So why try to conform to a homeschooling method that isn’t exactly right for you?
Though there exist many teaching models and educational philosophies that families follow, that doesn’t mean each one must always be followed to a “T”. Homeschooling comes with boat loads of flexibility — and that includes permission for families to completely stick to a particular method, or not.
For instance, following a classical approach is wonderful if it matches your way of thinking and the ways that your children enjoy learning. But, let’s face it — what if YOU love the ideas but THEY hate reading?
Or, how about deciding to adopt a virtual approach only to discover that your child really can’t sit that long at the computer? That can be tough.
Or, what if you are enamoured by a method that involves volumes and volumes of journaling and copywork but your child struggles with writing? Tougher still.
It’s OK to adapt a particular approach to your own situation. Every homeschooling method comes with built-in flexibility. Though it may be difficult to spot when just starting out, over time, you’ll come to recognize areas where changing things up a bit seem natural and easy.
Some homeschooling methods, for example, recommend specific products to teach subjects. But choosing another product that works better for a child doesn’t mean the benefits of schooling that way are completely lost.
Other methods, for instance, suggest schedules and activities to do each day. Rest assured that not doing them all won’t spoil the overall effect of adhering to that philosophy.
We sometimes hear homeschooling parents practically apologizing for not doing things exactly right; that is, according to the schedule or guidelines set by the curriculum manufacturer, author of a series, or popular conference speaker advocating a certain method. Sadly, sometimes parents can feel a sense of guilt or inadequacy about not doing things exactly right.
The truth is that it’s alright to deviate if it means great learning, better learning, or just plain-old more enjoyment for the child or the entire family. In fact it’s more than alright — you owe it to your child.
Authors and developers, particularly if they’re homeschoolers themselves, would never advocate doing something if it didn’t seem right for a child. That’s why they typically use the word “suggested” when referring to a schedule or particular way of doing things. Suggested doesn’t mean mandatory.
Hybrid homeschooling applies when families follow a general path relatively closely, but deviate from time to time to better meet their individual needs. This is different from eclectic homeschooling where this kind of thing is planned and expected. Hybrids follow a path or a structure, but mold activities as needed along the way.
And it’s OK.
No apology needed.