There is no “right” way to homeschool. But there are many different approaches to homeschooling that have become popular and well known. Here are several popular types of homeschooling that you might want to consider:
The Classical Homeschooling method is largely centered around written language & literature. This method structures learning by building off of the “trivium” – the Grammar Stage, the Logic State, and the Rhetoric Stage of learning. In the Grammar Stage, children build a foundation around their excitement for learning and memorization. Then, around age 11, students start the second stage known as the Logic Stage. During this stage, children shift from learning facts to analytical thinking. Children learn more complex skills and how the facts they learned in the Grammar Stage fit into life logically. Students then advance to the Rhetoric Stage during their high-school years. This stage builds upon the first two stages and encourages students to draw on the facts and logic they have learned in previous years to develop an individual approach to the way they think and learn.
Unschooling is one of the most relaxed forms of homeschooling. Also known as interest-led or child-led homeschooling. Unschooling is more than just a type of homeschooling, it’s a lifestyle. Instead of sticking to textbooks or a formal curriculum, unschooled children have the freedom to let their interests determine their lessons. There is no lesson plan or set schedule, so tasks in daily life become lessons. Play, chores, curiosity, and responsibility are the backbone of the learning process. Because children are able to use their interests to learn and research, they are empowered to become experts in fields they are passionate about. Unschooling is a very individual homeschooling method. There is no “right” or “wrong” approach in the unschooling community.
Homeschool co-ops are a very popular option for homeschooling families. Technically, a co-op is not a form or style of homeschooling, it is a class or an extension of homeschooling itself. Students enroll in classes ahead of time, with an allotment for the number of students allowed. Families meet monthly, weekly, or bi-weekly, depending on the co-op they are participating in. Oftentimes parents are the ones teaching the classes that the co-ops offer. Some co-ops will go as far as to hire tutors or certified teachers to teach classes. Co-ops are a great resource for teaching subjects you’re uncomfortable teaching. Co-ops are also a way for your children to meet and interact with other children outside your family.
The Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling is named for its founder, Charlotte Mason. The bulk of the academics come from living books rather than dry textbooks. A living book is a book that brings a subject to life, usually written in narrative perspective by a person who has a passion for the subject in which they are writing. Along with living books, Charlotte Mason used copy work and dictation to teach reading and writing. This method works well for families who enjoy literature-based learning.
Road Schooling/Car Schooling
Road Schooling is exactly what the title implies. It is working on homeschool lessons while you travel. Road schoolers may be traveling around the United States or from country to country. Using the destination and the road as part of your curriculum is a big part of the appeal to this type of schooling. Students can explore museums, art shows, and parks while soaking up lessons related to these places. This is a great alternative for students who are not motivated by textbooks and worksheets. Many destinations are planned around what educational experiences can be found upon arrival.
Tech schooling is a somewhat of a new concept when it comes to homeschooling. This type of homeschooling switches the curriculum focus from books and text to computers and electronics. STEM is prioritized. Tech schoolers integrate computer based resources and tools such as YouTube, Word, Excel, and more, in their lesson plans, and many assignments require the use of these tools to be completed.
This form of homeschooling is for the tech-savvy family. Online homeschooling is beneficial for students who have developed typing skills and are proficient on the computer. Online homeschool programs incorporate multimedia so that all types of learners can benefit from the program – students engage in a multi-dimensional experience by listening, watching, playing, writing, and solving. Homeschooled kids access online materials from any computer with internet connection.
Online Public School
Online public school is different than other homeschooling options as it is aligned to state standards, and is part of the public school system – it just occurs at home. You do not choose the curriculum or plan lessons. Instead, all books and all materials are provided. As long as your child can access to the internet s/he can participate in online public school. Online public school is free of charge.
I hope this helps you understand the different types of homeschooling!
If you’re considering homeschooling, here are some additional articles that might be of interest: