What Is Your Homeschooling Style?

Illustration showing mum homeschooling daughter
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What Approach Will You Use?

There are various styles of home education. It is within your jurisdiction to adopt one or more of these styles, depending on your situation and preference. They are: 

Traditional (Curriculum-based)

The traditional or curriculum-based home education programme can also be called the school-at-home module. It is the approach we all are most familiar with. Through this approach, parents teach their kids based on the national curriculum designed for their age. 

The daily itinerary of traditional home education programs looks pretty similar to a conventional classroom. First, you teach your kids from textbooks and then take tests and quizzes to assess how much they have learned.

Montessori

Montessori is an early childhood education program designed by an Italian educator. This program has been part of school education systems as well as home education programmes. The basic idea of the Montessori approach is to consider every child a unique individual possessing a lot of curiosity and creativity. 

So, the programmes centred on Montessori philosophy entail physical and mental learning activities that satisfy a child’s curiosity and promote their creativity. Since it is not a hard-and-fast curriculum, you can devise a customised learning program for your child in the light of the teachings and philosophy of Dr Maria Montessori.

Charlotte Mason Classical Education

Designed by an English teacher, lecturer, and author in the late 1800s, this teaching method considers education an atmosphere and a vast discipline of life instead of just a way to learn a set of skills. When the Charlotte Mason Education system is used in homeschooling, it involves extensive narrative literature and a particular focus on art, music, nature, and appreciation.

Charlotte Mason Classical Education approach also involves spending a lot of time outdoors exploring nature to acquire information about live sciences. Copy work, journaling, dictation, and narration are extensively used in this learning method to improve kids’ comprehension and articulation skills. 

Reggio Emilia

Reggio Emilia is a schooling approach for early childhood education that is considerably different from what Montessori philosophy entails. The basis of Reggio Emilia schooling philosophy is that a child is a curious individual who has all the potential to construct their own learning and ways of communication. Therefore, a teacher’s role in Reggio Emilia is to guide a child without spoon-feeding and being over-assertive.

Since the Reggio Emilia approach advocates creating a home-like classroom environment, it is intrinsically suitable for homeschooling. 

Project-Based Homeschooling

Project-based homeschooling is an offshoot of the Reggio Emilia approach. As the name implies, project-based schooling is all about imparting learning to kids via different practical pieces of work. This method of homeschooling is also child-centred and child-led, which encourages and allows deep and complex learning. 

Autonomous Education (Unschooling)                  

If you are searching and talking to people about homeschooling, you may have heard about unschooling by now. Despite having a somewhat awkward name, this homeschooling approach doesn’t entail any disagreeable features (it is legal in the UK). Instead, it uses a child’s interest, personality, and learning style to blaze the learning path instead of relying on a hard-and-fast curriculum. 

In autonomous education or unschooling, the learning hours and time are not structured for a typical classroom. It is essential to mention here that unschooling and de-schooling are two different things. One is a homeschooling education approach, and the other is a set of activities to prepare for homeschooling and makes the transition from traditional schooling smooth.

African Centred Homeschooling

African centred education focuses on a curriculum filled with recognition of African ancestors and their contribution to the worlds civilisation and culture. 

This style of education uses frequent and varied viewpoints of people of African descent as the optic to investigate, acknowledge and critically examine academic subjects to enrich the student’s knowledge. 

African centred homeschooling is a child-centred, developmental approach that considers that all humans originated from Africa. It acknowledges the universal concept of dignity for all persons and human rights.

Why is it important?

A significant number of black children face many negative interpretations of what it means to be black. Most black families choose this method of homeschooling because it allows parents to focus on developing their children’s self-awareness, increase self-esteem, self-sufficiency, and appreciate the role Africa has played in the world and the black community.

This style of homeschooling:

  • Gives a sense of freedom and confidence that allows your child to mature earlier in life on an intellectual level.
  • It also prepares your child for global citizenships as they learn to develop and hone the skills necessary to deal with all kinds of people from a strong position of knowing themselves.
  • Your child will also develop critical thinking skills through African-oriented instructional frameworks, which will equip them with advanced synthesis and research analysis tools.

Eclectic Homeschooling 

The term “eclectic homeschooling” refers to a highly personalised method of education whereby you mix and match various homeschooling resources and styles to suit your child’s educational needs. This style of homeschooling incorporates your child’s strengths, learning style and interests. So, for example, what worked well in one study unit or subject may not apply to the next. 

Homeschoolers of this type see value in adopting a blend of different educational styles. As a result, most homeschoolers eventually settle for an eclectic method for their children’s education. 

You may encounter the term “relaxed homeschooling“, this style of education is sometimes considered the same as the eclectic homeschooling style. The difference is that relaxed homeschooling allows your child’s interest to primarily dictate the focus of the education. On the other hand, eclectic homeschooling is finding the right mix of resources and styles with less emphasis on the child directing their learning. You can also use both types when choosing your homeschool approach. 

Summary: 

The homeschool style you choose to adopt should be tailored to your unique situation, your personality, your child’s personality, and the learning style they are most comfortable with. 

Identifying your child’s learning style can help you customise your child’s learning process and build on their distinctive strengths when homeschooling. 

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