Being a homeschooler allows for so much flexibility! There are so many curriculum choices and resources available. We can adapt our teaching styles to meet the needs of our children as well as our own needs as homeschoolers. And just as there are a variety of curriculum resources to choose from, there are also a variety of methods and styles for homeschoolers.
What Are the Different Types of Teaching Methods and Styles?
In preparation for writing this article, I did a quick search on the Internet to find out how many homeschooling methods are listed. There were a total of ten listed in my initial search, including Charlotte Mason, Waldorf education, lapbooking, unschooling, Montessori, and some that seemed to combine methods. I would add to that list the following: school-at-home (some may call this traditional), eclectic, classical, roadschooling, gameschooling, and unit studies. When there are so many different methods and styles, what kind of homeschooler am I? I find myself choosing from a variety of them, making me an eclectic homeschooler.
Homeschoolers Pick the Best for Themselves
Don’t be afraid to choose what works for your family. Don’t fall into the comparison trap. Perhaps you have seen photographs of beautiful homeschool rooms set up based upon the Montessori method. Or you have read about children memorizing large passages of Scripture and learning Latin at a young age, which would be part of a classical education. While those things may be lovely and wonderful for some families, they may not work for your family.
Being a homeschooler today means there is a plethora of information and resources at our fingertips. You can find many companies that produce learning material based on different homeschooling methods. For example, My Father’s World takes a Charlotte Mason approach, while Memoria Press is classical education. So it becomes very important to discover what type of homeschooling method you wish to use for your family.
Questions to Ask Yourself as Homeschooler
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine provides a quiz to find your homeschooling style in the Homeschool Business & Entrepreneur Directory 2011. Along with the quiz, there are many articles to help you discover more about each style. Read more about classical education, unit studies, the traditional approach to homeschooling, unschooling, eclectic homeschooling, Charlotte Mason, relaxed homeschooling, homeschooling children with special needs, and more!
If you don’t want to take the easy quiz, here are some questions you can ask yourself to get started on figuring out how you want or need to homeschool.
1. Is my child active during homeschool lessons? Does my child need to move during lessons?
2. Does my child like hands-on learning?
3 Does my child prefer to complete work with me or independently?
4. How well does my child follow directions?
5. Does he enjoy reading?
6. Does she like to learn through music?
7. Are my children very interested in nature?
8. Do they enjoy drawing?
9. How much technology do I want to include in their lessons?
So What Kind of Homeschooler Am I?
We take an eclectic approach in our homeschool. Over the past several years we have had the pleasure of using a variety of homeschooling resources in our home and found many different styles that work well for our children.
This teacher-turned-homeschooler enjoys a traditional approach, but I also love all the hands-on learning that we can include in our daily lessons. And those hands-on lessons are where my daughter thrives and grows. She loves science experiments and geography assignments that allow her to physically build maps.
I also bring in a classical approach with resources from Memoria Press because our son enjoys learning Latin and thrives with courses that require reading. He is an avid reader, so any assignment where he can sit back and pick up a good book is a winner for him.
In addition to hands-on learning and taking a classical approach, I am also heavily influenced by Charlotte Mason. We love living books and include several read-alouds in each of our units. For example, while studying about the American Civil War, I included a biography of Abraham Lincoln so our children could learn more about the sixteenth U.S. president.
What Kind of Homeschooler Are You?
We would love to know how you homeschool! Do you use morning baskets or approach teaching history with literature? Or something else? Share in the comments what methods or styles you use as a homeschooler.
This article has been written by Kristen Heider. She is the Business Building Team Manager of The Old Schoolhouse® and the Social Media Manager of HomeschoolingFinds.com. She shares more about her family’s homeschooling journey at A Mom’s Quest Teach.