“What’s ‘homeschool style?” I hear this a lot, along with “How do you homeschool? Tell me everything I need to do so I can set up the perfect homeschool curriculum in my home.” Or something like that.
It, unfortunately, doesn’t work that way. I wanted a blueprint when we first started homeschooling about 2 years ago. It took us six months to figure out what really worked for us and I blew through a lot of homeschool curriculum and wasted time. When I relaxed (like that’s a thing), I found our homeschool style leaned more toward eclectic unschoolers.
So, if you are looking for a path to start your homeschool, here’s a broad breakdown of homeschooling styles. If you find one speaks to you more than the other, then it may help you to narrow down what curriculum and schedule will work best for you. This can save you time and money! Another great thing I wish we’d done early in our homeschool is spend the time to figure out their learning style. If you are not sure where to start on grade levels, there are many free online assessments that can help.
- Eclectic – You find what works from all areas of styles and use information from subjects that matter most to you and your kids, from math to language arts. This type tends to have a level of unschooling in their homeschool schedule.
- Montesorri – Child-led and hands-on learning. encouraging each child to discover their interests outside of technology.
- Classical – Grammar, Latin, History, Geography and in-depth study of literature from all cultures.
- Charlotte Mason – based on real-life situations where children are offered a good amount of time to play, create and be involved in the world around them. Living books give students a boost.
- Traditional – get the good ol’ big box of homeschool curriculum that plots the child’s courses over a typical school year.
- Homeschool Online – a full homeschool curriculum, mostly traditional, teaching all subjects online with a worksheet or parent-guided component.
- Waldorf – child-led learning that focuses on the importance of educating the mind as well as the body and spirit.
- School at home – You know what you’re doing from morning to night based on the boxed curriculum and a set schedule from an accredited program connected to the school district. This often involves a homeschool K-12 program that is tied to the school district and often takes just as long as the typical school day, but at home.
- Structured – Things will be done and shall be done, but if something comes up there is room to chill.
- Unschooler – Yah, keep your labels to yourself and let us do us. Kids show up and learn at their own pace with parents as a guide to get those basics done. They may not multiply by the right age, but they will get there and probably know more than most about certain subjects. This is inspired by author John Holt. While unstructured, it allows your child to fully immerse themselves in what interests them and pulls in math, reading and critical thinking in natural ways.For parents who are schooling at-home, enrolled in Cohort-C or other CCSD program, that isn’t actually homeschooling. A homeschool K-12 program tends to be much more involved and structured than most homeschooling, not that there is anything wrong with that! The best thing about homeschooling is it’s your decision and no one should judge you for doing what works best for your family.