There are a few different types of homeschooling approaches. If you’re not a homeschooler, or are new to it, it can be very confusing. I know when I started looking into this halfway through Austin’s Kindergarten year, I was still searching for answers months later. And I was just looking to see what type of learning and teaching style would best fit us, before I started looking for the actual curriculum or materials that we were going to be using.
What did we end up figuring out? That we are eclectic, we learn based on the seasons, kids interest, their desire to sit and do book work occasionally.
Here are seven homeschooling approaches to get you started as you start your homeschooling journey, or maybe to help you clarity what they you are.
Eclectic or relaxed homeschooling is the method used most often by homeschoolers. Basically, eclectic homeschoolers use a little of this and a little of that, using workbooks for math, reading, and spelling, and taking an unschooling approach for the other subjects.
Unschooling is also known as interest driven, child-led, natural, organic, eclectic, or self-directed learning. Lately, the term “unschooling” has come to be associated with the type of homeschooling that doesn’t use a fixed curriculum.
Charlotte Mason is based on Charlotte’s firm belief that the child is a person and we must educate that whole person, not just his mind. So a Charlotte Mason education is three-pronged: in her words, “Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life.” Learn more here.
Unit studies is approaching a theme topic from several angles, encouraging activity and love of learning. Units work best when the main topic is studied in all areas of education.
Boxed curriculum is just as it sounds, it is the structured approach of a traditional school-in-a-box curriculum. They include teacher’s guides which provide lists of required materials for student lessons, activities, experiments, and more.
Distance Education (School at Home)
Distance Education you enroll in a school and they send you all required resources to teach your child, the books and materials, often you will then send the completed work back for “marking”, and record keeping. This usually isn’t considered actual homeschooling.
Classical homeschooling is an approach that depends on a three-part process of training the mind. The early years of school are spent in absorbing facts, systematically laying the foundations for advanced study. In the middle grades, students learn to think through arguments. In the high school years, they learn to express themselves. You can learn more here.
You just may realize that your homeschool includes a number of different methods of learning based on how your children learn. Next year I’ll have a kindergartner and she seems to love book work, right now that is. We’ll see how long that lasts… and if she continues to love it and learn that way, then GREAT.