There are a variety of homeschooling methods that you can choose from to educate your kids.
Reading up on the various teaching approaches and philosophies applied by other homeschooling parents can help you get started. The following are just some of the methods employed by most parents who have decided to homeschool their children, and you can choose the one that best suits your family’s lifestyle and schedule and your child’s learning style and interests, as well as your educational goals for him or her. It may take a bit of experimenting and adjusting until you find the one that works best.
Below are just some of the homeschooling methods that you can choose from:
Unschooling or Delight Directed
This approach allows the child to lead instead of the teacher or parent who imposes lessons, although parents stimulate the learning to varying degrees. Parents and teachers play the role of facilitators rather than taskmasters, which is why unschooling is often referred to as a learning philosophy and a lifestyle rather than a teaching method. Unschooling can take on a number of forms, including formal classes, and focuses on a more natural way to learn instead of being tied to a curriculum or schedule.
The classical method of homeschooling involves training the child’s mind in three parts. The ‘Grammar Stage’ happens during the first years of homeschooling; the ‘Logic Stage’ is the focus by the time the child reaches 5th grade; and, the final years concentrate on the ‘Rhetoric Stage’.
This is based on the research and writing of Maria Montessori who believes that parents or teachers should act as “keeper of the environment” and create an atmosphere that encourages children to explore and react with the surroundings. It focuses on the child’s independence and freedom and incorporates real life materials and tools to satisfy the child’s natural curiosity.
This homeschooling method follows no single teaching method or learning philosophy. You can select a variety of tools from diverse approaches that are appropriate for your family or each individual child at any given time. It is a combination of a teacher-directed and child-led and structured and natural learning.
The unit study approach focuses on learning around a central theme and incorporates various areas of study, such as history, language, arts, science, geography, and a chunk of time (anywhere from a few weeks to a few months). Unit study can be very experiential and students can help choose the activities to include such as visiting museums, reading books, watching documentaries, or conducting experiments. This is also helpful for parents who are homeschooling kids of varying ages as they study similar subjects at their own level.
This method of teaching integrates the study of fine arts and nature to the standard core subjects and is based on the teaching principles of Charlotte Mason. Children are taught as whole persons using a wide selection of “living books”, take nature walks, visit museums and are given time to play, create and become involved in real-life situations from which they can learn. Students display their knowledge through a process called “narration” and discussion instead of taking standard tests to quantify learning.
This method brings the school home with the parent playing the role of the teacher. The traditional school-at-home comes with textbooks, worksheets, schedules, grades and record-keeping and is usually the first method that homeschoolers follow especially when they have no other idea how to approach educating their kids at home. Gradually, as they become more comfortable with the concept of self-directed learning, gain a better understanding of their kids’ learning styles and interests, and discover the need to adapt a more flexible approach to accommodate family life, parents move away from this teaching method.
Online or Distance Learning
There are homeschoolers make use of the power and convenience that the Internet offers, utilizing virtual tutors, virtual schools, and taking online classes.