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Homeschool Teaching Methods

Types of Homeschool Teaching Methods
There are many different approaches to teaching your children at home. Finding your teaching style and your child's learning style is a key in successful homeschooling. When you find what fits your family best, you can better seek out your curriculum. Below are just some of the more popular "methods" of homeschooling your children.

Classical Education Homeschool Method
A Classical Curriculum includes reading great works of literature and studying rhetoric and logic. Advocates of this approach are critical of progressive trends that, they believe, water down education. Their main goal is to cultivate independent thinkers, and develop great communicators and leaders.

Charlotte Mason Homeschool Method
Charlotte Mason was an influential educator in the 19th century who advocated developing the soul and spirit of a child. Her method is literature based, with English and other subjects taught in an integrated way. This approach has become wildly popular with homeschoolers with many curriculum providers utilizing the Mason Method.

Montessori Homeschool Method
The Montessori Method is based on the work of Dr. Maria Montessorri and is primarily concerned with the education of young children. Her theories are based on a belief that a child learns through freedom in a structured environment. The Montessori classroom gives children free access to materials, exercises, and resources designed for sensory and motor training that lead to later skills mastery. Instead of teaching, adults become encouragers and guides while students express and explore.

Unschooling/Child Directed Homeschool Method
Unschooling allows children to take control of their educational choices. Unschooling is student-directed instead of teacher-directed. Unschoolers often take issue with the current, expert-based education system, choosing instead to trust the individualís ability to guide their own education by following their interests. Parents who choose an Unschooling or Child Directed teaching style base their approach on the interests and natural learning patterns of their individual child. This style avoids use of textbooks, reviewing, quizzing, or even formal testing. The child's natural curiosity and interests are the key to the daily activities. There is a large emphasis on imagination, nature, art, music and almost no formal curriculum is used. There is no use of lesson plans, a defined "school" time, or even any type of grading. The child's environment, though controlled, is used as the bases of learning. A great curriculum choice for this type of teaching style is Unit Studies. Unit Studies allow the child's interests to control the basis of study.

Eclectic Homeschool Method
Eclectic Homeschooling is a term that has become popular as homeschoolers gain confidence and become savvy consumers of different methods. It simply means picking and choosing what works best for you and not being afraid to make decisions or change your mind. An eclectic homeschooler may use one publisher for math and another for science. Or, she may even use a different math for each student. Eclectic homeschoolers are confident that they know what is best for their children and are highly independent in decision making.

Combined Parent & Child Directed
Parents who choose a combined Parent and Child Directed teaching style feel more confident in their family's ability to decide what's important to study and what isn't. The types of curriculums available for this style involve more hands-on creative activities and also more independent study and thought time. Many times nature and art play a larger role in the lesson plans. There is more emphasis on your child's personal interests and imagination. The use of varied curriculums works best with this type of teaching style.

Traditional Homeschool Method
This approach mimics what happens in the public school classroom. It compartmentalizes subject areas, uses textbooks, and relies on teacher-driven content.Parents who choose a Traditional teaching style tend to focus on classic literature, such as works by Charles Dickens or Nathaniel Hawthorne. Many times this type of style leans more toward a conventional public school teaching style with clearly defined student and teacher roles; clear lesson plans and schedules; clearly defined hours of "school"; more work based on textbooks; and more dependence on worksheets, quizzes, and continuous review. Traditional teachers also tend to teach lessons in such subjects as Latin, Greek, formal logic, large portions of classic arts, and may include a large biblical emphasis.

Accelerated Learning Homeschool Method
Some homeschoolers reclaim the wasted time in traditional education by accelerating the pace that they do school. They typically graduate high school very early and many go on to home school college and graduate school.

The Principle Approach Homeschool Method
This approach is uniquely Christian and encompasses the idea that all learning centers on Godís word. Students learn the methods of America's Founding Fathers; specifically Research, Reasoning, Relating, and Recording.
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