Are you new to the idea of homeschooling and just realized there are different homeschooling styles? Overwhelmed yet?
It takes all of one or two Google or Pinterest searches to be SLAMMED with the vast world of homeschooling and its truckloads of information. Homeschooling styles are one of the first things to understand to begin successfully navigating the homeschool waters.
Don’t misunderstand me, I love information. I love being able to access it with a few finger taps and clicks. But seriously, there is SO much out there.
When you are a homeschooling newbie, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and defeated because the options seem almost endless. Unfortunately, some get so overwhelmed that they end up purchasing an “out of the box” curriculum that isn’t a great fit for their family. This adds more anxiety and frustration which can spiral into a feeling of failure.
You don’t want burnout in your first year!!! You want this to work for you and your kids or you would not be reading this.
So grab a warm cup of coffee as I do my best to help you figure out where to start and what you need to consider before you even invest your first penny.
So, Where Do You Start?
You need to start by understanding what choosing a homeschool style means.
If you would have asked me two years ago about homeschool styles, I am sure I would have looked confused and replied “There are homeschooling styles? Doesn’t homeschooling just mean doing typical school work at home?” Now, older and wiser 😜, I know the answer is much more detailed than that.
Education has been around, in one form or another, for thousands of years. Over the years, many educators have developed their own methods and philosophies for educating children. These methods have been coined as the “alternative” to the US traditional schools.
The U.S. school method was developed to meet the needs of the industrial boom and it has not really changed much since then. (With the exception of trying to improve it with standardized tests, but that is another conversation.)
Fortunately for us, these “alternative” methods have been so well proven and popular that individuals and companies have developed curricula for teaching these methods in our homes or non-traditional school settings.
Hence, alternative education methods = homeschool styles.
What Defines A Homeschooling Style?
Each homeschooling style is typically characterized by who it was developed by or what you study. For example, the ‘Unit Studies’ style is studying a single thing (or unit) at a time.
Commonly homeschoolers classify themselves by the way that they approach their learning at home.
Homeschooling styles can be defined by the following characteristics:
- The textbooks or worktexts you use or don’t use.
- The daily schedules you follow.
- The primary subjects that you study.
- The way learning is presented.
- The type of literature that you read.
- The tools used to measure progress.
- The end goal of your homeschool.
Really, Do I Have To Decide On A Single Style?
The short answer is No. But…..
Having one or two styles that relate to your goals will make your life easier.
- You will know what subjects are a priority and can focus your research.
- Your curriculum options will become more narrow. Eliminating books that do not meet your goals and style becomes easier.
- If you live in a larger city with a wide variety of homeschool groups, it will help you determine which group may better suit your needs. Typically a homeschool group promotes their style, so you can easily identify with them or not.
- And to state the obvious, you can narrow down your Google, YouTube, and Pinterest searches. Searching within your homeschool style will significantly improve your chances of getting relevant results.
I am not saying that you need to pick a style today and stick with it for the next 13 years, but you do need to determine your goals and find a style that relates. If you are anything like me, you may like certain aspects of a few styles and so you pick and choose.
Goals may change over time, life happens, we get wiser, and we adjust.
List of Homeschooling Styles
Here is a list of the eight most common homeschooling styles, in no particular order:
- Charlotte Mason
- Unit Studies
- Traditional School At Home
Homeschool is unique for every family. As the parent, you know what works for you and your children. Teaching and learning alongside your children at home is an extremely rewarding experience. I want you to succeed not feel overwhelmed!
Over the next two weeks, I will be discussing the details each homeschool method listed above. I want to help you weed through the wealth of information and find a good fit for you and your family. Homeschooling can have its challenges, but figuring out how you want your school at home to look and what you want you and your kids to learn should be part of the fun!
Is there something else you have been struggling with since you started considering homeschooling? Or something you thought would be difficult but you found to be surprisingly easy? I would love to hear from you. Drop me a line in the comments below!
If you are still on the fence about homeschooling, check out the following to help you with your decision:
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