For many people, homeschooling may cause them to visualize a stereotype of two or three children quietly sitting at a table and writing diligently in their workbooks, while mom or dad supervises or observes them from across the table.
This perception is not entirely true.
There are different methods of homeschooling, and the methods you choose can be a result of many factors that need to be considered such as the curriculum, your preferred teaching style, the time you have available, the subjects your children are studying, the exams they need to write, the legal requirements of your country, your children’s learning styles, your individual relationships with your children, your geographic location, transport access, sport and social interests. These are some of the elements you would need to factor into your decision making process.
Below are some of the most influential and popular homeschooling methods.
There are more and more homeschooling methodologies that are being developed each year as this form of education becomes more popular.
Here are a few examples:
School at Home
The school-at-home approach offers a similar experience to public or private schools, but within one’s home. Households can construct a designated school space with supplies such as bulletin boards, chalkboards and dry erase boards. This is one of the most organized homeschooling educational styles, involving a timetable that corresponds to standard school hours and holiday breaks. Furthermore, households may opt for an online public school platform to ensure students stay on par with their peers in regards to state testing requirements.
University Model Homeschool
The university model is more structured than your typical homeschooling educational philosophy and more like a hybrid homeschool. Students attend (private) school-style classes 2-3 days per week followed by parental supervision 2-3 days per week depending on school schedule and high school location.
These are schools that specialize in hybrid forms of communication. Tuition costs are higher than traditional homeschooling, but professional educators prepare students well for college and age-appropriate exams. This style also provides extracurricular activities that help students develop emotionally and socially. Class sizes are generally smaller than in public or private schools, so students receive more attention from their teachers. Exemplary college schools may or may not require uniforms.
An advocate of classical education, it believes that education should be based on the traditions of Western culture, with a particular emphasis on how education was understood and taught in Classical antiquity and the Middle Ages. This program is structured around the phases of grammar, logic, and rhetoric (the trivium) and emphasizes classical languages like Greek and Latin in particular.
This method began in Italy, when it was observed that children have acute sensitive periods, during which they undergo periods of intense concentration. Children learn best when they are left to discover on their own.
The Montessori method is based on the idea that learning should be a natural, self-directed process, also known as child-led learning. During such phases, a child will repeat an activity till he gains a measure of self-satisfaction.
Montessori teaches a child as one who is naturally curious about knowledge, capable of initiating learning in a supportive, thoughtfully prepared environment.
The Montessori method depends on a prepared environment to facilitate learning.
All the materials used in this method are designed to satisfy the inner desire for spiritual development of the child.
The curriculum is intended to develop children physically, socially, emotionally, cognitively, and spiritually.
The materials used progress from simple to complex, and are rather expensive.
A method based on Charlotte Mason’s unshakable conviction that children are people too and we must educate these people as a whole, not just as a mind.
Charlotte Mason’s training consists of three parts. In her words, “Education is atmosphere, discipline and life.” “Atmosphere” Charlotte refers to the environment in which children grow up. A child absorbs a lot from the home environment. Mason also advocated the use of ‘Nature Diaries’. After each short and interesting lesson, the child is asked to go to Nature and draw observations from Nature. Thus the child also gains a sense of respect for her environment.
Mason believes that the ideas that govern your life as a parent are one-third of raising your children. “Discipline” Charlotte means discipline of good habits, more specifically habits of character. Developing good habits in your child’s life is one third of parenting. The other third of education, life, is about learning.
Mason believes you should give children living thoughts and ideas, not dry facts.
As such, all of her methods of teaching various subjects are built around this concept.
Students in Charlotte’s class, for example, used live books instead of dry textbooks.
Living books are often written as narratives or short stories by authors who are passionate about a subject. A living book that brings the subject to life. And students were asked to retell or retell in their own language what they read in living books to keep in their memory.
This is a mixture of various homeschooling techniques. Here, the innovative parents trust their own judgment and pick out the topics that make the best curriculum for their child.
Such parents continuously look out for the best products that will meet the needs of their homeschoolers. Most Eclectic homeschooling curriculums are improvised. This means that the basic curriculum is ready-made.
The parents then make changes in the curriculum to accommodate the individual needs and interests of their children.
The child’s gifts, temperament, learning style and interests dictate the curriculum. Eclectic programs include visits to the museum, libraries and factories.
Waldorf’s educational philosophy dates back to the early 1900’s and credits Rudolf Steiner for its beginnings.
The seven core components of the Waldorf educational program include the student-teacher relationship; the artistic approach; working from experience to concept; working from whole to parts; use of rhythm and repetition; and observation as the foundation for assessment.
The Waldorf curriculum is designed to have the three developmental phases of childhood: from birth to approximately 7 years (early childhood), from 7 to 14 years (grades and middle school) and from 14 to 18 years (high school).
Kindergarten education should focus on imaginative play and active, hands-on learning.
Primary education is a time that introduces academic instruction while teaching students to develop their imaginations and regulate their emotions.
Secondary education should focus on critical thinking, empathy and community service.
It’s a fun, inexpensive, and flexible approach that the whole family can participate in. A subject that interests children is used and studied from different angles, thus combining all subjects such as languages, history, science, music, art, etc.
For example, when studying the heart, they focus on biology (physiology), read Romeo and Juliet (English comprehension and literature), find out where the story took place on a map: Verona, Italy (geography), research and study Italian pianists (music) etc. Children keep their notebooks and research portfolios.
Examples of this approach are Konos and Weaver. It should also be noted that the Finnish education system, considered one of the best in the world, is moving away from subjects and towards something similar called Phenomenon-Based Learning (PhenoBL). ).
A Boston public educator named John Holt laid the beginnings of the unschooling method. He believed that children learn best when they are free to learn at their own pace and when they are guided by their own interests.
A program that focuses on the interests of the individual, emphasizing learning outside the traditional classroom setting, is known as natural Learning, experience-based learning or independent learning.
Unschooling homes allow children to pursue their own interests without a set curriculum. The world itself is seen as a classroom, with parents offering a rich selection of resources, such as books and experiences, to encourage their kids’ questions and curiosities.
Those who advocate this form of education trust in the child’s ability to direct their own learning journey. John Holt and Sugata Mitra believed that children are natural learners, so they did not require any study that the child did not want to do. This method is the most unstructured of the various homeschooling techniques.
These are just a few of the methods of homeschooling. Whatever the method, the underlying factor is flexibility and a keen interest in the desires of the child. The secret is to use the child’s desire for knowledge to further his education. Homeschooling should be structured and planned if you or your children have any ambitions to engage in higher learning institutions after graduating from a globally recognized schooling program. It’s important to mention that hybrid homeschooling could involve in person university styled classes and or online tutoring or classes. There are so many options to get your children the education they need. Some homeschooling models will not be suitable for you or your children. The key is to keep trying until you find the right level of customization in a particular homeschooling model. It’s important to stay motivated and enthusiastic because enthusiasm is contagious.
Related article: Key Points to Consider for New Homeschoolers
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