There is no “right” way to homeschool. But there are many different approaches to homeschooling that have become popular and well known. Here are several popular types of homeschooling that you might want to consider:
The Classical Homeschooling method is largely centered around written language & literature. This method structures learning by building off of the “trivium” – the Grammar Stage, the Logic State, and the Rhetoric Stage of learning. In the Grammar Stage, children build a foundation around their excitement for learning and memorization. Then, around age 11, students start the second stage known as the Logic Stage. During this stage, children shift from learning facts to analytical thinking. Children learn more complex skills and how the facts they learned in the Grammar Stage fit into life logically. Students then advance to the Rhetoric Stage during their high-school years. This stage builds upon the first two stages and encourages students to draw on the facts and logic they have learned in previous years to develop an individual approach to the way they think and learn.
Resource Suggestions for Classical Homeschooling
- Singapore Math – Singapore Math provides a series of math workbooks for early elementary students. You can use the workbooks to reinforce concepts, enhance understanding, and master math skills.
- Alpha Omega Publications – Alpha Omega Publications is a leading provider of PreK-12 Christian curriculum and educational resources. AOP’s Bible-based curriculum comes in print, computer-based and online formats.
- Wondrous Worksheets – Wondrous Worksheets provides access to more than 800 printable worksheets focusing on a variety of topics. These topics include math, grammar, handwriting, and more.
Unschooling is one of the most relaxed forms of homeschooling. Also known as interest-led or child-led homeschooling, unschooling is more than just a type of homeschooling. Unschooling is a lifestyle. Instead of sticking to textbooks or a formal curriculum, unschooled children have the freedom to let their interests determine their lessons. There is no lesson plan or set schedule, so tasks in daily life become lessons. Play, chores, curiosity, and responsibility are the backbone of the learning process. Because children are able to use their interests to learn and research, they are empowered to become experts in fields they are passionate about. Unschooling is a very individual homeschooling method. There is no “right” or “wrong” approach in the unschooling community.
Resource Suggestions for Unschoolers
- LearnToMod – The game leverages children’s love of Minecraft to teach gamers how to code.
- Magic School Bus Science Club – This is a 12-month subscription to Ms. Frizzle-approved science experiments. Every month, a science kit is delivered to your home for hands-on, science fun.
- Butterfly Garden – This hands-on learning opportunity teaches kids about the life cycle.
Homeschool co-ops are a very popular option for homeschooling families. Technically, a co-op is not a form or style of homeschooling, it is a class or an extension of homeschooling itself. Students enroll in classes ahead of time, with an allotment for the number of students allowed. Families meet monthly, weekly, or bi-weekly, depending on the co-op they are participating in. Oftentimes parents are the ones teaching the classes that the co-ops offer. Some co-ops will go as far as to hire tutors or certified teachers to teach classes. Co-ops are a great resource for teaching subjects you’re uncomfortable teaching. Co-ops are also a way for your children to meet and interact with other children outside your family.
Resource Suggestions for Homeschool Co-Ops
The Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling is named for its founder, Charlotte Mason. She believed “Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life.” The bulk of the academics come from living books rather than dry textbooks. A living book is a book that brings a subject to life, usually written in narrative perspective by a person who has a passion for the subject in which they are writing. Along with living books, Charlotte Mason used copy work and dictation to teach reading and writing. This method works well for families who enjoy literature-based learning.
Resource Suggestions for Charlotte Mason
- Life of Fred Books – These books focus on the fun and page-turning tales of Fred Gauss. During his adventures, Fred encounters everyday math situations that call for solving mathematical problems. The best things about these books? Children actually want to read them.
- Complete Curriculum – Complete Curriculum publishes distinctive K-12 digital texts and provides an engaging web-based instructional interface. Students experience exciting supplemental activities, real-world application exercises, and activities that develop 21st century skill sets.
- Elementary Zoology Curriculum – This curriculum combines the study of both land animals and sea creatures, complete with trips to the zoo and aquarium.
Road Schooling/Car Schooling
Road Schooling is exactly what the title implies. It is working on homeschool lessons while you travel. Road schoolers may be traveling around the United States or from country to country. Using the destination and the road as part of your curriculum is a big part of the appeal to this type of schooling. Students can explore museums, art shows, and parks while soaking up lessons related to these places. This is a great alternative for students who are not motivated by textbooks and worksheets. Many destinations are planned around what educational experiences can be found upon arrival. Being on the road means that there are constantly new people and social groups to come in contact with, which brings the discussion of socialization to an entirely different level. Road schooling is not just a homeschool option, it is a lifestyle option.
Resource Suggestions for Road Schooling
- Complete Curriculum – Complete Curriculum publishes distinctive K-12 digital texts and provides an engaging web-based instructional interface. Students experience supplemental activities, real-world application exercises, and activities that develop 21st century skill sets.
- Lapbooks – Knowledge Box Central offers dozens of lapbooks focusing on many themes, including Little House on the Prairie, Wars Around the World, and the Math & Money Lapbook Bundle.
- Travel Size USA Map Set – Bring geography lessons on the road with Mona MELisa’s, reusable, fabric sticker sets.
Tech schooling is a somewhat of a new concept when it comes to homeschooling. Tech schooling switches the curriculum focus from books and text to computers and electronics. STEM is prioritized. Tech schoolers integrate computer based resources and tools such as YouTube, Word, Excel, and more, in their lesson plans, and many assignments require the use of these tools to be completed.
Resource Suggestions for Tech Schooling
- Math Mammoth – This homeschool math curriculum is designed to break lessons down to be as simple as possible for young learners. Math Mammoth organizes their curriculum by grade level or by subject. Tech schoolers can download the files to a device and complete the assignments using an annotation app.
- Typesy – A program that combines exercises and video — it’s just like being in a room with the world’s best typing instructor.
- FarFaria – Also known as “Netflix for Children’s Books.” Kids can choose from thousands of stories on a mobile device.
- DigiPuppets Toys & Apps – Adorable “connected toys” that help kids engage, role-play and re-enact, bringing playtime off the screen.
- Bluebee Pals – A plush talking educational learning tool that sings educational songs, reads stories and entertains. It can sync with any bluetooth device for extended learning.
This form of homeschooling is for the tech-savvy family. Online homeschooling is beneficial for students who have developed typing skills and are proficient on the computer. Online homeschool programs incorporate multimedia so that all types of learners can benefit from the program – students engage in a multi-dimensional experience by listening, watching, playing, writing, and solving. Homeschooled kids access online materials from any computer with internet connection.
Resource Suggestions for Online Homeschoolers
- Monarch – Hand-pick the perfect combination of courses to match your student’s learning level while enjoying Monarch online curriculum’s automatic grading, media-rich lessons, and other powerful features. You can try Monarch FREE for a full month – just use promo code: MON30EDU.
- American School – American School offers accredited middle and high school courses in online and paper-based formats at an affordable cost. You can choose form full-year and full diploma programs or take individual courses to enrich existing homeschool programs. AP courses, honor courses and world language courses are also available. Visit americanschool.org/educents to learn more.
Online Public School
Online public school is different than other homeschooling options as it is aligned to state standards, and is part of the public school system – it just occurs at home. You do not choose the curriculum or plan lessons. Instead, all books and all materials are provided. As long as your child can access to the internet s/he can participate in online public school. Online public school is free of charge.