What Kind Of Homeschooler Are YOU?
There are all kinds of ways to homeschool. Ways to homeschool you say? Yes. There are actually different ways to go about teaching your children. (There are different learning styles, too, but we will look at that another day.) I will go further into the details on some of these styles in future posts.

Don't get overwhelmed. Yes, there are many approaches but after you decide on one, you can always change later after you get used to homeschool. I've changed 3 times and am about to change again! I am a relaxed/eclectic homeschooler and am about to change to the unit study "Learning Adventures".

School At Home: This style is what a lot of people think of when they think of homeschooling. You may have a "school room" with desks and maybe a chalkboard. Mom teaches "class" and "school" is a very organized structured event. This style uses the textbook approach.
Popular publishers for "school at home" would be Abeka, Alpha Omega, BJU & Christian Liberty.

Unschooling: This approach is the opposite of school at home. Some unschoolers allow their children to learn through natural life experiences. Some unschoolers have a "child led" or "interest led" approach. A child would be the leader in their education and pick what they want to learn about and how they want to learn it. Generally, there aren't workbooks, textbooks or schedules.

Eclectic or Relaxed: Eclectics use the "a little of everything" approach. This approach is most popular. They combine several approaches with several different companies or publishers. The eclectic may use textbooks, workbooks, computer, co-ops, and field trip groups all at one time. They access everything and use what works for their family.

Unit Studies: This approach is based on one particular topic and all subjects are weaved into that topic. Example: study the Civil War, read books on the Civil War, write papers or essays on the CW, study history during the time of the CW, and do arts or crafts relating to that time period. Great examples of unit studies are Weaver, Learning Adventures, Heart of Wisdom and Five In A Row.

Charlotte Mason: This method focuses on respecting the child. Nature walks, living books, journaling, dictation, art, good habits and narration are some of the ideas in this method. You can read more in the book called A Charlotte Mason Education.

Internet Homeschooling: This is obviously a more technically advanced style. There are virtual schools, online tutors, academies, classes and online curriculum for the internet homeschooler. Time4Learning and The Grace Academy are 2 examples of the many, many online resources.

Classical Education: I'll be honest, I don't know much about this style. There are 3 levels to learning: the grammar stage (grades 1-6), the dialectic stage (grades 7-9), and the rhetoric stage (grades 10-12). These stages are called the "trivium". You can read more about classical education here. The Well Trained Mind is a popular resource for this style.
If you are new to homeschooling, you may be thinking, "Huh? I didn't know that there were so many ways to teach my kids." It will be ok! You need to read a little more extensively on the methods that interest you and make a decision. Then, as time goes by, it will be by trial and error. Not everything you try or pick is going to work forever. You may end up changing something eventually.

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