I made up this waaay over simplified info graphic detailing some of the approaches to homeschooling. I thought it might be a helpful 10 second snapshot of the different approaches.
This blog post contains some additional info about each of the different approaches, and whom to specifically look up for more in depth research. Each of these categories, though discussed in more depth, are still over simplified. I invite you to click through the links to learn more from other sources!
Please note, I am awaiting permission to add a few more instagrammers/bloggers to this list. So keep your eye out for a few updates!
“Unschooling is an informal learning that advocates learner-chosen activities as a primary means for learning. Unschooling students learn through their natural life experiences including play, household responsibilities, personal interests and curiosity, internships and work experience, travel, books, elective classes, family, mentors, and social interaction.”
Susan Wise Bauer, author of The Well Trained Mind (and many other titles) was the modern pioneer of the classical home education movement. (Well actually I believe her mother was, but she carries the torch).
From her site:
“Classical education depends on a three-part process of training the mind. The early years of school are spent in absorbing facts, systematically laying the foundations for advanced study. In the middle grades, students learn to think through arguments. In the high school years, they learn to express themselves. This classical pattern is called the trivium.“
Classical education typically includes:
- a repeating 4 year cycle of History (ancients, middle ages, early modern, modern)
- a corresponding 4 year cycle of Science (biology, astronomy, chemistry, physics)
- study of classical music & art
- study of Latin &/or Greek (maybe French too)
- very intensive academically
“Waldorf education, also known as Steiner education, is based on the educational philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Anthroposophy. Its pedagogy strives to develop pupils’ intellectual, artistic, and practical skills in an integrated and holistic manner. The cultivation of pupils’ imagination and creativity is a central focus.”
Charlotte Mason Homeschooling
Charlotte Mason is an approach is based on the ideas of the educator for whom it is named. It is a literature based approach, that emphasizes the importance of children being in nature for both health purposes and to develop a foundational understanding of the natural sciences. It involves short lessons, classical music study, artist study, and lots of reading. Historical fiction, or “living history” are preferred, due to their natural ability to draw the child’s interest.
Podcasts and Resources
(I believe all of these resources are American/European based. I would love to share information about non-Euro/American/White thinkers or homeschoolers in order to reflect the broad spectrum of Charlotte Mason homeschoolers. Please feel free to share any you know of in the comments. I will also be on the look out!)
“Socrates generally applied his method of examination to concepts that seem to lack any concrete definition; e.g., the key moral concepts at the time, the virtues of piety, wisdom, temperance, courage, and justice. Such an examination challenged the implicit moral beliefs of the interlocutors, bringing out inadequacies and inconsistencies in their beliefs, and usually resulting in aporia…The pedagogy of Socratic questions is open-ended, focusing on broad, general ideas rather than specific, factual information. The questioning technique emphasizes a level of questioning and thinking where there is no single right answer.”
Mothering While Doctoring (eclectic but uses the Socratic method)
Thomas Jefferson Education Homeschooling
“Best selling Author Alvin Toffler wrote that truly successful parents and schools in the 21st century will replace rote memorization and a culture of academic conformity with the opposite: creative thinking, personalized learning for each student, and individual mentoring.”
Thomas Jefferson Education, also referred to as Leadership Education, is based upon a developmental approach, from core phase to love of learning phase, to scholar phase and beyond. It focuses on creating an environment in the home to foster a love of learning, study of “classics” (not limited to the traditional cannons, any genre can have classics of its own) and individual study plans based on children’s missions.
“Eclectic homeschooling is a highly individualized education method resulting from mixing and matching a variety of homeschooling resources. It is an exceptionally personalized approach for every child based on their strengths, learning styles, and interests.”
(In case you were wondering, we are most definitely eclectic homeschoolers. Drawing primarily from the Classical, Charlotte Mason, TJED & Socratic methods, with some Waldorf aspirations and Montessori gear.)
There may be other approaches that I have missed. (For example, project based learning, unit study, etc.)
If any come to mind, feel free to school me in the comments!