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 stands 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 unschooling.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.