It occurred to my very tired brain that someone just might need a boost in their homeschool, a fresh idea. Old is the new... new. Here's an old idea to consider: Ignatian education. It's fabulous. It stresses self-activity and mastery of content. It's not easy, that's for sure... but it does feel very natural.
A fantastic curriculum based on Ignatian principles can be found at Kolbe Academy. For anyone who wants to know a little more about Ignatian methods, this site has well written ideas and summaries from a homeschooling mom who really knows her stuff.
I'd love to make a better case for Ignatian education, but honestly I can't this evening. My lone brain cell is screaming for sleep. It's been a day of starting to do one thing, forgetting what I was doing, then starting something else and forgetting about that as well. Every room I walk displays the aftermath of my Reign of Confusion: pullups on the bread counter, a ball of lint on the piano, laundry left in the dryer, something resembling lunch in the dining room corner. As I pick up my daily disasters, I pray that my efforts were enough today: I told the kids what I hoped they'd learn today, I prayed with them, I listened to their efforts and tried to guide them in their studies. Tomorrow we'll start anew and I'll ask what they remember from today, I'll tell them what the learning goal is, we'll pray, and on we'll go.