After you have made the very difficult and rewarding decision to homeschool your child, you will learn that you are faced with a variety of options. Through the years, homeschooling has taken off in many different directions. This brief overview will help you understand the differences in a just few options available to your family. Your child’s temperament, learning ability and unique talents will all play a role in the type of homeschooling that will benefit your family.
This type of learning path will most closely resemble what children are learning in public schools. There are single subject textbooks and notebooks that follow a specific, detailed time line. There is time given to each subject each day and this routine is followed throughout the year. It is a popular method for parents who intend to re-introduce their child into the school system after homeschooling.
The opposite of structured learning, unschooling does require the child to follow a specific time line. Parents will allow children to learn through natural life experiences, rather than textbooks, workbooks and testing. Activities and experiences in an unschooling environment are often led by the child, then facilitated by the parents.
- Internet Based
Growing in popularity, especially among middle and high school homeschoolers, is the option of using an interactive on-line curriculum. Sophisticated programs will teach, review and reteach lessons if necessary. Parents simply manage their child’s education by assuring them they stay on track. They are also there for support and to implement real life activities that relate to their on-line learning.
- Faith Based
Some parents believe that God and the Bible should be taught right along with Reading and Writing. Faith Based homeschooling will cover the basic fundmentals of a tradititonal curriculum, while relating the lessons back to religious principles.
- Eclectic Learning
Families who use an eclectic style of learning are basically picking and choosing what they like and using what works for them. Using an on-line curriculum for math, textbooks for social studies, a local tutor for English and unschooling for everything else would be an example of an eclectic student’s path.
Children will thrive when they are introduced to the type of learning that suits their individual needs. When you begin the right program, you and your child will know. No matter what method you prefer as a parent, if your child is not responding to it, move on to something different. Eventually you will find what works and makes everyone happy at the same time. Attempting to discover this magic formula is part of the wonderful journey of homeschooling. As a parent, it’s your job to make the best informed decision for your child.
- Homeschool 101: Are you ready to teach your own children?