Various Methods of Homeschooling

Charlotte Mason Method

  • Charlotte Mason was a British educator whose teaching methods included using “living books” (books which written by a person with a passion for the subject, as opposed to a dry and lifeless textbook which is merely a compilation of other people’s thoughts ),
  • narration (especially oral narration for younger children), short lessons, the development of good habits, and the study of art, nature and poetry.
  • One of her mottos was “Education is the science of relations,” and another was “Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.”
    • The atmosphere in this kind of approach is gentle and flexible, yet still the parent guides the learning process.


    • You can check out Ambleside Online to get a sense of what the Charlotte Mason homeschooling method is all about.
    • Though the following are generalizations, this homeschooling method tends to work well for you if you (in no particular order):


      • want to create a learning environment that encourages your child to explore and appreciate the world around him, perhaps not rigidly sticking to a schedule,
      • see a value in evaluating your child’s learning on things other than formal written tests,
      • want to offer a well-rounded education, including enjoying art, nature, music and of course lots of books,
      • don’t mind being very involved in the process of your child’s education – discussing books, giving dictation, listening and encouraging narration, and enjoying poetry, art and music together,
      • have a child who doesn’t mind not having lots of boxes to check off

Classical Method

  • Based on the philosophy of education used in ancient Greece and in Europe during the Middle Ages, this is a rigorous style of education that views education in three phases.

 

  • These stages correspond to the development of a child’s ability to reason, learn and understand.

 

Also known as the Trivium.

The three stages:

 

  • The first stage is when the student learns how to learn and has the ability to memorize many facts.

THE GRAMMAR STAGE

 

  • The second stage is when connections are made of the facts already learned.

THE DIALECTIC STAGE

 

  • The third phase is when the student is able to use the connections of facts and formulate and articulate his own opinions and teach others those facts.

THE RHETORIC STAGE.

 

  • The Socratic method and the Great Books of Western tradition are also key parts of this method.
  • Tapestry of Grace is one Classical method curriculum that is geared for using with a broad range of ages of children.
  • Veritas Press Classical Homeschool Curriculum also offers tutoring services for their Omnibus I and II courses.
  • Though the following are generalizations, this homeschooling method tends to work well for you (at least you’’ll have less stress persevering) if you:
    • like structure,
    • desire to evaluate your child’s learning based on academic standards,
      • believe that developing good study skills fairly early on in your child’s life will benefit him greatly as time goes on,
      • want to concentrate on classics of Western literature as a tool to develop critical thinking,
      • don’’t mind being fairly involved in the process of your child’s education – discussing books, giving dictation, encouraging the reaching of academic goals,
      • have a child who is academically oriented.
    • see the value of an education that places primacy on the written word, both in reading and writing well

Computer Based Method

  • This method can include students receiving their instructions through CDs or DVD or Online classes-through distance learning
  • Switched-On Schoolhouse
  • Here, too, though the following are generalizations, this homeschooling method tends to work well for you if you:
    • want to have your child follow a set scope and sequence,
    • want to have step-by-step accountability for your child,
    • see a value in using modern technology and don’’t have concerns for its over-use,
      • need to find a way to not be involved so much in the day-to-day process of your child’s education, though you would be available to give help and general guidance,
      • have a child who likes being able to work at his own pace and use the computer.
      • Have a lot of children and appreciate that each will receive detailed instruction in each subject of study 🙂

ECLECTIC METHOD

  • Like the name implies, in this method the parent employs a variety of homeschool methods depending on the needs of the child.
  • Rather than stick with a single philosophy or method, parents who choose this method tend to take a bit from many sources.
  • Once again, though the following are generalizations, this homeschooling method tends to work well for you if you:
    • don’t mind spending the time to find the materials that will suit your child’’s unique interests and learning styles,
    • don’t mind not following someone else’s scope and sequence, and thus not mind the possible “gaps” in their learning that might come from jumping around from one curriculum to another,
    • see the value in using various curriculum and homeschool methods because through different methods, your child gets a more full picture of the subject at hand,
    • have a child who likes flexibility in her learning, who does n’ot mind not using the same materials over again.

LITERATURE BASED METHOD

  • Rather than use textbooks, which can be rather dry and uninteresting to many children, literature-based curriculums use “living books” like Charlotte Mason advocated.
  • The Literature-based method actually covers a broad range of home schooling methods, including the Unit Study method, Charlotte Mason method, and other methods.
  • Students read historical fiction, first-person accounts and books written by people with a passion for their subject.
  • Usually a literature-based homeschooling method will work quite well for you (at least you’’ll have less stress in continuing on) if you:
    • want to have your child follow a set scope and sequence,
    • want to have general accountability for your child,
    • see a value in having your child love to read by reading books he or she will love to read,
    • want to be involved in the day-to-day process of your child’s education, through discussion that will draw out what your child is learning and perhaps controversial issues raised through the books.

NOTEBOOK METHOD

  • In this homeschooling method children process what they are learning by creating notebooks of various subjects.
  • An emphasis is on what the children are interested in, collecting information, and documenting their learning.
  • Cindy Rushton’s notebooking materials are now available online as ebooks.

    Usually the notebook method of homeschooling works well for you (at least you’’ll have less stress in continuing on) if you:

    • want your child to have the freedom to follow her own interests,
    • have enough confidence in the process of learning that you don’t mind if not all of your child’s learning can be documented by a written test (see Unschooling),
    • see a value in having your child develop expertise in an interest, and are willing to let other activities take second place, at least for a season,
    • have a child who has interests, hobbies or collections they want to pursue,
    • you want to document their learning by a written record of a notebook,
    • your child is willing to learn to let his creativity out in his learning.

SELF/INDEPENDENT LEARNER METHOD

  • In this homeschooling method, the parent helps the child to learn how to learn,
  • and then the child uses the tools of reading, writing and arithmetic to learn more advanced concepts on his own.
  • The parent is not there to teach, but to help the child through the process of developing confidence that he can learn on his own.
  • You can read more about this in the Robinson Curriculum’s FAQs about their Self-Teaching Method.

    Self-learning home schooling may work well for you over the long haul if you:

  •  
    • want your child to develop the ability to learn on his own,
    • would rather have your child develop good learning strategies and time management on his own than be accountable to someone outside of the family (such as in an Umbrella School).
    • see a value in having your child develop good study skills apart from your involvement,
    • are willing to work with a younger child enough until he is able to take on more and more work independently.

TRADITIONAL  TEXT BOOK METHOD

  • This homeschooling method bases its model on the traditional idea of a classroom school, with workbooks and textbooks.
  • Learning is usually laid out in a clear scope and sequence to maximize continuity and minimize the potential for major gaps in what the students are learning.
  • One popular textbook-based curriculum is AOP’s Award Winning Homeschool Resources! and others are A Beka, and Bob Jones.
  • Usually the textbook homeschooling method works well for you if you:
    • want your child to be studying material in a similar scope and sequence as other public or private schools,
    • value the style of a classroom school and want your child to experience that at home,
    • want your child to be able to do well and learn through fill-in-the-blanks and quizzes,
    • have definite ideas about what content you want your child to learn, and it matches well with the textbook you have chosen.

UMBRELLA ORGANIZATION METHOD

  • In this homeschooling method, the umbrella organization takes on the oversight of the student’s learning, giving guidance, evaluating, and accountability.
  • Umbrella programs can be very helpful if you want help in choosing curriculum, keeping track of records, or you want outside accountability for your child.
  • Calvert and Christian Liberty Academy (CLASS) are two popular programs that offer such services, though A Beka and many other homeschool curriculum providers also offer this service. Online homeschooling can be similar to umbrella programs, though you might choose to do only one or two courses online (such as writing).
  • Umbrella programs or online homeschooling can be a very good option of the homeschooling method if you:
    • want your child to have outside accountability,
    • don’t have confidence in your ability to plan, correct or document your child’s learning,
    • don’t mind other people choosing the curriculum your child will use,
    • don’t mind giving up a bit of flexibility
    • want to spend less time planning your homeschool and gathering resources, and more time enjoying being with your child.

UNIT STUDY METHOD

  • Unit studies focus learning around a central hub, and incorporate different areas of academic study (for instance, history, language arts and perhaps science) like spokes around a wheel.
  • In this way, the student is able to make connections between these different subjects and learn the material well.
  • It also helps the teacher not have to prepare as many distinct lessons.
  • Some unit studies, such as Tapestry of Grace and KONOS are arranged such that different ages of students can study the same material at different levels, thereby minimizing the teacher’s planning.
  • Students may also remember information better than in some methods, thereby minimizing how much reviewing you have to do.
  • Unit studies for homeschooling may work well for you if you:
    • want your children of different ages all studying similar subjects at their own level,
    • have enough time to interact with your children about the materials they are studying and how they relate,
      • see a value in taking the time to do hands-on-projects and group learning around a central theme,
      • or your child not following a traditional scope and sequence.

UNSCHOOLING METHOD

  • In the unschooling approach the parent offers support, resources and encouragement, and the child leads the way in learning.
  • In this homeschool method, the belief is that the child will learn best if he is interested and self-motivated.
  • Because the student sets the pace for learning, he may learn things at a later date than the traditional scope and sequence would suggest.
  • However, when a child is ready to learn and motivated, he may very very well be able to catch up and move quickly beyond others his age, and all in all, the whole learning process will be more enjoyable than if force-fed.
  • Unschooling can be similar to the Notebooking Homeschooling Method in many ways, though you don’t have to do notebooks to do Unschooling. This may be an excellent choice of homeschooling methods if you:
    • don’t mind not having a set scope and sequence and structure to your child’s learning,
    • want your child to have the freedom to follow her own interests,
    • have enough confidence in the process of learning that you don’’t mind if not all of your child’’s learning can be documented by a written test,
    • see a value in having your child develop expertise in an interest, and are willing to let other activities take second place, at least for a season,
    • have a child who has interests, hobbies or collections they want to pursue.

Co-ops, Academies, Online Classes

Co-ops

In a general homeschool co-op, single families share their academic goals, morals, religious beliefs and social behaviors.

The children learn similar belief and social structures from observation and interaction with the different members of the co-op.

In one type of homeschool co-op, one parent handles a group of students for a lesson or group of lessons.

In this format, another parent may provide academic assistance for the students, but most students are left on site by a parent who returns later to pick the student up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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