Homeschooling Methods

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For many people, homeschooling may call to mind the picture of two

or three children sitting at a table and writing feverishly in 

their workbooks, while mom or dad stands nearby. This is the not 

entirely true. There are different methods of homeschooling, 

and the method you choose will decide the curriculum and your 

style of teaching. Given below are some of the most influential 

and popular homeschooling methods.

The Charlotte Mason method: 

Charlotte Mason is known as the founder of the homeschooling 

movement. A homeschooler herself, she was passionate in her zeal 

to lay out the foundations for an effective a complete 

homeschooling program that is fun and educational at the same 

time. This method focuses on all the core subjects with emphasis 

placed on classical literature, poetry, fine arts, classical music 

and craft. Mason used a variety of books from classical 

literature, which she called ‘Living Books’. Since this method 

encourages a passionate awareness of literature, the child is read 

to daily from the ‘Living Books’. After this, the child is asked 

to narrate what she has heard. This process begins at the age of 

six, and by ten the child is expected to write her narrations in 

her book. Mason also advocated the use of ‘Nature Diaries’. After 

each short and interesting lesson, the child is asked to go to 

Nature and draw observations from Nature. Thus the child also 

gains a sense of respect for her environment. Mason believed that 

development of good character and behavior was essential to the 

complete development of the child’s personality.

The Eclectic Homeschooling:

This is a mixture of various homeschooling techniques. Here, the 

innovative parents trust their own judgment and pick out the 

topics that make the best curriculum for their child. Such parents 

continuously look out for the best products that will meet the 

needs of their homeschoolers. Most Eclectic homeschooling 

curriculums are improvised. This means that the basic curriculum 

is ready-made. The parents then make changes in the curriculum to 

accommodate the individual needs and interests of their children. 

The child’s gifts, temperament, learning style and interests 

dictate the curriculum. Eclectic programs include visits to the 

museum, libraries and factories.

Unschooling:

A Boston public educator name John Holt laid the beginnings of the 

unschooling method. He believed that children learned best when 

they are free to learn at their own pace and when they are guided 

by their own interests. His message was to ‘unschool’ the child. 

This method is a hands-on approach to learning, where the parent 

takes definite cues from the children. There is no definite 

curriculum, schedules or materials. This method is the most 

unstructured of the various homeschooling techniques.

The Montessori Method:

This method began in Italy, when it was observed that children 

have acute sensitive periods, during which they undergo periods of 

intense concentration. During such phases, a child will repeat an 

activity till he gains a measure of self-satisfaction. The 

Montessori method depends on a prepared environment to facilitate 

learning. All the materials used in this method are designed to 

satisfy the inner desire for spiritual development of the child. 

The materials used progress from simple to complex, and are rather 

expensive. 

These are just a few of the methods of homeschooling. Whatever the 

method, the underlying factor is flexibility and a keen interest 

in the desires of the child. The secret is to use the child’s 

desire for knowledge to further his education. 

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