Homeschooling has been gaining traction in recent years, becoming a realistic and feasible option for children of all ages. With numerous learning styles, educational approaches, and programs at the parents’ disposal, it is no wonder that more and more children are opting to learn in the comfort of their own home.
In this article, we will explore seven of the highly utilized and respected methods of teaching at home.
1. Montessori Method
The Montessori method was developed in the late 19th century by the Italian physician and educator Dr. Maria Montessori.
This learning system encourages children to have a hands-on approach to their education, while also providing them with many opportunities to explore their own interests. Materials used in the Montessori home classroom are generally very tactile, aiding the child’s understanding and motor skills as they learn. Some of the core principles of the method include freedom, positive discipline, and respect for the child’s natural development.
The Montessori method focuses on four key elements: furniture, materials, range of activities, and teaching. Furniture should be child-sized and adjustable to help children focus on the work they’re doing.
Materials used in the Montessori classroom are typically hands-on and offer maximum control to the learner. Activities are individualized and allow the student to explore their interests at their own pace. Montessori teachers help guide the children’s learning, but also give them the freedom to choose their own “work” and interests.
The Montessori method of learning encourages and supports each individual learner through their individualized instruction and the ability to direct their own learning. It is an outstanding method for children of all ages, and can be applied to numerous educational requirements.
Unschooling, initially described by John Holt as “child-directed learning,” is a model of homeschooling that gives the child complete control over their own learning process. This type of homeschooling allows the student to explore topics and discover their own interests, instead of being guided by a pre-planned curriculum.
As students explore topics they find themselves drawn to, they can easily develop a love of learning and gain the necessary confidence needed to confidently move on to more complex topics. Unschoolers often challenge their own perfectionism, as they’re exploring their topics without the pressure of having to score a certain grade or pass a test. Unschoolers also learn a great deal about self-regulation, as they navigate their own learning process.
Unschooling is an extraordinary choice for curious and creative learners who have a need to ask questions and drive towards their own personal understanding. It’s also very useful for children who may be struggling with motivation in their learning, as it removes the pressure to perform. By no means does this method of learning create boundaries, but instead it allows learners to have the freedom to travel and explore their personalized route in achieving their educational goals.
3. Traditional Homeschooling
Traditional homeschooling is a term used to refer to the model of teaching children in the family home instead of sending them to school. This type of homeschooling follows the same curriculum as a public or private school, but instead of attending classes at school, these students learn at home.
Students learning through the traditional homeschooling method are often provided with books, worksheets, and other materials that are appropriate for their grade level. In some cases, parents may even use online programs and apps to help their child learn the material taught in a conventional school setting. Parents who choose this method of teaching typically have the time and knowledge to be able to effectively teach their children what’s needed for them to progress through the grade levels.
At the same time, some children may need additional resources to help them along. In these cases, the parents might hire a tutor, or have the child attend a homeschool co-op, or get the necessary help from a curriculum kit.
4. Waldorf Method
The Waldorf method is a holistic form of education created at the beginning of the 20th century by Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner. This method focuses on teaching children in a way that engages the whole person – body, soul, and spirit.
It promotes creativity, independence, and knowledge rather than memorizing facts. The underlying principle of the Waldorf method is to create a bridge between the child’s educational experience, their emotional development, and their spiritual growth. It places a great emphasis on the artistic component of learning – music, drawings, story telling, etc.
– as a way to nourish the sense of wonder and delight in the child’s educational journey. This approach to homeschooling gives children the freedom to learn about the world around them, in an environment intended to stimulate their senses, encourage their imagination, and develop their critical thinking skills.
Ultimately, the goal is to create meaning and understanding in the student’s mind through play, exploration and creative expression.
5. Classical Education
The classical education model, also called the “trivium,” was established by the Romans and Greeks, who believed in the importance of education and the development of strong moral character. It follows a logical progression, with the nurturance and development of grammar, logic, and rhetoric. Under the classically inspired homeschooling method, all subjects are looked at from an academic standpoint, and children are taught certain academic “tools” to enable them to learn independently.
The three phases of classical education, also referred to as the grammar, logic, and rhetoric stages, are designed to build upon each other as the student progresses and grows. The grammar stage focuses on laying a foundation of understanding and knowledge of various subjects and topics.
During the logic stage, the student is expected to analyze the knowledge they’ve acquired and develop the ability to think critically and logically. The rhetoric stage encourages the student to apply their acquired knowledge and express their ideas. These concepts are essential to a well-rounded education, and can be effectively implemented at home.
6. Charlotte Mason Method
The Charlotte Mason Method is a 19th century method of education developed by British educator Charlotte Mason. This teaching method places great importance on developing a child’s character, cultivating their natural curiosity, and abiding by good moral standards.
It is rooted in literature, with a great focus on cultivating good reading habits, and children can expect to spend a great amount of time reading classical literature. In practice, this method of homeschooling incorporates daily nature studies, copywork, nature walks, narration and journaling, and reading aloud from classic literature books. It is an excellent option for curious and creative learners, as it encourages the student to be in touch with nature and enjoy the wonders of the world around them.
One of the main goals of this approach is to encourage the development of life-long learning habits in children. The idea is to give a well-rounded education, which will encourage students to be self-driven and passionate about learning, rather than relying on their teachers or curriculum to motivate them.
7. Unit Studies
The unit study method of homeschooling is an excellent choice for families that are looking for a more flexible, well-rounded approach to their learning. This type of homeschooling allows students to focus on one topic at a time, integrating multiple subjects and disciplines into a comprehensive and comprehensive educational experience. At its core, unit studies are focused on in-depth exploration of topics and issues.
As the student progresses from one unit to the next, they gain a deeper and more comprehensive understanding on their subject of study. In addition to learning the basics, such as facts and information about the subject, this type of homeschooling also encourages hands-on learning, life skills, discussions, and the mastery of various subject matters.
This type of homeschooling is especially effective for learners who prefer to delve deep into a topic of interest, allowing them to observe and explore each subject from multiple angles. Unit studies also provide a variety of opportunities for parents or guardians to get creative with their teaching and engage the student in innovative activities and learning exercises.
In conclusion, there are a variety of methods of homeschooling, each with their own unique benefits and learning style. Before making a decision on the right choice for the individual child, it is best to take the time to explore numerous approaches and determine which one is the best fit.
Ultimately, each method has its pros and cons, and all of them offer a unique experience, giving children the opportunity to explore and develop their own talents and interests in the comfort of their own home.