Different Homeschooling Methods and how to choose

"How or where do I choose my curriculum?" That is probably the most asked question of veteran homeschoolers. The amount of information, teaching aids and various forms of curriculum available to homeschoolers can be overwhelming at first. The good news is it can be simplified to a point. Most of these materials can be categorized into one of the main homschooling methods. Choose the method that best fits your family and the curriculum choice becomes a lot easier. Keep in mind that many homeschoolers start out with one method and move to another. So it is not uncommon to decide you are going to teach one way, only to discover that your child learns better with a different approach. Sometimes a combination of these methods work best, since not one single method fits every family.

Most Common Homeschooling Methods

Traditional- follows along with the standard scope and sequence like a traditional classroom school. This is a "public school classroom at home" style of education; works well if you want your child to experience a public school style education and setting at home, uses fill in the blank and quizzes to evaluate your child's learning. Common Traditional curriculum: Alpha Omeda Publishing, Bob Jones and A Beka, Switched On School House.

Classical- follows natural stages of mental development; based on the philosophy of education used in ancient Greece and Europe during the Middle Ages. This is a rigorous style of education; works well if you (and your child) like structure, have a child academically oriented, want to evaluate your child's learning based on academic standards. Common Classical curriculum: Veritas Press, Tapestry of Grace, Classical Conversations (contact Pam Lucas or Pristine Hester for more info on the local group)

Unit Study- most if not all subjects are covered while studying one topic at a time. This is typically a child led style of education; works well if you want all of your children of different ages studying the same topic on their own level, if you want to give your child the choice or topic to study. Common Unit Study curriculum: KONOS, some Tapestry of Grace, Amanda Bennet studies, Learning Adventures, My Father's World.

Charlotte Mason-  based on using "living books" and the study of art, nature, literature and poetry. This a more laid back style of education; works well if you want to create an environment that allows your child to explore and appreciate the world around them, see value in evaluating your child's learning through more than just a written test.  Common Charlotte Mason curriculum: Ambleside Online, Sonlight

Learning Lifestyle or Eclectic- developed around a families educational pursuits; parent uses a variety of homeschooling methods depending on the needs of the child. Parents pull from many resources.

How to Choose

Like all things in this world there are pros and cons to the above mentioned methods. You need to decide on a few main factors to help narrow down which method would be best for you. 

  • What is your view on education? 
  • How involved do you want to be in the day to day education and activities?
  • What do you want your child to learn?
  • How to you want to evaluate your child's learning? 
Each method handles these questions differently. How you answer them will help you decide which method is best for your homeschool. If you have more questions or would like to see some of these methods at work you can contact us here. We will be glad to help!