Popular Home Schooling Programs
There are many homeschooling programs parents can choose to pattern their methods after. Home
schooling may make you think of children sitting at a table and writing feverishly in their workbooks, with Mom or
Dad overseeing the process. However, that is only one of the more traditional methods. Your personal belief system,
teaching style, and the child's learning style should determine which of the many methods you use in your home.
Below are a few of the types and methods of homeschooling. If one of them grabs your attention you can check for
more detail on other pages of our site, or research them online.
The "classical" approach has been utilized by some of the greatest minds in history. The purpose in the
classical method is to teach people how to learn for themselves. It uses five tools/stages of learning: reason,
record, research, relate, and rhetoric. Younger children begin with the reasoning stage, where they learn basic
reading, writing, and arithmetic. The recording stage is next, which emphasizes grammar, compositions and so forth.
Then comes the research stage, where serious reading, study, and other types of research take place. All the tools
come together in the rhetoric stage, where communication is the primary focus. Popular books on the classical
approach include The Well-Trained Mind: A guide to Classical Education at Home by Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer
and Recovering the Lost tools of Learning by Douglas Wilson.
DVD, Internet and Video Homeschooling
By accessing virtual tutors, virtual schools, online curriculum, and quality websites you are combining various
types of homeschooling programs. You don't ever have to be stuck without the advice or resources needed to
homeschool your child when you have access to the internet and other recorded learning. There is a wealth of
cutting-edge online curriculum, distance learning schools, homeschool support academies and more. This approach can
be used with all different styles of homeschooling. You can use these methods to help your child learn Science,
Physics, American History, World History, Religion, Preschool skills, Music, Art or anything you desire to
Waldorf Education Method
Another of the homeschooling programs, Waldorf education, can seem a bit complicated at first. It is based on
the spiritual-scientific research of the Austrian scientist and thinker Rudolf Steiner and can be read about in
greater detail online or at the library. In a nutshell, according to Waldorfs philosophy, man is a threefold being
of spirit, soul and body whose capacities unfold in three developmental stages.
Eclectic (or Relaxed) Home Schooling
Webster's Dictionary says, eclectic means "Made up of or combining elements from a
variety of sources." So this means that an eclectic homeschool family is one that looks at the different approaches
and methods of homeschooling and takes from each to form their own unique philosophy. The child's gifts,
temperament, learning style and interests dictate the curriculum, often using a mixture of various home schooling
techniques. The eclectic approach can also include developing moral character. Eclectic homeschoolers may choose
the approach of the relaxed homeschooler, allowing the child to learn at their own pace at first and then to speed
up as the child gets older, all the while participating in the computer age, selecting some quality software that
is fun and educational.
Charlotte Mason Method
Charlotte Mason, an innovative educator, believed schooling could be a peaceful, rewarding educational
experience. She was known as one of the founders of the home schooling movement. A home schooler herself, she was
passionate in her zeal to lay out the foundations for an effective a complete home schooling program that is fun
and educational at the same time.
This homeschooling program focuses on all the core subjects with emphasis placed on classical literature, poetry,
fine arts, classical music and craft. Mason used a variety of books from classical literature, which she
called 'Living Books'. This method encourages a passionate awareness of literature, which she believed should begin
at the age of six. 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 believed that development of good character and behavior was essential to the
complete development of the child's personality.
Unit Studies Homeschooling
Unit studies takes a child’s interest and ties that interest into all subject areas (math, reading, spelling,
science, history, etc). For example, if you have a child who is interested in ancient Israel, you would learn the
history of Israel, read books about Israel, write stories about Israel, do art projects about the temple in
Jerusalem, and learn about their artifacts, etc.
Unit studies are already prepared and available on popular topics like patience, trust, and obedience and many
more. The advantage of this homeschooling method is that it recognizes the fact that people learn best when they
are interested in the topic. If you choose this method be careful not to make a unit study out of everything and
thus scare your child off from new interests they might have.
A Boston public educator name John Holt laid the beginnings of the unschooling method. He believed that children learned best when they are
free to learn at their own pace and when they are guided by their own interests. His message was to 'unschool' the
child. This method is a hands-on approach to learning, where the parent takes definite cues from the
children. (See our page on the Unschooling Method.)
These are some of the homeschooling programs available. Whatever method you choose, one of the most important
issues is flexibility and a keen interest in the needs and desires of the child. Our goal as parents should be to
use the child's desire for knowledge to further his education and love of learning.