Jessica, at Trivium Academy, has an excellent post which shows the twists and turns that we often go through as we develop Our History & Philosophy of Homeschooling. I can relate so well to so much of what she has written. She inspired me to write about our homeschool history. Our philosophy, and really our history too, is still a work in process and I'm not ready to put it in print yet, but I'll try to present our history up to the present time. :)
I was a public school teacher before I got married and had my own children. When the children were little I was a substitute, or supply, teacher, called in to fill in for teachers that were sick or had leave of some sort for a day or so. I hated leaving my children! It was during this time that I read an article in a magazine about homeschooling. I'd never heard of the concept before and I was intriqued. I took a year to research it before taking the plunge.
Being familiar with the school curriculum, I decided to use it as the basis for our schooling. Though it took some adjustments to suit it for home/individual use, instead of class/group use, it worked out pretty good.
The next year I discovered ABeka and gave it a try. For the most part I really liked it, but it, too, was geared more to class/group use. The cost was also a major factor in my researching other options.
It was sometime in this period that I first heard about Charlotte Mason and the living books philosophy of education. As a book lover myself, I loved the idea of using real books, instead of text books. I didn't really learn much about Charlotte Mason's methods at this time because I got carried away with the living books philosophy, especially when I discovered the idea of unit studies. This philosophy resonanted with some of my teacher training and I set out to create my own unit studies for our learning. Though it was a lot of work, we had a lot of fun learning together.
While I enjoyed this time of learning I was starting to feel the need for more guidance to ensure that I covered everything my children needed. It was at this time that I discovered The Well Trained Mind. It seemed to be what I was looking for, but I found the process of trying to gather all the resources really overwhelming. I decided to just take some ideas from the book and incorporate them into our schooling as best I could.
Well, this has become quite a long post for me and my time for computer is up so I'm going to have continue with our homeschool history later.