What’s more important – the method of teaching, or the philosophy behind it?
Can each exist without the other?
I would argue that progressive education/unschooling/life learning/self-directed learning, these are philosophies without an intrinsic method.
School at home is a method without a philosophy. Many other “methods” can be followed without a philosophy as well. Unschooling, by definition, cannot.
Unschooling is not a method, it is a perspective.
Somewhere between the two is where most people practice homeschooling. And that’s a good place to be, IMHO. I believe that any place, as long as there’s a clear philosophy, and clear goals, that dominate over a method, then it’s good.
Homeschooling goes bad when the method is more important than the family philosophy and goals. That’s when burnout, frustration and hair pulling begin. When a family’s goals are dominant, then whatever method one chooses will work, because the family will shape it to fit their needs.
And then, we have success.
Therefore, if one has a philosophy of learning that is unschooling or person-inspired, you can use any method, any materials, and still have the underlying philosophy dominate.
It’s all in the philosophy – the whys – that indicate the likelihood for homeschooling happiness. Not the method. The method, is ultimately, irrelevent.