I am a homeschooler.
I am not an unschooler, or TJed'er, or a follower of Charlotte Mason, or Whole-Heart learning. I'm not even a Traditional or Classical homeschooler. I'm just a homeschooler.
I've thought occasionally that maybe I should read up on these methodologies and see which one fits me best. Maybe it would give me some direction. But now I'm thinking that it might be more of a detriment than a benefit. I may decide, for example, that I agree mostly with the Classical method. But then I would feel pressured into including an in-depth study of Latin in our curriculum.
When I decided to homeschool, it was partly because I didn't want the government dictating to me what and when my child should learn. I don't want Charlotte Mason to be dictating that to me, either.
I didn't even know there were such things as "homeschool philosophies" until I started reading homeschool blogs. And the more I read, the more I'm discovering that not only do all these philosophies exist, but that they are also at odds with each other. Ok, so maybe the philosophies themselves aren't necessarily at odds. But sometimes the mothers who implement them are.
From what I can gather, there are some moms that are so devoted to their method or philosophy that they come to believe it is the right, and the best, method. And moms who follow a certain philosophy tend to associate with other moms who also believe in that philosophy. Too often, this can turn into cliques.
This new knowledge makes me sad. Why can't we support each other? Aren't we all just trying to do what we each feel is best for our children? I thought we all chose homeschooling because we wanted the freedom to educate our children in the way that we saw fit. Can't we allow our fellow moms that freedom without judgement? (You could also add public-school moms into this mix-but perhaps that issue deserves it's own post.)
Thankfully I have never personally, in real life, encountered any of this animosity. And I hope I never do.