Veteran homeschoolers say that one of their most commonly asked questions is “Where do you get your materials?” For many, choosing curriculum can be overwhelming at first. However, wading through the myriad of supplies available to home educators is not nearly as daunting as it might seem. Most, if not all, teaching resources can be classified into one of several categories of educational philosophy. Once you have settled on an approach that fits your family, you will find that your options narrow considerably.
Eight Common Approaches to Home Education
It’s likely that no single educational method suits the needs of any particular homeschooling family. Many find that a combination of two or more approaches works well for them. And some might discover that what works for a season has to be revised as the home-education program progresses. Family lifestyle, long-term goals, personalities of family members, cost of materials and availability of resources (libraries, museums, etc.) should all be considered when choosing curriculum. It’s important that you use methods that work for you and your children’s learning styles and that you are open to change when necessary.
- Traditional – Systematic: following a standardized scope and sequence
- Classical – Progressive: following natural stages of mental development with rigorous, systematic study
- Unit Study – Integrated: all subjects are covered while studying one topic
- Charlotte Mason – Gentle: balancing “masterly inactivity” and direct teaching
- Learning Lifestyle – Eclectic: a lifestyle developed around a family’s educational pursuits
- Principle Approach – Reflective: evaluating the purpose in God’s universe to develop a Christian worldview
- Unschooling – Unstructured: children learn naturally, following their curiosity and interests
- Delayed Academics – Unhurried: a low-stress approach delaying formal academics until child demonstrates readiness
Over the next several weeks we will explore the eight common approaches to home education, so check back soon for more information and resources!