Once you have an understanding of your state’s homeschool regulations, you’re ready to determine the homeschool method you will use. There are many methods of homeschooling, but the most common methods are listed here.
The Classical method of schooling divides education into three distinct phases: the Grammar phase, the Dialectic (logical) phase, and the rhetorical phase. These three phases are commonly known as the Trivium. Each one of the phases lays the building blocks for the next phase of study. Susan Wise Bauer, author of the book, The Well Trained Mind, has universalized this method.
Charlotte Mason method focuses on educating the whole child: body and mind. Charlotte Mason followers believe that children should be given ample time to play, create, and experience real-life learning situations. Students receiving a Charlotte Mason education experience hands-on learning and read literature from “living books,” that make subject matter come alive.
The eclectic method of homeschooling utilizes a “mix and match” approach to teaching. Curriculum is not selected from a single source, but rather, is chosen from a variety of different sources. In addition, different methods of instruction may be combined to create a unique, tailored educational experience for each child.
Maria Montessori, the first Italian woman to become a physician, developed the Montessori Method in 1907 after spending many years observing and studying the learning processes of young children. A Montessori based education provides children with a joyful educational atmosphere, maintains a focus on children’s exploration of nature, and offers young learners hands-on activities that encourage them to learn through doing.
In the 1960s, Boston educator John Holt popularized the term unschooling after he had become dissatisfied with traditional methods of American schooling, which included dry lectures and boring teacher dictation. Holt’s Unschooling method centers on a “child-led” approach to learning in which a child’s natural curiosity and natural life experiences guide their studies. Unschoolers do not use a set curriculum and those who school with this method often allow their children to determine what topics they will study.