Knowing which homeschool method aligns best with you as an entrepreneur, and meets your family’s needs will make planning easier in your homeschool. For instance, your homeschool method will help you know what to look for when choosing a curriculum. Although it can be a good point of reference, I want you to know that you don’t have to feel pressured into choosing the same method of homeschooling as your friend or someone you follow on social media chooses. Keep in mind; you will have more success when selecting one or more homeschool methods that fit you, your children, and your ideal lifestyle. There are dozens of homeschool methods. However, most tend to fall into the following categories below.
A traditional homeschool approach mimics what is done in schools. It is also called the school-at-home approach. Traditional homeschooling works best if you only plan to homeschool for a year or two. Simply because this approach can help your child’s transition back into school go smoother. The downside of the school-at-home approach is it doesn’t allow for much flexibility and freedom, especially if you are an enterprising homeschool mom like me. Traditional homeschooling can become restrictive when it comes to what, when, and how your children cover specific topics. This is why homeschoolers don’t remain traditional for the long term. Neither did I.
The Montessori philosophy of homeschooling allows children to learn through play and discovery. It is primarily for younger children and includes learning stations and manipulatives. The children often decide when they do certain activities, which can greatly reduce many power struggles and temper tantrums associated with children easing into a more structured learning environment since they can choose when they will do each activity.
#3 Classical Method
Classical homeschooling is a style of homeschooling that teaches history in order, and all other subjects follow the same timeline. In twelve years, a student would cycle through the timeline three times, each time at a higher challenge level.
#4 Self-Directed Learning
The self-directed learning method is also known as the unschool method. Students take the lead in their education as parents cater to their interests when choosing learning materials. The timeline that children are introduced to concepts may not be aligned with the formal school timeline. However, the child often develops a love for learning, exploration, and advance knowledge and skills in the areas that are meaningful to them.
#5 Unit Based Learning
A homeschool philosophy that uses unit studies may feature a topic that a student will study for several weeks, and all core subjects will be based on that integrated topic.
#6 Charlotte Mason
The Charlotte Mason style of homeschooling emphasizes what they call “living books” and looks down on “twaddle.” Basically, there are more classics and less trendy, simplified novels. Also, students are expected to retell what they have learned vs. taking quizzes or using worksheets. This works well in a one-on-one or small group teacher/student situation.
The Waldorf method is a unique educational strategy focusing on creating well-rounded students by focusing on a broad curriculum of academics, art and music education, physical education, and emotional and social education. It is also called the “whole-child” approach.
#8 World Schooling
Families who take the world-schooling approach to homeschool tend to spend a lot of time on the road. They learn from life’s experiences. A formal, structured curriculum may or may not be included.
#9 Road Schooling
Road schooling is a lot like world schooling. It often involves cross country trips and adventures too.
Eclectic homeschooling will include any combination of two or more homeschooling approaches mentioned above. For example, You can use a classical curriculum with a unit studies approach during road schooling. My family falls into the eclectic category. We use a combination of traditional workbooks, educational websites, and self-directed learning to make homeschool work for everyone in our family.
My Final Thoughts
It would be best to consider the needs as an entrepreneur and the needs of your children when choosing a homeschool method. Permit yourself to pivot if a method is not working for you or your family after giving it some time. This is your life! Design it accordingly!