Today this blog article was posted in a group and it really struck a cord.
I feel I’ve long left those days behind me but remember the early days of reading Montessori and thinking what a brilliant approach but feeling like we failed to master it as it just needs so much stuff, of having a few too many plastic toys and allergies to nature to get on with Steiner although it sounded wonderful, to have children who like to read twaddle as well as living books, to have children who don’t seem to have that natural curiosity that unschoolers tell us all children possess if we nurture it (I obviously have the same luck with natural curiosity as I do with plants).
Long since accepted the only way to home educate successfully (and I’m defining successfully as happily with the occasional reassuring glimpse that something has gone in) is to follow the beat of your own drum. I can’t say that without Gerald from Giraffes Can’t Dance pop to mind :). Definitely a far better and happier person for it too.
So my advice to new home eders is forget methods and philosophies. If you’ve the time read around and get ideas but home educating should be about the freedom to adapt to the child. There is a danger that by adopting a philosophy too rigidly that you can lose sight of the child, you may firmly believe in the rhetoric behind a philosophy but doesn’t make it right for your child. I love Charlotte Mason’s ideas but Sam hates being read to so we can never adopt them too closely. Home ed is about dancing to your own soundtrack, usually cobbled together from various philosophies.