A Guide to different homeschooling styles
One of the hardest concepts of homeschooling is choosing the right style for your family.
If you’re just starting to homeschool and you are looking to find a method that is simple, fun and unique for your family, keep reading.
Below are 7 different Homeschooling styles that you can choose from.
Classical aka The Socratic Method
This method is based on teaching children according to their cognitive developmental stages: concrete, analytical and abstract.
Parallel to cognitive development stages are the Socratic stages of learning: Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric aka The Trivium.
Grammar (think Grammar school) is children learning very concrete concepts: reading, math, science, history etc. These are the foundations of education.
Logic or Dialectic Stage (think Middle School) is when children are determining the why behind the concrete information learned. This consists of logical discussions, debating, and introducing the scientific method.
Rhetoric or Abstract (think High School) is when children take the concrete information learned and combine it the logical questions to come up with their own conclusions.
This method of homeschool is the most popular for parents who went to public/private school because it replicates that same structure.
Children typically have textbook and workbook for each subject, in which they learn the information and then take a test.
Traditional homeschooling is very similar to the public school education style, in which a child advances to the next grade based on the completion of their current grade education.
Unit Studies or “Thematic”
This method is taking the core subjects and teaching them surrounding one topic or theme. Children better retain information this way because they are immersed in one topic for such a long time.
Ex: theme is Aquatic Animals
Reading a book about Whales (Reading)
Mapping whale habitats (Geography)
Documenting whales’ lifespans (writing)
Calculating the distance a whale can swim before needed to breathe (Math)
Whale watching in Hawaii (Science)
Ok, maybe not that last one unless you can afford it lol.
But can you see why this method is so intriguing to children? This is how they naturally learn, one day they are all about Whales for months on end and then it switches to Astronauts.
No matter your child’s interest, you can create learning projects to compliment it.
**Bonus** if you have children of various ages, the family can choose one theme and every child can have their own “activity” surrounding that one theme. It makes it much easier than juggling different topics. Plus, the older children can teach the younger ones.
The Montessori Method is based on observing and supporting the natural development of children. The parent provides the curriculum based on the child’s interest.
Children develop creativity, problem solving, critical thinking and time-management skills, care of the environment, and compassion by learning through this method.
The basis of Montessori approach is allowing children the individual choice to research and work uninterrupted.
When children concentrate on something that they enjoy they retain the information better.
Charlotte Mason Method
“Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.”
This is the motto for this method of learning.
Instead of using textbooks to learn, this method highly relies on “living books.” Living books are pieces of literature, journals, poems etc that children use to learn about a subject matter.
It fosters a child’s imagination to understand events and concepts.
Children also create their own books and journals documenting their level of understanding.
This method heavily relies on using the natural environment like the home and mother nature as the classroom.
This method is based upon child led learning without the focus of tests and grades.
It relies on life experience as lessons. This method gives the most versatility for families because it only requires patience and observation to identify lessons as they occur.
Here are some examples of lessons in the grocery store:
“Can you grab something Red?” (2-3 year olds)
“Place 4 yellow apples in the cart” (4-5 year olds)
“Find 3 crowns of broccoli, 4 heads of lettuce and 1 loaf of bread. How many items do we have?” (6-7 year olds)
“Add up the items in your basket.” (8-9 year olds)
This method is also great for those who live in a supportive homeschool state that doesn’t mandate record keeping. Read the article How to start homeschooling today? To find out if your state is highly regulated or not.
Worldschooling is a method of using the world as your classroom, literally.
Instead of being stationary, a family travels and immerse themselves in different cultures and environments to learn. Through traveling, worldschooling allows your children to experience diversity by immersion of culture.
As stated by Mr. Griggs a Black Worldschooling Father,
"We believe the world can be their school. That doesn't mean the kids won't return to traditional school, but for now we use online curriculums and supplements like Time4Learning, Khan Academy, IXL, Splash Math, plus field trips and experiential learning."
(reported by Because of them we can)
No matter if you choose one method or a mix, each one is different and each child may require something different.
Which homeschool method works best for your family?
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