Homeschool Approaches and Teaching Methods
Discover the most popular homeschool approaches and teaching methods to determine what is right for your homeschooling family.
There is no one homeschooling method or approach for that works for all families. Each parent needs to determine what they want their children to gain from their education and the best way to achieve that. (Isn’t that why we homeschool anyway?)
|Traditional programs for homeschoolers are programs to do “school at home.” These programs are perfect for students who have attended public or private schools and who are now being homeschooled and expect it to be very similar. Because traditional programs follow along with the curriculum and routines offered by day school, it makes it easier for students to go back to day school at a later date. Learn more about traditional homeschool programs…
|The classical approach takes the successful methods of schooling that reach back to ancient Rome and Greece and applies them to today’s information. It also includes lessons learned from the Colonial and Puritan eras in the USA. It mixes with the belief that schooling should be about God first, then about life and purpose in life. The basis of the classical approach is on the teaching model of the Trivium, which aims to give students the best possible education available. Learn more about the classical homeschooling approach…
|Independent study programs require less parent teaching time and lets the student learn on his or her own for the most part. These programs are “self instructed” and allows the student to be home schooled even if they come from a very large family or their parents are not familiar with the subject they want or need to learn. Independent study teaches independence of the child and responsibility skills which will help as they grow and mature. Learn more about the independent study method…
|Pioneered by John Holt, the method proclaims that parents take a more relaxed rather than an authoritative approach to educating the child. Children are encouraged to explore their world in their own way. There are no traditional or rigid education requirements with unschooling. Learn more about unschooling…
|The Charlotte Mason home school method gathers in a whole learning experience including art, crafts, literature, music, nature, and teaching good manners and habits. While there are schoolbooks, there are also hands-on activities and experimentation to help children learn and thrive with their education. The lessons are short and to the point, with added learning encouraged through the activities. Children learn to read and speak and write and then are encouraged to exercise outside, allowing their love of learning to focus on plants and animals. Learn more about the Charlotte Mason approach to homechooling…
|The eclectic approach to home school education includes a good mixture of the traditional textbooks as well as a combination of unit studies and online classes. This approach works well with families who may need to customize their educational experiences. It is like a buffet of choices, allowing both the parents and the students to pick and choose which methods and curriculum that will work for them. Some children may learn some subjects better through online classes while learning other subjects with a traditional textbook or a unit study. Learn more about eclectic homeschool approaches …
|An umbrella school is an existing brick and mortar or an established online school that provides help in making sure the student receives the state required education. This is almost as if the student does attend a public or private school. There are strict rules and regulations in place with this sort of program, making sure the education is up to state standards. This is especially important where state laws are not favorable to homeschoolers. Learn more about umbrella programs…
|A unit study will focus on one particular theme and all the lessons will build around that theme. It is easy to pick and choose from unit studies to match the passions of the student and to fulfill the educational requirements as needed. Learn more about unit studies…
|Homeschool online is a great way to incorporate the internet into the child’s education. Online classes are available as a whole curriculum or as single classes. It is an excellent way to help the child to learn how to use the computer as well as mastering the subject at hand. Online homeschooling is increasing popular as more and more households acquire computers and hook up to the internet and benefit from the multimedia education it can offer. Learn more about homeschooling online…
|Some parents insist that all their curriculum be from a Christian worldview. All the materials are Bible based, and encompasses the beliefs of the Bible throughout the lessons. Christian based education can come in the form of online classes, unit studies, umbrella school, traditional textbooks and more. Learn more about Christian curriculum options…
How to Choose a Homeschool Approach for Your Family
Since this is an important decision, you do not want to make it lightly. Start your research by visiting the pages that describe how each method approaches homeschooling. You will probably find that some of them sound interesting to you while others are not right at all. That’s fine! In fact, it’s a good way to begin your research. By narrowing the range of possibilities, you can make informed choices that will benefit your children.
You don’t just have to rely on the resources provided here, though. There are plenty of other things to learn about homeschooling. Try reading a few books to learn more about the history and application of each educational concept. You can even talk to other parents in your area to learn about the teaching methods that have worked well for them. If you do not know anyone with homeschooling experience, feel free to visit message boards to get information from more parents who have already made decisions about how to teach their children.
Eventually, you will either find a method that sounds right for your family, or you will create your own approach by choosing the concepts you like.
Just because you make a decision, however, does not mean that you should always continue, unwavering, down that path. Take time to revisit the concepts over the years. You may find that your child’s learning preferences have changed during this time. If they have, then you should consider altering your curriculum to make sure it matches his or her needs.
You may also discover that the teaching method you choose doesn’t work as well as expected. Don’t worry. Even teaching is a learning process. It’s more responsible to admit that you didn’t make the best mistake and start looking for alternatives that will help your children succeed. The alternative is to keep using a method that you know doesn’t work very well. Maybe those other methods won’t offer the benefits you want, either, but at least you can try. It’s less risky to try something new than continue using a method you know doesn’t work.
Making Adjustments to Your Homeschooling Method
As your children grow, you will probably find that they develop new interests that will influence the teaching method you use. Some of them might even get so interested in certain subjects that they learn much more than you already know. Encourage them to explore these passions. You want them to learn as much as possible, so try to avoid anything that might limit their educations.
At times, you may find that your children want to explore new methods of learning. This often happens when children grow to become young adults. As they learn more, they simply want to expand their horizons and meet new people who can introduce them to advanced subject matter.
This may put your in a difficult situation. No matter what your reasons are for homeschooling your kids, you made that choice because you thought it was right for them. Making any change to that arrangement can feel like a threat to your family’s stability. In most cases, children will find appropriate learning venues that you will not find objectionable. Perhaps they want to take a college class one semester or they want to join an organization that introduces them to influential people in your area. Make sure you investigate these opportunities to make sure you are comfortable with them.
Although most of these opportunities are not objectionable, you may discover that some of them do not match your values or beliefs. If this happens, it is often best to discuss the issue with your children. They may not know that the learning option involves something that does against your family’s beliefs. They could also be so excited about the opportunity that they simply overlook its questionable aspects. Having a conversation will often lead to an understanding. Ultimately, you have the final say. It’s still good parenting to explain why you have made your decision. If nothing else, it could teach your children how to evaluate the world in a critical way.
Homeschooling certainly is not easy. Finding the right approach, however, will give you a guide. As long as you make an informed decision, it will probably be the right one for your family.