understanding so that we can better help our children learn at the stages they are in.
I’ve always embraced the materials that wonderful classical companies publish and have used many of these for my children successfully. Classical Academic Press gave us a great experience with Song School Latin a few years back and I loved interviewing Laurie Detweiler of Veritas Press about their wonderful material and reading app for kids.
So…I’m always learning and evolving and willing to review my stance. And I’m happy to say that classical education doesn’t scare me anymore. In fact, I rather like it!
What are your thoughts? Are you using classical method in your homeschool? Share in the comments how it’s going for you.