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Homeschooling 101 

Homeschooling provides academic flexibility, individualized and efficient teaching methods, community involvement, and a pace catered to your child/children. Read about the 8 main styles of homeschooling below. Find the one(s) that work best for you and your child and we'll put together a collection of resources curated specially for you! Check out our Plans4U!

Homeschooling 101: Resources

The 8 Main Styles of Homeschooling

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One of the more popular methods of homeschooling, the Classical approach incorporates Hebrew concepts from the Old Testament as well as notable, classic literature. Facts and data are learned in elementary school, logical and critical thinking in middle school, and persuasive writing/speaking and self expression in high school. There is a great deal of emphasis on biblical teachings and a biblical worldview. In this teaching method, the subject areas are interwoven into carefully chosen reading plans thereby allowing the student to study subject areas within the context of historical literature. As such, this method is unique in that subjects are taught chronologically, rather than “jumping around” and reserving history as its own subject area, as most conventional and homeschooling methods do. There is encouragement for discussion and debate to ensure thorough comprehension of the topics.

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Charlotte Mason

This Christian based homeschool style works to optimize both time and attention by working in 15-20 minute increments for elementary students and 45 minute increments for high schoolers. Through reading and nature journals, and emphasis on observational analysis and discussion, this method promotes a flexible learning style that easily caters to the pace of each child. As with the Classical method, there is emphasis on classical literature, as well as biographies. Additionally, books with a focus on life lessons and socio-ethical implications are used frequently to provide a basis for learning.

Homeschooling 101: Text


Started by Maria Montessori, an Italian physician and educator, this method encourages free movement and interest-based learning. Concrete understanding of concepts is learned through the use of manipulatives (tools and toys). There is a distinct emphasis on child-centered learning as it is thought that children learn best when they are choosing what to learn. Through the use of sensory-based materials, such as geometric solids, sandpaper letters, and colored bead stairs, children are able to develop fine motor skills, as well as their understanding of traditional topics through play. Children are able to develop their independence, concentration and creative freedom with this self-directed learning style.

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Based primarily on the work of John Holt, this method is a student driven, experiential and free-form learning style. Learning is centered around student interest, life experiences, and activities. It allows parents to be facilitators rather than lecturers.  Unschoolers embrace the idea that learning can happen at any time and place. Through the exploration of the world, natural life experiences, travel, and self-directed learning the students can engage in a meaningful and personal learning journey.

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This method is the most comparable to the traditional learning style taught in public schools. Schooling at home is typically structured around a comprehensive curriculum package arranged by grade level. As such, curricula are generally aligned with federal and state learning standards, including common core.

Check HSLDA for more information on your state's homeschooling legal requirements. These requirements will help you determine the curricula you'll need.

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Unit Studies

This method incorporates multiple subject areas while learning about a specific topic or theme. Incorporating multisensory learning, activities are organized according to the topic or interest. With unit studies the students are able to study the topic at hand from the perspective of each subject area.

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Eclectic Methods

This mix and match method incorporates various resources to create a tailored and deliberate plan for the learners. There is great flexibility and adaptability within the eclectic homeschooling realm as learning styles, seasons of life, and interests are all taken into account. It is through the optimal utilization of resources and observation of the student, that a tailored homeschool experience is created.

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This method was made popular by Rudolf Steiner. It can be described as a holistic liberal arts based education style that encourages the development of creative and analytical thinking through development of the imagination. The goal is to provide an environment that is conducive to and encourages independent exploration and thought within the framework of the 3 major developmental stages: Early childhood for children under 7 years old, elementary learning for children between the ages of 7 and 14, and high school level for 14 and above. Early childhood education: sensory based and encourages the development of self and confidence with practical life skills. It helps to develop imagination through song, stories and play. Elementary education: emphasis is placed on imagination, the arts, and development of independent thinking. Children are charged with the creation of their own coursework and encouraged to move at their own pace. Visual arts, drama and music, both instrumental and vocal are key activities during this time. High school education: development of social responsibility, judgement, and abstract thought are paramount during this time. Academic subjects are more heavily focused on during this time as well.  

Homeschooling 101: Text
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