There are many different ways to homeschool and it is almost impossible to list and describe them all. I am going to cover the basics as the others are combinations or tweakings of the basics. Please also know that I am speaking in generalities here. One of the joys of homeschooling is freedom. The freedom to educate our children in the way they best learn.
- Textbook based or School at Home-This is what most non-homeschoolers envision when they think of homeschooling, though I doubt it is the most popularly used among homeschoolers themselves. These families often get all of their curriculum from 1 supplier like Abeka, Bob Jones or CLASS and work systematically through the books in their “schoolroom” or at the kitchen table. This is often how many homeschoolers start homeschooling, especially if their children had attended a public school previously
- Unit Studies- Families who use Unit Studies work in one topic for several weeks or months but they work across the curriculum on that topic. Of ten families who use Unit Studies have each child in age appropriate math but work in history, reading, writing etc into the topic they are studying. Parents can design their own unit studies or there are many pre-designed studies on the market today. Unit Studies are great for working with multiple children of differing ages.
- Unschooling-Unschooling is also known as interest-led or child-led learning. Unschoolers learn from everyday life experiences and do not use school schedules or formal lessons. Instead, unschooled children follow their interests and learn by experiencing, researching and asking questions.
- Charlotte Mason Method-The Charlotte Mason method has at its core the belief that children learn best from real-life situations. According to Charlotte Mason, children should be given time to play, create, and be involved in real-life situations from which they can learn. Students of the Charlotte Mason method take nature walks, visit art museums, and learn geography, history, and literature from “living books,” books that make these subjects come alive.
- Eclectic-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.
Homeschoolers also use methods like lapbooking, notebooking and other project based ways of learning to supplement the constant use of textbooks and tests. Most children learn best when they experience something. Homeschooling gives families the freedom to get their hands dirty and learn together.
Do you want more information on homeschooling? My friend Cindy Rushton has completed her Ultimate Homeschool Expo 2009 but, since it is a virtual expo, you can attend any time! I love being able to listen to a seminar when it fits in my schedule and I can listen in my pajamas and no one else knows! To check out the Ultimate Homeschool Expo 2009 just click on th link.