Summer School for Mom: Tour the Homeschool Methods

Some of us may find a method of homeschooling that really speaks to us. Perhaps we give it a trial run, before finding out that it will need some tweaking to fit. Or perhaps we hear of a completely different way of doing things that we’d like to try. In the end, many of us find that our method of educating our children changes and morphs as our children grow and as we grow. And very, very few of us end up using one particular method exactly as presented.

So instead of starting out by tying yourself dogmatically to that ONE way, use that one way as your template, and add or subtract ideas as you grow, as your children grow, and as you come across many other ideas that will work great for your family.

Here, then, is a quick tour of the more recognized homeschooling methods, and ideas that can be pulled from each to form your own educational approach:

The Traditional Approach

We’ll probably all use traditional materials. But when it comes to tutoring our children, we can use those traditional materials in nontraditional ways, following our own road map as it fits the pace of our children, and supplementing with natural learning experiences, living books, and notebooking, for example.

The Charlotte Mason Approach

An English educator of the 19th century who took six volumes to explain her philosophies of education — and even at that did not consider herself to have “arrived.” There are many great ideas contained in those volumes that can be pulled out and applied within any educational framework — ideas such as the use of living books, narration, nature studies, and respecting the individuality of a child.

The Classical Approach

Classical education’s popularity among homeschool families began with The Well-Trained Mind, Dorothy Sayers, and an educational plan all laid out that included Latin. Although there are various schools of thought regarding what constitutes a classical education, all agree that it must seek to educate the whole person.

The Delight-Directed Approach

Drawing on the motivation that comes from within, the parent using a delight-directed approach seeks to mentor, guide, and support a child’s interest through to its natural conclusion, allowing a child to practice his skills on a subject of his choice. Key features include exploration, creativity, and growing into one’s life’s work.

The Principle Approach

Not the curriculum, the approach — developed by many educators pulling on the works of Verna M. Hall and Rosalie J. Slater’s big Red Books, before FACE trademarked the name. Ideas that any educator can use include notebooking and researching.

The Unit Study Approach

The interrelatedness of the disciplines is maintained where appropriate, allowing an entire family to study together. Units can also be applied to a child’s interests, encouraging investigation and research. Skills, as they are being systematically developed, can be practiced on the topic at hand.

Further Reading
Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum

102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum by Cathy Duffy
An “Approaches to Learning” questionnaire helps us zero in on our preferred methods of education. Read our entire review.

Searching for the Right Homeschooling Approach
Tips for exploring and tweaking to find a great fit!

Why We Don’t Have to Stick to One Method
Are you trying to follow an expert … or meet your child’s needs?

Enjoy the entire series:
Summer School for Mom
Summer School for Mom Series

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