Many new homeschool parents are confused and overwhelmed by the multitude of terms used to describe the different approaches to Home education. A thorough understanding is not necessary to start a wonderful education in your home but a reasonable scanning of the terms used and their major belief premises are very beneficial to parents as they try and hone their own style and belief system. There is not one right way, but as you learn and grow you will be able to focus on what works for you and your particular family.
Below is an brief comparison of Trivium (Classical), Public school and Lifestyle of Learning "methods". Notice the variances of activities at different ages and readiness emphasis in both Trivium and the LOL approaches as compared to Public School.
Birth to 5
Trivium says - nothing (other than real life experiences and building of character)
PS says - Preschool
LOL says - readiness activities.
5-7 years old Preoperational
Trivium says - Basic skills, (reading writing, math)
Public school says - kindergarten through grade two
LOL says - preparing phonics, learning to write, copy work. Establish the use of identification books, field guides. Begin collections,with simple notebook collections. 20 min table time (pencil in hand-focused)
8-10 years Concrete operational
Trivium says - grammar stage
Public school says - grades 3-5
LOL says - collections, compositions, and grammar use. Library skills, more references and special projects. Begin journaling and independent reading. Continue copy work.
30 min table time
11-13 years Formal Operational
Trivium says - dialectic stage, deductive reasoning.
Public school says - grades 6-8
LOL says - thinking, logic, reasoning. Begin math studies. Increase detail. Initiate bible study independently. Continue journaling, encourage goal setting.
45 min table time
Trivium says - rhetoric stage, expressing yourself
Public school says - 9 -10th grades
LOL says - speaking, writing, in depth Bible study, writing projects, eg, family newsletter. Continue studies in areas the student is most interested in. Core subjects as appropriate. (a computer programmer needs little biology)
60 min table time
16 - 18 years
Trivium says - quadrium subjects, university studies, very focused.
PS says - grades 11-12 still general and compulsory studies.
LOL says - functioning at an adult level in areas you have been pursuing already and intend on spending a lifetime learning new and wonderful things daily. It's all in the heart. Table time varies as per study and goals.