Homeschooling for dummies

Thousands of families across the globe are homeschooling their children, and though the idea of homeschooling your children may be a little overwhelming, you could do it just like all the others. Learning is a continuing process, and just remember that your child also has learned to talk and walk with you as the best teacher, and they may very well continue their education at their own home in a loving, relaxed environment.

Homeschooling does in no way resemble a public school, but then at home. Homeschooling is an entirely different way of looking at education, a totally different way to approach all sorts of educational topics. Homeschooling includes teaching that is tailored specifically to the needs of a child instead of education that’s dictated by standardized guidelines and curricula for the masses. If you consider homeschooling and want to learn about programs and curricula, you should first get the big picture idea, and later consider the smaller issues.

Styles of Homeschooling

Homeschoolers generally are classifying themselves by the method they use, and there are several different methods. When you are new to the world of homeschooling you may easily get puzzled by some of the used terminologies, so this post will familiarize you a little bit with a few well-known homeschooling methods.

Classical Homeschooling
Classical homeschooling is a teaching method that’s based on the three learning stages of learning: the Grammar,  the Logic, and the Rhetoric stages. In the Grammar stage, the child learns facts, to memorize, and to gather knowledge. In the Logic stage, logic and reasoning start to get applied to that knowledge, and in the Rhetoric stage, the Trivium is completed, and the student is learning the skills of judgment and wisdom.

Unit Studies
Unit studies are pretty popular homeschooling methods as they can be literature-based, hands-on, or even directed towards the Charlotte Mason homeschooling method. Unit Studies usually are encompassing all scholastic subject fields through studying one topic (for example KONOS Character units, or Weaver units), though they can also be geared towards one specific subject (for example the Teacher Created Materials unit, or an Evan-Moor science unit). Because it’s relatively easier to teach the same topics to different ages through multi-level study units, this method is pretty popular with homeschoolers who wish to educate their children at the same time on similar topics.

The Charlotte Mason Method
Charlotte Mason was an educator in the 19th century who was believing that ‘all souls of children are awaiting to be awakened to delightful living by the call of knowledge’. Some Charlotte Mason Education Method’s characteristics are that children will work with living books, they will keep nature journals, and be introduced to the world of art, music, poetry, and later to great literature.

The Unschooling Method
The Unschooling group includes various homeschoolers. There are the ‘radical unschoolers’ who have done away completely with textbooks and curricula, and there are also unschoolers who are preferring child-led education but who may also be labeled eclectic. Every style of homeschooling used to be referred to as ‘unschooling’ by John Holt, a well-known pioneer of the ‘unschooling’ movement, but now term refers to those educators who are not using any formal curriculum or textbooks, but choose to educate through learning opportunities that arise naturally in everyday life, without outside intervention like forced teaching.

The Moore Formula
Dorothy and Raymond Moore are often referred to as the homeschooling movement’s grandparents, and their Moore Foundation has for many years provided guidance and support for homeschooling parents.  for many years. Dorothy and Raymond Moore developed the theory that a formal school education should begin as late as possible, and that before the age of eight, a child should have very little or preferably no formal school education. That doesn’t mean that during their earliest year they will be left to their own, they are rather focused on playing and service. The Moore Formula focuses on the children dealing with tasks inside their homes, and performing volunteering tasks together with their parents outside their homes.

The Waldorf Homeschooling Method
The Waldorf Method for Homeschooling became popular in Europe through the enthusiasm of Rudolf Steiner during the early 20th century. The Waldorf method a liberal, holistic arts education style in which subject fields are not separate entities, and education is covering body, mind, and spirit. Resources like textbooks are only getting used when the children have gotten older, and even then sporadically, and moral and ethical qualities are continually emphasized, though in a very subtle way. In the earliest education phases, children focus on experience and activities instead of head learning, and regarding those aspects of the Waldorf Method resemble the Moore Formula.

Computer-Based Homeschooling
Most computer-based homeschooling methods are just off-shoots of the established textbook methods. Instead of using paper books, the curricula are delivered through online programs or by companies that offer CD-ROM delivery of their homeschooling curricula.