Have you thought about starting to homeschool? It’s definitely something that’s gaining a lot of popularity with many parents today. Many of them choose homeschooling because they want to have more control over what their kids are learning, or maybe their child isn’t a great fit for traditional school. The child might not be learning very well, or maybe they’re learning too quickly. Maybe they’re being bullied or they’re not comfortable opening up and it’s affecting their grades. Or perhaps some of the families have lifestyles that aren’t conducive to traditional school. They could be living my dream of driving around the country in an RV, learning about so much first hand instead of in a book. Doesn’t that sound like so much fun?!
Regardless of the reasons, there are a lot of families turning to homeschooling their kids. But one trip to Google shows you so many different homeschooling methods and curriculums, it’ll make your head spin. (Or at least it did that to me!) Which method is the best for my family? And once you’ve figured that out… Which curriculum will fit in with us best? So I decided to put together a quick post that briefly differentiates between the main homeschooling methods, to help you narrow it down!
Different Homeschooling Methods
- Waldorf – This type focuses on teaching the mind, body and spirit of the child, often with an emphasis on arts, music and nature. There is usually very limited electronics in Waldorf homeschooling, and the children usually make their own textbooks instead of using existing ones.
- Unschooling – Unschooling is a type of child-led learning, where the child decides on the studies based on their current interests. So if your child is really into cats right now (like mine is), you’d learn about cats until they wanted to learn something new.
- Montessori – This one is also called child-led learning. It focuses on a natural progression based on the child, where they learn at their own pace. It also usually discourages TV and computers.
- Classical – This method focuses on a three-part process called the Trivium (Reason, Record, Research, Relate and Rhetoric).
- Grammar Stage (ages 6-10) focuses on absorbing information and memorizing the rules of phonics, spelling, grammar, foreign language, history, science, math, etc.
- Dialectic Stage (ages 10–12) emphasizes logical discussion, debate, drawing correct conclusions, algebra, thesis writing, and determining the why’s behind the information.
- Rhetoric Stage (ages 13–18) continues the systematic, rigorous studies and seeks to develop a clear, forceful, and persuasive use of language.
- Traditional – This method is the closest comparison to public schools. Sometimes also referred to as “School At Home”, complete with typical textbooks, workbooks, tests, quizzes, etc.
- Charlotte Mason – Teaching centered around three areas; atmosphere, discipline, and life teaching. It focuses on using rich literature instead of standard textbooks, and adequate play time and real-life situations for learning.
- Eclectic – This is used most often by homeschoolers. It’s a personalized approach based on the needs and interest of your child, where you use a little of each type of schooling to make your own. Also called “Relaxed” schooling.
The school curriculum that we are starting this year is a combination between Charlotte Mason, Classical, and biblical teachings. I don’t know if we will use the same one next year, we will figure it out as we go through this year! There are many parents who switch the type of schooling every year. Once you pick one, you don’t have to stick with it. Do what is best for your child! Some of them learn differently, and some will change the way they learn. The best thing about homeschooling is how adaptable it is to each specific child.
Which methods of homeschooling have you tried? Which ones did you like best?