Hello. I’ve heard a lot about Charlotte Mason, classical homeschooling, and unschooling, but I’m curious if any other approaches exist.
The distinctions between homeschooling approaches aren’t always super strict. For my family, we’ve incorporated elements of Charlotte Mason, unit studies, unschooling, and even school-at-home! However, they do generally fall under a few separate names:
- Classical homeschooling refers to a model that has been around since the Middle Ages, and which was especially popular during the Renaissance. Students graduate through a Grammar Stage, a Dialectic Stage, and a Rhetoric Stage, with each level moving right along a continuum from memorization to critical thinking skills.
- Charlotte Mason is a method that focuses on literature as an educational tool, as well as nature study, journaling, copy work, and arts exposure to educate the whole person instead of only the mind.
- Montessori emphasizes collaboration and hands-on learning with students of diverse ages and skill levels. In a Montessori environment, the teacher is a facilitator, rather than an instructor.
- Unschooling refers to letting a child drive their own education by making decisions about what they want to learn and how they want to study it.
- School-at-home is perhaps the most traditional option and involves reproducing the public school structure and similar curricula in the home setting.
- Unit studies is a method of structuring learning around a unified theme and organizing all subjects around that central topic.
- Eclectic education, as its name suggests, pulls a bit from two or more of the above styles into an approach most effective for an individual family.
There are additional styles, including roadschooling, Waldorf homeschooling, and worldschooling, all of which can be researched further online!
All the information above is great and will help you grasp what’s out there…….
As an Educator, I would want to point out that you don’t worry so much about all the methods that are out there, but rather, what works best for your children. Remember, that what works best for you, may not be what works best for your kids…..And what works best for one child, may not work best for another child……AND THIS IS A STRONG REASON TO HOMESCHOOL!!!!
We Educators, unfortunately, are taught to teach in one way to the middle of the range, at a middle pace, at a middle level. This is NOT where most of the kids lie and so this is why we have an increased issue of behavior problems with kids who are bored because they work at a faster pace, faster processing, higher level. Then we have those labeled learning disabled all because they need longer processing time, slower pace, and repetition. Every child learns differently and one method will not suit all kids. So thanks to Homeschooling, you can meet the individual needs of your kids by using different methods, curriculum, materials, and expectations for each child. Behavior problems are gone, labels are gone and kids are flourishing, meeting their best potential!
Have fun trying new things and new methods. Explore the plethora of materials out there, go to a homeschool conventions near you and check out all that’s offered to homeschoolers, join a few homeschool groups in your area, meet new moms and other homeschooled kids, ask questions, and don’t be afraid to try new things! Don’t worry about changing things up from year to year until you find the elements that work for each of your kids!! And don’t think you have to stick to ALL of one type of curriculum. Piece things together, take elements from as many as you want. Feel free to build YOUR OWN curriculum by using bits and pieces that work for each of your kids!!!
I liked this quiz, in the beginning it helped me see a little more how I wanted to school my kids and it gave me a heads up as to which direction to go in from there.
You can skip the email at the end and just get results from this test
Like some mentioned above, I have heard of these 7 types of homeschooling: Eclectic, School at home, unschooling, classical, Charlotte Mason, Waldorf, and Montessori.
Our local county homeschool group has a blog. Here is a post to start with that might help, giving information in small chunks.
then you can poke around from there.