Homeschooling – Part I: 7 Great Options for Alternative Learning
Hey KC! As you prepare to start a new year off on the right foot, you may be considering making some major changes in your family life. For a lot of families, homeschooling may be one of them. Most families tend to withdraw their child or children at the end of the year to avoid any chaos with planning and major changes. Another favorited time to start a homeschool journey is in between semesters. Again, there is less going on and families can make what I call a “clean break” from public school and an easy transition into homeschooling. If you are planning to go the homeschool route at any point, I have compiled a guide of different methods for you to choose from!
Each of these methods are unique in their own way and you never really know what is best for you and your soon-to-be homeschoolers until you try it!
#1 Project Based Learning
Project based learning is almost polar opposites to the learning styles of public schools. There are a lot of projects, hands on learning materials and your child really can “direct” themselves in learning about topics they choose. When doing PBL, it is important to remember that your homeschooler is in control. Try resisting the urge to correct their projects or be helpful when they are creating. Learn more about Project Based Learning to discover if it’s the right fit for your K-12 homeschool needs.
#2 Unit Studies
Unit studies approach is also similar to PBL when it comes to homeschools. Unit Studies focus on a theme and all of the subjects are based off of the chosen theme. For example, when picking a theme you would do research on the history of your particular theme, study the scientific process of it and make a replica of it out of clay. Unit studies really focus on your child’s interests and they are incorporated throughout the learning process.
Unschooling is one of the most unique approaches homeschooling programs where your child takes the lead. They learn things they want and daily living is their teacher. From a simple trip to the grocery store to daily chores, unschooling allows your child to explore the world around them.
#4 School at Home (School In a Box)
This is one of the more traditional approaches to homeschooling. School in a box is very similar to the public school learning style. You can purchase a full curriculum and complete assignments through text books based on grade levels. There are also many online homeschools that meet this criteria as well.
The Montessori learning method is more rigorous in terms of language, numbers and life skills. Simple tasks like cleaning up after themselves or washing their own dishes teaches them more independence in their daily lives. If you’re considering the Montessori approach, dive into researching this homeschooling option before you make the choice.
#6 Classical Approach
This approach teaches children to think as opposed what to think. This approach focuses more on thinking, grammar and speech. With different stages of learning, the classical approach is very rigorous and requires more formal study habits from your homeschoolers.
#7 Eclectic Homeschooling
This approach combines the best of all styles. Eclectic homeschooling is a lot more relaxed than most methods but still maintains more structure than some.
With so many methods to choose from, it can feel overwhelming and confusing. It took me almost 2 years to settle into an eclectic learning method before I felt confident! Remember, no two families are the same, no child learns the same and every family knows what works best for them. I hope this list is easy to follow and helps you find the best approach for your family!
From iFamily to Yours,