What Kind of Homeschooler Are You?
Did you know that adopting an education philosophy increases your chances of homeschool success? That’s because when you adopt a philosophy that’s tied to your homeschool vision, it empowers you with a plan of action. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular education philosophies used by modern homeschoolers.
I must note that most homeschooling methods have education philosophies that overlap. However, something about each one sets it apart and may resonate with you more than the others. Don’t worry about being placed into a box. You don’t have to follow these philosophies verbatim. Instead, use the one that resonates with you most as a foundation from which you will eventually form a unique homeschooling style that works best for your family.
Worldschoolers believe children receive the best education by experiencing and interacting with the world around them. A typical homeschool day involves traveling together and using that experience to enhance their children’s education.
Unschoolers promote organic, child-led learning without the structure of traditional education. A typical homeschool day involves self-directed learning where a child works at their own pace in a setting that fosters their natural curiosity.
Roadschoolers take their learning on the road to create opportunities for hands-on, experiential learning. A typical homeschool day involves integrating landmarks and attractions into their curriculum to help children make real-world connections to what they’re learning.
The Montessori method is a child-centered approach, typically used in early education, that aims to nurture a child’s natural desire to learn. A typical homeschool day involves children working at their own pace and choosing their own activities in a carefully designed environment to foster organic learning.
5. Charlotte Mason
The Charlotte Mason method is based on the philosophy that education is three-pronged: An atmosphere, a discipline, and a life. A typical homeschool day involves short lessons, learning through narration and living books, and spending as much time as possible outdoors playing and exploring.
6. Traditional Homeschooler
This homeschooling approach is also known as “school at home” and uses similar methods as public and private schools. A typical homeschool day involves a lectured teaching style and learning primarily in a schoolroom with textbooks, desks, and a whiteboard. Many new homeschoolers find themselves using this method until they gain the confidence in their home education journey to adopt a method that works better for their family.
7. Classical Education
Classical education is a language and literature-focused approach that teaches children to think for themselves using three main stages of learning: concrete learning (the grammar stage), critical learning (the logic stage), and abstract learning (the rhetoric stage). A typical homeschool day involves a heavy focus on reading, writing, and communication.
8. Waldorf Method
The Waldorf method groups education in three stages. One, early childhood education focusing on creative play. Two, elementary education introducing academic instruction. Lastly three, secondary education focusing on critical thinking and character development. A typical homeschool day involves no grading or textbooks during the elementary years but rather creative expression, gardening, and an integration of the natural world.
9. Unit Studies
Unit studies allow a child to study a specific interest from different angles across all subjects. The method enables children to delve deeply into a given topic to gain mastery of it. A typical homeschool day involves multisensory learning with organized activities according to the thematic idea. Unit studies are often used in large families to teach multiples age levels at once.
10. Whole Child Learning
Whole Child Learning fosters the cognitive, social, emotional, physical, creative, and spiritual side of a child, rather than narrowly focusing on academics. A typical homeschool day involves intentional planning to meet all of a child’s developmental needs. Therefore, each day will look different. One day may focus on core subjects, while others may focus strictly on social development and emotional management.
11. Eclectic Homeschooling
Eclectic homeschooling borrows philosophies from different education methods to take a more personalized approach to home learning. A typical homeschool day will vary with this method. One day may mirror a Charlotte Mason approach, while another day may mirror an unschooling approach. With eclectic homeschooling, families have the freedom to experiment with which method works best for their children.