Methods and Philosophies for Home Schooling

Homeschooling is now a popular form of education for parents and children; it provides more freedom, flexibility, and better outcomes when you select the right education methods. When it comes to homeschooling, there are many options to support education in the best way possible. 

 

This article outlines ten of the most common philosophies and methods for homeschooling. They range from the classical method that uses classical text in a very conventional way to the modular approaches of Unit Studies, and the free-form methods of unschooling, among others.  

The Classical Method

If you want your home-schooled kids to operate as little geniuses in the world, then consider the classical method for their home education. One of the great benefits of homeschooling your kids is that you have more autonomy over the curriculum, and you can tailor it in particular ways. 

 

The classical method uses classical texts such as the Bible and classical texts from Greece and Rome. Using these classical texts, students are taught about the foundations of society and culture and learn classical languages such as Greek and Latin, which supports future learning.  

 

Unlike other homeschooling methods, the classical method is taught in chronological order so that one subject leads logically to the next. Discussions and debates are also used to improve comprehension and develop critical skills like reading, listening, analyzing, debating, and more.     

The Charlotte Mason Method 

The Charlotte Mason Method originates with the writing of pioneer homeschooler Charlotte Mason in the 19th century. It’s a Christian approach that uses short study periods and practical approaches such as nature walks, journaling, history portfolios, and learning through observation. 

 

This method values short study periods optimized for the age of homeschoolers; for instance, elementary students will study for between 15-20 minutes, which rises to 45 minutes for high schoolers. These short study periods help students to concentrate better and learn more. 

 

In addition to studying classics, biographies, and “living” books that contain stories with life lessons, students have the chance for self-exploration, communication, and learning through observation. The Charlotte Mason Method is a popular, effective, and budget-friendly method.  

Montessori Method 

The Montessori method originates with Maria Montessori in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Maria Montessori worked with special needs children and developed a method of teaching based on large unstructured time blocks, free movement, and mixed grades to support learning. 

 

The Montessori Method is often left out of homeschooling methods and philosophies as its regarded as a method requiring special environments with furniture and tactile stimulus. However, Maria Montessori has noted in her journals that the method is ideal for home spaces. 

 

The Montessori Method is particularly well suited to learners with special needs because it allows them the freedom to discover their preferred learning style; it is also well suited to learning groups thanks to the mixed learning approach, which helps with natural education.   

Unschooling 

There might be many reasons why you choose to home school your children; it could be for health reasons, to support home working situations, flexibility, or something else; but one of the main reasons people home school is to avoid the conventions of traditional schooling methods. 

 

If this is the case, you might benefit from Unschooling, a homeschooling methods developed by John Holt. This method creates a free-form learning space that’s student-centered and individual. Plans are developed based on a student’s interests, and free learning is encouraged.  

 

The lack of structure might put some parents off when considering homeschooling options, but Unschooling has a host of advantages such as adaptability, passion-driven learning, and multi-dimensional learning, which involves interacting with classic books and other students.  

School at Home 

School-at-home is the opposite of Unschooling. Unlike Unschooling, School-at-home is virtually indistinguishable from the traditional school environment; the only difference is that school-at-home curriculums are administered by parents or school teachers on video calls. 

 

There might be several reasons why you opt for School-at-home for your children. Learners with health conditions that keep them in the home or prevent them from learning in a conventional environement might be better suited to learning the curriculum in a familiar home environment. 

 

Some parents prefer the variety and creativity of Unschooling methods, while others want the structure and standards of a conventional curriculum undertaken in the home. This is the main benefit of school-at-home, which maintains formal standards and parallels the public schools.

Unit Studies 

If you’re looking for an innovative and comprehensive learning approach to home school your kids, then consider the Unit Studies methods. The Unit studies method has more in common with the freeform methods mentioned above than it does with the conventional teaching styles. 

 

In Unit Studies, there is a themed approach to teaching, allowing learners to focus on a single subject from multiple angles. For example, students might study Greece in geography class, Greek Myths in English class, Ancient Greek in language classes, and democracy in politics. 

 

There are several benefits to this modular approach to learning. For one thing, the brain loves to connect information and create strong memory pathways; this method naturally complements the brain in this way, supporting long-term learning. It is a wholesome, student-directed style.    

Literature-Based Curriculum 

Times have changed, and digital education is now an important feature of school education, but it still doesn’t outperform the classical texts studies in a literature-based curriculum approach. A literature-based curriculum is built around a love for classic stories with educational applications. 

 

Reading is not a lost art; in fact, most of us read every day on digital devices. Learning how to read as well as what to read is one of the primary aims of a literature-based curriculum. Here, the focus is on appreciating classical texts with a massage and developing the critical faculties. 

 

A literature-based education can start from a young age; you don’t have to wait until they are school-age before sharing some of the classic stories from the past. To get the most out of this approach, you need to create an educational space for reading and reflecting on the target texts. 

Road Schooling 

Nowadays, lifestyles are changing, and what was once considered an extreme style of living is more common. For instance, ditch a life of conventions and taking your family on the open road is an acceptable lifestyle choice. Still, parents want to ensure their kids have a good education. 

 

Road schooling is an education method that combines world learning with conventional schooling methods. Depending on the curriculum to choose, you can teach your child a few hours a day in the RV, then encourage them to read for pleasure while you hit the road. 

 

If you choose this way of life and education style, you also need the Socratic method to stimulate conversations with your children. The Socratic method encourages us to question our assumptions about the world and helps to develop important critical and analytical approaches. 

World Schooling

Some families like to take to the road and explore the country while educating their youngsters, while others prefer to travel the world. World schooling is an excellent opportunity to combine book learning with immersive learning. Choose a modular approach to get the most out of it. 

 

A unit studies approach coupled with a road schooling method can work well for world schooling. Choose a curriculum that is integrated with the places you intend to visit so that your children can benefit from a whole-brain learning approach. And have lots of fun along the way. 

 

Whether you need to adopt a world learning approach due to career commitments, or you decide on one to create a more multi-cultural mode of life, your children will benefit from broad perspectives and sophisticated views on a range of issues, research handouts for information. 

Eclectic Homeschooling 

Finally, the eclectic homeschooling methods allow educators to benefit from all of the above methods by integrating them into a single curriculum. For instance, you might want to have some days of classical learning and other days focused on the Charlotte Mason methodology. 

 

Eclectic learning is entirely student-focused; it complements students learning styles and patterns by using a mixed-method approach to support their learning. Of course, students might respond better to some parts of the curriculum than others, so you can modify the approach. 

 

The eclectic homeschooling method is a popular approach thanks to its flexibility and availability of resources; it allows educators to modify their approach to learning based on student requirements and learning outcomes. However, it might be oversaturated with options at times. 

Final Thoughts

Times have changed significantly in recent years, and a conventional approach to learning is now in the minority. However, the gap has been filled by an impressive range of homeschooling methods that have been in existence for hundreds of years. These are methods that work. 

 

Once you have decided to homeschool your children, it’s time to decide on a homeschooling method or philosophy. Think about your child’s personality and natural learning styles and choose a method that complements them, but don’t forget to build challenges into the courses. 

 

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