Our Peppermint Twist: A Comparison of PSLC with
Other Popular Educational Approaches/Styles
“Peppermint Stick” (PSLC) is more than just curriculum resources; it is actually a unique methodology, a newer style/approach to learning with some specific characteristics. While there are various ways to teach the “school subjects”, we think that the “Peppermint Stick” style is a great balance that includes the best aspects of some of the other styles plus our own flavour to that combination!
The products that we sell must match sufficiently our general approach/style to education. (In this sense, we are not just an eclectic business selling any options.) All of our products are previewed and selected with our goals in mind. And all of the products that we design and publish fit our approach/style too, of course!
If you want to see our statement of faith, please click here.
For our Our Biblical Philosophy of Education statement, please click here.
This section of our website is perhaps the hardest to write but I will try to explain what our difference is and “why” in a nutshell while still hopefully being clear enough about the humility I truly feel is still a major part of the curriculum that, with my various skills, background, and giftedness, I happen to be led to develop. The honour and glory for what I do for my workdays belongs to God alone Who has brought me into this business and enabled me to do what I’ve been doing. While there are definitely moments and weeks of stretching and personal growth with some challenges, much of PSLC has been lots of fun with practical usefulness. And I know that I’m to share these ideas with others, to present a different option out there that works really well.
To do this task of explaining differences, I really have no choice but to compare the “Peppermint Stick” approach to learning with other approaches. I want you to know that I truly respect people who choose to teach in a method that I might not think is best or might even totally groan over. I can disagree on teaching methods and still respect the teacher and I hope that you can do the same as you work through these ideas yourself in considering these points and making your own decisions. I am not here in business to tear down another company, publisher, or distributor/reseller in their reputation or efforts or to “grab customers” away from them. I personally buy or have purchased from many businesses at home school conferences or by mail over the years. Disagreeing with a method or promoting a new method that we find better or wider reaching in effectiveness is not the same as disrespect. I have a lot of respect for others who write and design resources and I am NOT the only one who can make things that are refreshing to use. While I sometimes resell products that I like, I don’t and can’t sell all of the things I like, so please do not interpret our chosen product list as a “she doesn’t sell it so that means she doesn’t recommend it” – while that is obviously the truth in some cases, it is not the reason for some other things.
I also want to assure you that our curriculum is very flexible to the extent that families from a variety of approaches/styles do enjoy using our materials and can adjust them to fit well with their other choices. For example, you could quite easily use a PSLC resource in a traditional setting or as a book that is strewn in an unschooling environment. C.M. fans love the gentle approach to a number of our subjects and those struggling with literacy in the C.M. method can be very happy with our reading methods while continuing C.M. for other subject areas. Other customers love the flexibility of our style and incorporate our materials into their eclectic lifestyle. “Traditional” families also like the flexibility and the inclusion of hands-on, home-centered fun activities.
(If you want to learn more about the other styles without our perspective in with it, one website that you might want to check is the Canadian Centre for Home Education.)
I have a variety of people in my audience – anywhere from those who just want a brief answer to those who would love a deep philosophical discourse. But most of you want some sort of answers on comparing our style with “the others”. So…here is what I’ve done:
A. To keep things simple and “shorter” to read for my very busy audience, I have a simple and somewhat blunt and to-the-point CHART that you can download (for free) below to compare us with these common styles: Unschooling, Eclectic/Relaxed, Traditional (Christian), Unit Study, Charlotte Mason, Classical Education, Traditional-Gov’t/Public, Literature-Based. Please note that this chart is in a pdf format so that you can also print it out, tape it together, to read it better. Comparison Chart 1
B. We have a stronger hands-on approach than some methods. And we are somewhat sensitive towards those teaching with “special needs”. For these reasons, I have also compared us with the Montessori and Waldorf approaches here in another chart (also in pdf format): Comparison Chart 2
C. We have been often compared to the Charlotte Mason Style because of our gentle approach to learning that children can naturally enjoy but would strongly disagree with some of her philosophy relating to spiritual matters, how to teach, what to teach, etc.. I felt that this particular style required more explanation than the basic chart above on why we really aren’t just another slant based on the Charlotte Mason philosophy. So for more in-depth information about a comparison between PSLC and the C.M. approach, please click here (also in pdf format): Detailed Comparison with CM
E. For the people who have the time and desire to read on a deeper level, there is a series of Q & A with Bible verse references here.
F. For people who want to know about our style and how/why that relates to Canadian Ministry of Education standards, you can find some of my comments here.
G. Click here for a related-blog article called “Balance is Needed”.
H. Finally, for something that ANYONE can do to understand our “Peppermint Stick” approach better, please read stuff under our other “Twist” links as they relate to a particular subject area, our catalogue descriptions in our product listings, and perhaps some of my blogs or other links. And of course, you can try using our curriculum to grasp how it works. Our customers come from various styles – some just for a subject, others for a full year set of resources or more. A comment we have received over and over from our customers is that yes, not only is our curriculum very doable, it is also very unique and refreshing to the normal stuff that most people know about! ♥
♥ It’s up to YOU to make your own decisions on what is best for your family! ♥
Our Online Shop (catalogue descriptions)
Our “Encouragemints” Blog (see especially the one called “Organizing a Busy Home and School”)