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At first glance, homeschooling can seem overwhelming. Curriculum abounds, as do teaching methods that both conflict and promise success, along with myriad distance learning options and tons of advise. Where do you begin?!
In my early years, I anxiously changed my methods frequently. I grabbed whatever approach sounded good at the time, just for the relief of making a decision. Finally, I realized that what worked for one enthusiastic family might not work for mine. In time, I melded what worked for us from each method into our own eclectic style.
Regardless of methods, children who are taught at home have the built-in advantage of a focused environment, freedom to explore, absent peer pressure, and continual input from invested adults. I found that even while I fumbled, the inherent structure of homeschool optimized my children’s learning. Mistakes and all, the quality of a homeschool education is generally very good.
There are many methods of homeschooling, and as it turns out, there’s some overlapping between them. I’ve outlined five of the most popular below. Other methods include Charlotte Mason, Montessori, accelerated learning, self-teaching, and more.
A method can be understood as an approach to education, which is shaped by beliefs about child development, the value of various subjects, and the goals of education itself. Bear in mind, when reading enthusiastic endorsements of these approaches, that children’s learning styles differ greatly. One child might thrive with an unschooling approach, while another child in the same family yearns for the structure and challenge of the classical approach. Additionally, some life seasons call for more organization and minimal stress,which can eliminate some possibilities. Don’t worry. Have confidence in your ability to understand your family’s needs.
For More Information
Cathy Duffy recommends some excellent resources:
101 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum
More on the methods, from a Christian perspective:
Homeschooling Methods: Seasoned Advice on Learning Styles