What Are the 5 Common Topics and What Do They Have to Do with Homeschooling?

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Show Notes for “It's Not That Hard to Homeschool” Podcast with Lisa Nehring: Exploring the 5 Common Topics

Welcome to another insightful episode of “It's Not That Hard to Homeschool,” where we dive deep into the tools and techniques that make homeschooling not just possible, but productive and fulfilling. I'm your host, Lisa Nehring, and today, we're exploring a fascinating subject that dates back to Aristotle's era – the 5 Common Topics. These are timeless tools that anyone interested in learning, thinking critically, and gaining a comprehensive understanding of the world around us should know about.

The Essence of the 5 Common Topics

The 5 Common Topics are methodologies for organizing, planning, implementing, overcoming challenges, and understanding various subjects. They serve as a lens through which we can view the world, fostering a deeper appreciation and comprehension of any topic. Let's break them down:

  1. Definition: It all starts with defining what we're discussing. This foundational step brings clarity and vision, reminiscent of one of humanity's first tasks.
  2. Compare & Contrast: Once defined, we examine how the subject compares to others, noting similarities and differences. This comparison sheds light on the essence of our topic.
  3. Circumstance: Here, we consider the context – what's happening in the world related to our subject? Understanding the circumstances gives depth to our discussion.
  4. Relationship: We delve into causality – what causes our subject, what are its effects, and how does it interact with other elements?
  5. Authority: Finally, we explore what others have said about our topic, bringing external perspectives and expertise into our analysis.

Why Should We Care?

From a classical perspective, the 5 Common Topics empower us to think broadly and deeply about any subject. They provide a structured way to approach learning, encouraging us to engage with topics on a profound level. In real-life scenarios, these topics offer a starting point for understanding and discussing complex issues, making them invaluable tools for learners and educators alike.

Practical Applications in Homeschooling

This past year, I created a poster of the 5 Common Topics for my class, integrating them into almost every seminar. We even developed a Math Discussion sheet based on these topics, allowing students to tackle math problems from various curricula and levels. This approach helped students dissect problems, understand what they knew, and deduce solutions, strengthening their math skills through a deeper understanding of concepts and laws.

How to Implement the 5 Common Topics

If you're new to the 5 Common Topics, I recommend writing them out and placing them somewhere visible daily. I've used a large chalkboard in my kitchen and created laminated bookmarks for my students. These visual reminders encourage regular engagement and discussion, integrating these topics into your daily learning and teaching routines.

The Benefits

Adopting the 5 Common Topics in your homeschooling approach enhances logical thinking, argumentation skills, and the ability to discuss various subjects with depth and nuance. It enriches your educational experiences, ensuring that you and your students are not just learning but thinking critically about what you learn.

So, as we wrap up today's episode, I encourage you to reflect on how the 5 Common Topics can transform your homeschooling journey. By adopting these ancient yet timeless tools, we can foster a learning environment that encourages deep understanding, critical thinking, and a profound appreciation for the world around us.

Thank you for joining me on “It's Not That Hard to Homeschool.” Remember, with the right tools and mindset, homeschooling can be a deeply rewarding experience. Until next time, happy homeschooling!


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    Lisa Nehring
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