In preparing research for my PhD dissertation, one of the participants in an interview made the following statement:
“… over the years we went through times of more flexibility in academic learning. At times we were less academic, and more kinaesthetic. In town we sometimes reverted to natural learning. We went backwards and forwards in methods. Over time we saw that development of character was critical; the development of godly character.”
This is one of the most powerful features of a home-based education: total flexibility. Parents need to be deschooled, and that takes time. The home-based journey may begin looking a bit (or a lot) like school, while confidence is being built. However, everyone learns together, and if there is constant communication, instruction modes and ways of learning can be trialled, embraced or laid down for a time.
There are many, many ways of teaching that parents can study, trial and consider the benefit of for specific children, for specific learning objectives, for specific seasons of learning. No one style is better than another, and all of them can sometimes be a wrong fit in a particular context, but a right fit in a totally different context.
Above all else, it has to be kept in mind that the objective is character development. Listen to the children. Children love learning, and if they are not loving the experience, work out why. Is it an instructional misfit? Are they not ready for that phase of learning? Are they bored and need a fresh approach to the same thing? Are they simply having a bad day, and need a big hug, a break from it all, and an opportunity to make a fresh start after a good, long sleep.