At this point I feel that I am a homeschooling veteran. We have tried several different styles, school at home, used an exclusively online curriculum for a couple of years (this was great for my oldest), but a few years ago when my youngest started his learning journey I realized we needed to revamp our style. I should really say he boycotted any type of computer or work sheets forcing me to really evaluate how I wanted to teach my children. I had always wanted to use a more child led Waldorf style. Unfortunately that style did not fit my oldest son’s needs when we began. He did his best work on the computer and with a very structured routine (he is ASD).
I started tentatively at first with my youngest. We read classics all day. Rudyard Kipling, Winnie The Pooh, and Beatrix Potter. I had him practice writing letters, then phrases from books. He was excited about writing stories so he did, sometimes for 5 minutes, sometimes for 20. School was short but he was enjoying himself.
I went looking for a learning style that fit what we were doing and found Charlotte Mason. I had heard of Ambleside Online before but had written it off because it is religiously based. When I gave it another look I decided there might be usable material if I were willing to do some leg work. I decided to dive in and plan a year for both of the boys. It was a huge change for my oldest.
We have now been using an eclectic Charlotte Mason style for almost 3 years, loosely based on Ambleside Online. It is working very well for our family. For the first two years I was able to combine history, science, and extra curricular subjects (Shakespeare, Plutarch, Art, and Music) for the kids. This year history and science were done separately. It is my first year teaching the boys American History.