Homeschool Methods 101

Homeschool methods

Whether you are a new or seasoned homeschooler, I am sure you have heard of different homeschool methods. Some you may have tried out, others you may have NO clue what they are, what they mean, or why you would want to consider them.

Navigating homeschool methods can be a daunting task. There are whole books on how to choose a method that works for your family and books on each method in particular. I am not going to get into the in-depth world of homeschool methods, but would like to introduce you to each one. If one of these stand out to you, then you may want to consider looking into it a little more.

  • Charlotte Mason-Charlotte Mason was a nineteenth-century educator. Her philosophy of books is to read “real” books or “living” books instead of textbooks or other “dumbed down” pieces of literature. She encouraged nature studies and delayed learning until around the age of six. She also encouraged children to narrate what they learned. To get a better idea of Charlotte Mason check out this book.
  • Eclectic-Most homeschoolers will fall into this category. You may use textbooks for grammar and math but decide to go the “living” book route for history. You may use computer-based curricula for science, or Unit Studies on occasion.
  • Classical-I know the least about this program; I do know there is a program built around classical education called Classical Conversations. Also, those who use the classical approach tend to focus on designated stages as their children mature. For more information, I would suggest checking out the Classical Conversations website, and the Well-Trained Mind.
  • Textbook/Traditional- Exactly what it says…you will tend to use textbooks for your education. Many will use this approach for Grammar and Math, but a textbook/traditional approach will also use them for other subjects like Science and History. This method will look similar to a public school.
  • Computer-Based-There are tons of curricula out there that have some or all subjects on the computer. Typically, these programs also grade and teach the material. One popular one is Switched on School House, there is also a new free program called Easy Peasy Homeschool that is all online.
  • Online Public School-Be aware that if you use these programs, you are not homeschooling. These programs come from state money and your child is essentially a public school student. They send you all your material for free and your child will have a certified teacher overseeing his education. Popular ones include k12 and Connections Academy.
  • Unit Studies-You pick a topic and focus all your subjects on that topic. For example: If your child wants to learn about snakes, you may read books on snakes, write a paper about snakes, study snakes for science and learn the different measurements of snakes for math…you get the idea. This is typically popular with large families because all the kids can learn together. We have done this a few times when the kids have found something they are interested in and want to study it more in depth.
  • UnSchooling-Natural, self-directed learning; the child chooses the topics he wants to study and the books he wants to read. For more information check out com

If any of these methods tend to stick out to you, I encourage you to look them up for more information. Chances are you will use a few different homeschool methods throughout your homeschool career.

Author: Misty Bailey

Misty is a homeschool mom of three and has been homeschooling for over 4 years. You can read about her homeschool journey and more on her blog, Joy in the Journey.



Vibrant Living Today

Micah Clark


Micah Clark graduated from Auburn University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Marketing. He is the 6th in a family of 10 children, was homeschooled through high school, upon high school graduation he joined the Army and completed a tour in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. During college he helped run a real estate firm, led Bible Studies and started his own nutritional business. Marjorie Clark, graduated from Auburn University in 1976 with a double major in French and Education, mother of 10 children, homeschooled for 25 years, and helped run the family business.

Carolinas Student Travel Connection


Carolinas Student Travel Connection is a non-profit regional partnership of five visitor bureaus that promotes student travel to the Central Carolinas Region surrounding the Charlotte, NC area. The partnership provides FREE on-line assistance to sort and plan student and family trips based on curriculum and geographic locations. With over 240 student-friendly destinations and hotel partners, planning group travel couldn’t be easier.

Dee Tadlock

DEE TADLOCK earned a Ph.D. in reading education in 1978. She has taught reading at every level from elementary school through graduate school and has also worked with adult literacy in community college, community-based, and workforce programs. Tadlock holds adjunct faculty status at Central Washington University and has been published in several professional journals including Journal of Reading, Phi Delta Kappan, Reading Psychology, and Adult Literacy & Basic Education.