What homeschooling methods to choose?

Most homeschoolers don’t apply a single type or method of homeschooling, instead they pick the ideas or suggestions that best fit their family dynamics and almost always end up with a method of their own. However, some homeschooling methods that are most popular with families can be grouped together to serve as a reference for those who are new to homeschooling and feel overwhelmed with the type of homeschooling to provide their children while they develop their own method. . In this article we will mention the main characteristics of the most popular home education methods.

For each family, creating their own routine can take some time and it usually starts being more structured at the beginning and then becomes more flexible and relaxed, when parents lose the fear of taking on the responsibility of educating their children.

Every family is unique, and so is every child. Many children learn better when they are told what to do (they prefer structure) while others learn better on their own. Some children work better at a table or space indoors, while others feel better outside. Other children learn better in the morning than in the afternoon. The great challenge for parents who educate at home is to know the interests of their children and the best way to learn to arrange all the resources, environments and schedules for their children’s learning style.

Difference between homeschooling and unschooling

The main difference between unschooling and homeschooling homeschooling methods is the approach to learning. In a homeschooling environment, parents act as guides, some based on standards from each country to plan lessons and assign homework.

In unschooling, a child’s normal day is whatever he wants it to be, how he wants it to be, wherever he wants it to be, according to his interests and passions. In this method of home education, children’s curiosity is fully trusted to learn more motivated by following their interests, and through free play they will develop many skills, including being self-taught and operating in a self-directed way.

Unschooling has existed since the 1970s, made known by educator John Holt, who defended the practice of it instead of public education. However, today it is still unknown to many, but parents who practice it with their children also have a role as guides (as in homeschooling) only when the children require it and they must provide the conditions and materials that the children need. to develop your interests.

Each family can choose the method or methods of education at home that best suits them or with which they feel most comfortable and calm, or have a mixture of several, everything goes when it comes to making our children happy and providing them with the conditions more conducive to learning.

Homeschool methods

  • Eclectic Method

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This is the method most used by homeschooling parents. In general, it is based on using a little bit of this and a little bit of that; what they consider to be most useful for each method. For example, they may use workbooks for math, reading and spelling, and choose an unschooling approach for the other subjects, they may also choose field trips and classes that fit their children’s needs and interests.

For the family practicing the eclectic method, mornings are typically used for more formal work and afternoons for hobbies and other special projects. There are no defined schedules for each subject, but the child is expected to meet certain established educational objectives.

To get help, the parent who educates at home based on this method could use the curricula and standards of the country of residence according to the grade in which her child could be and use standardized tests to measure their progress.

  • Bring school home

school at home

Most families that follow this approach purchase a standard curriculum that comes with textbooks, study schedules, grading schemes, and evidence record keeping.

The benefit of this approach is that homeschooling parents are certain of what to teach and when to teach it, however much more dedication is required on the part of the homeschooling parent and the lessons may not be as fun for the children.

For help, families can contact their curriculum provider, just as children can submit assignments to the curriculum provider for grading and evaluation.

This is the approach to homeschooling that can result in the highest cost and highest level of effort. It’s like transferring the school to the house!

You can read a bit more about learning with and without a curriculum in this blog post.

  • Unschooling Method

unschooling

This approach is known as natural, interest-based, child-led learning. Children learn from the experiences of everyday life, they do not use school schedules or formal lessons, they learn in the same way as adults, by pursuing an interest or curiosity. In the same way that children learn to walk and talk, unschoolers learn math, science, reading, and history. For example, a child who is passionate about the stars and the universe will need to know mathematics or physics at some point in his life to understand some of the phenomena of the universe.

There is total freedom to learn, without differentiating between living and learning, you cannot separate the two concepts, because as they grow, children have been learning all the time and it is very likely that they learn much better than most children in school .

The advantage of using the unschooling method is that children have the time and research skills to become experts in their areas of interest; The possible disadvantage is that if they have to be evaluated in a specific grade or require to enter the traditional educational system, they do not do well in the evaluations because they have never followed a curriculum.

For help, unschoolers go to other children who are homeschooled, organize classes and clubs together, trade private lessons with other homeschoolers. They do not take exams, they do not adjust to curricula or standards or established schedules.

  • Classic homeschooling or Socratic method

Socrates

The objective of this approach is “to teach people to learn by themselves”, that is, to discover knowledge, using five learning tools, known as Trivium, which are: reason, registration, investigation, relationship and rhetoric. In this method of home education, learning is segmented based on the stages of the child’s cognitive development (concrete, analytical and abstract thinking).

For help, parents using this approach rely on classic homeschooling books, classical homeschooling websites, and may join a classical homeschooling support group.

  • Homeschooling method based on Charlotte Mason

Charlote Mason

This method is fundamentally based on the belief that “children are not simple containers waiting to be filled with knowledge”, but people who deserve respect, who should be given spaces to play, create and experience in real-life situations of those who can learn.

Children educated under this approach go on nature walks, visit art museums and learn geography, history and literature through “living books”, that is, books with a high literary quality, written by authors who demonstrate both knowledge and passion for the subject, they are books that breathe life, that illuminate us on the subject, that inspire and have character, that inspire us to dig deeper into our knowledge and continue looking for more information. Children’s knowledge is validated through discussion and storytelling.

To get help, parents using this teaching style can gather information from books, websites, and maybe even create their own Charlotte Mason support group.

  • Waldorf Approach

Waldorf

The Waldorf approach is a popular homeschool option, emphasizing the importance of educating the child’s body, mind, and spirit. At the beginning, there is a strong emphasis on arts, crafts, music, movement, and nature. Later the idea is that they develop the reasoning of things by themselves. Waldorf educated children do not use standard textbooks but create their own books.

This method also limits the use of televisions and computers because they are considered inappropriate for the health and creativity of the child.

  • Montessori Method

Montessori

The Montessori method is another popular style of home education, where children discover the error through educational materials, learn at their own pace and thus develop their full potential. The Montessori approach emphasizes beauty and quality and avoids things that are messy or messy. Wooden materials are preferable to plastic ones and these stay well organized and ready to use.

The Montessori method also discourages the use of televisions and computers, especially for younger children.

  • Multiple intelligences approach

musical

The multiple intelligences approach was developed by Howard Gardner and Harvard University’s “Project Zero,” which emphasizes that everyone is smart in their own way and that you learn better and more effectively as you use your strengths and abilities. not the weaknesses of a person.

For example, most traditional schools use the linguistic and logical-mathematical approach, but not everyone learns that way. Some students learn better by touching and not by listening or reading (body kinesthetic); others (active and practical) find it difficult to sit still while reading, preferring to listen to audio books; others may be voracious readers who learn best by reading and writing.

Most parents who homeschool with this approach naturally discover their child’s strengths and adapt their teaching to match the child’s learning style, as well as adjust their learning environment and schedule to bring out the best in the child. little boy.

And you, have you discovered the best way to learn from your children? With which of the approaches or methods of education at home described do you feel more identified? Which of the homeschooling methods described are best suited to your family dynamics?

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