77005460Those who have homeschooled their children for a number of years often take bits and pieces from several programs in order to create one that works well for their particular family. Below are some of the most common homeschooling programs.

Relaxed / Eclectic Homeschooling

The “relaxed” or “eclectic” approach to homeschooling combines formal learning and independent study. The children generally use workbooks and programs in order to learn math, reading and spelling, generally in the morning hours. The afternoons are spent pursuing more specialized learning objectives, like hobbies and interactive science projects.

The School-at-Home Approach

For this approach, children perform schoolwork by following a preset structure through boxed curriculum. The children have regular school hours at home, and they often deliver completed materials back to a curriculum provider for grading. This type of approach has a relatively high burnout rate, however.

Unschooling

This type of schooling is also known as natural, child-led and interest-led learning. Children under this approach are free to explore their own interests. Instead of having a separation between “school” and “life,” parents who use this approach see the two as intertwined. Unschooled children don’t take state-mandated tests, and they often meet with other homeschool children in order to learn through private lessons.

Classical

This approach follows the “five tools of learning,” which are reason, record, research, relate and rhetoric. The classical approach has been around since the Middle Ages and has a strict daily routine. The focus of this approach is on reading, history, recitation and critical thinking.

Charlotte Mason

The Charlotte Mason approach follows the belief that children should be respected as people instead of treated as empty vessels waiting to be filled. Children who are homeschooled using this method have a focus on creation and collaboration instead of on reciting facts. There is a strong emphasis on nature and taking field trips to explore art history and geography, among other disciplines.

Waldorf

The Waldorf method focuses on educating the child through body, mind and spirit. The Waldorf method emphasizes nature, arts and crafts, and movement and music. No formal textbooks are used, and the children instead create their own books. Electronics are discouraged, and free play is emphasized.

Montessori

This approach emphasizes the need for children to learn at their own pace. Wood is preferred over plastic, and electronics are discouraged. Homes are set up with different learning areas, such as a math area and a language area. Children are encouraged to manage their own time and learn things thoroughly before moving onto something new.

Multiple Intelligences

In this learning approach, parents become aware of their children’s strengths and adapt the teaching accordingly. For example, children’s learning can be tailored toward visual, auditory or kinetic. Each discipline is taught in a way that best suits the child’s preferred learning method. In this way, nothing is treated as better or worse, but only as how it benefits the individual child.

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