Choosing a Homeschool Method
There are several different methods for homeschooling. Most likely you already have a homeschool method in mind.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself when choosing a homeschool method:
- How do I want my homeschool to look?
- What are my goals for my homeschool?
- Do I have a parenting style? (relaxed, need for structure, etc)
- What is my child’s learning style? (Take a learning style quiz if you haven’t already)
These will all play important factors in choosing your homeschool method.
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The traditional homeschooling method is something that most newbie homeschoolers drift towards. Why?? Because it is familiar. For those of us who went to public school, traditional homeschooling feels comfortable because it is reflective of public school. When I first started homeschooling, I was determined to make my homeschool just like school at home. So, we started off using a traditional method. We later moved into Unit Studies then onto Charlotte Mason. So, sometimes your ideal homeschooling method will gradually evolve over time… and that’s ok. Start wherever you feel most comfortable.
Characteristics of the Traditional Method
- Traditional grade keeping
- Textbooks will most likely be geared toward class use.
- Lesson plans are usually completely done for the parent.
- Planning and prep needed for lessons.
- A lot of practice in each subject
- Traditional testing.
- Teachers manuals with grading keys
- May consist of online learning such as Monarch.
Curriculum Examples for the Traditional Homeschool Method
- BJU (Bob Jones University)
- Alpha and Omega
- Rod and Staff Arithmetic (set up for classroom use, but adaptable for homeschool)
Explore the Traditional Method further:
The classical homeschool method is based on the trivium. The Grammar stage, the Logic stage, and the Rhetoric stage. Read more about Classical education here.
Classical Method Characteristics
- Living books
- Memorization of poems, psalms, etc.
- Teaching using the trivium
- Emphasis on Latin
- Learning vocabulary and roots in early years.
- Copywork and Narration
Curriculum Examples for the Classical Method
- Story of the World
- Classical Conversations
- First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind
- A few more ideas here: Classical Curriculum
More Information on Classical Education
Charlotte Mason homeschooling is a method based on the educational philosophies of Charlotte Mason herself. This form of homeschooling is more relaxed than the Traditional method, but it is not lacking in structure. You can read a full description of Charlotte Mason Homeschooling here: What is the Charlotte Mason Method?
Characteristics of the Charlotte Mason Method
- Living books instead of textbooks and workbooks.
- Large variety of subjects for children
- Short and to the point lessons.
- Habit training
- Nature Studies
- Structured learning
- Outdoor life
- Copywork and Narration (Further Explanation)
Charlotte Mason Curriculum Examples
- Ambleside Online
- Living Books Curriculum
- Simply Charlotte Mason
- For More Curriculum suggestions read: 11 Complete Charlotte Mason Curriculums
More on Charlotte Mason:
There are a lot of people who believe that the Charlotte Mason homeschool method is like unschooling. However… these two are quite different. Unschooling is school without a formal structure. It focuses on child-led learning, and driven by their interests.
Characteristics of Unschooling
- No formal curriculum
- Child led learning
- Learning through daily life
- No set schedule or grading systems
- No curriculum is used in Unschooling.
Explore more on Unschooling:
If you are interested in learning more about Unschooling, I have linked a few helpful articles and Resources that can get you started!
The Unit Study Method is learning through grouping your studies together across a theme. For example, you may choose a unit theme on the Titanic. Then your history, science, reading, art, and etc would have a connection to the Titanic.
Unit Study Characteristics
- Use of literature and/or living books
- Works for teach multiple age groups
- One topic carries over into multiple subjects
Curriculum for the Unit Study Method
Exploring the Unit Study Method:
Unit Studies (This is a great resource! There is a lot of information here on Unit Studies)
The relaxed/eclectic method is usually a mixture of all the methods. If you are not 100% set on which method to choose, or each method has something you want to incorporate in your homeschool, this is the way to go.
Characteristics of a Relaxed/Eclectic Homeschool
- No one set method for homeschooling.
- Combination of all or a few of the methods.
- Laid back schedule
- Using whatever fits the need of your children.
- Good for first time homeschoolers!
Examples of Curriculum for Eclectic/Relaxed Homeschoolers
- Anything. This method is all about choosing whatever works best! Whether it be traditional textbooks for Math and Language Arts, Charlotte Mason for Science, and Classical for everything else. Or a choice to use textbooks for a few subjects and unschooling for the rest.
Further Explanation of Relaxed/Eclectic Homeschooling Methods