Different Types of Homeschooling Methods

Whether you are new to homeschooling or just getting started, you probably have a teaching method that you lean towards. Most people favor a style that caters to their personality. These different types of homeschooling methods can be categorized into six main groups.


Traditional (Textbook)

Traditional-TextbookThe traditional or textbook homeschooler teaches much like a teacher in the school system would. The child is taught from traditional textbooks similar to what is used in a regular classroom, which in some cases are actually borrowed from the school.


This method is very appealing to new homeschoolers in that it helps build confidence as they become more comfortable. Because all lessons are laid out and there is a scope and sequence to follow, they don’t worry about missing skills.


Many traditional homeschoolers opt for a complete curriculum package, which can be quite pricey, but it’s a trade off when everything is thought out and planned for you.


At the opposite end of the spectrum, using the school system’s books is certainly cheaper, however; you run the risk of them not having enough leftover for your child, not getting the books to you until after the school year begins, or having to turn them in before you are finished. This is something to take into consideration.


If you plan to put your child back into the school system at some point, this may be the best route. He will be on the same track as his peers and be able to jump right back in.


A drawback to this method is students are bound to a set curriculum and not as likely to have time to explore other interests. They can also get bored quickly.


Textbook style learning can ease the transition from school to home. With more experience, some might consider branching out to other approaches while others may continue with it.


Charlotte Mason

Charlotte Mason was a very respected British educator of the nineteenth century. She was truly a pioneer of her time. She believed in teaching to the whole child and that all learning should be delightful.

Charlotte Mason

Charlotte Mason stressed that lessons should be done in short periods of time, preferably 15-20 minutes for elementary aged students and 45 minutes for high school.


This methodology was designed to be child-led and includes observation with nature, picture studies, narration, memorization, art and music appreciation, poetry, and handicrafts. There is an emphasis put on reading literature from classics, living books, and biographies.


This method is easy to implement. Many parents who feel they aren’t qualified to teach a comprehensive curriculum find this approach more manageable. It allows for a lot of flexibility with the child’s interests and ability. It’s inexpensive and children can move along at their own pace.


Because this was developed in the nineteenth century for children who were taught by tutors or their nannies, it was primarily geared towards the elementary level. Parents may find as children reach high school age is it more difficult to attain the same level of education for today’s standards. Supplementing with other materials that are not Charlotte Mason influenced is usually the best solution. Science and math are also areas that are not focused on as heavily and parents may desire to add some supplemental materials for these as well.


This is definitely a gentler approach that is more laid back. The smaller time periods for learning are actually quite effective and keep the student motivated. You’ll be surprised what your child can learn in short spurts.



The classical approach is a very popular method. It parallels a teaching style dating back to the Greeks and Romans. It is believed that everyClassical child goes through three stages of development which is called the Trivium. There are also three stages in each subject called Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric, which correlate with the Trivium.


A lot of emphasis is placed on “great books” throughout each level. In the Grammar stage, which are the elementary years, students are engaged in learning facts, acquiring knowledge, and memorization. The Logic stage in the middle school years develops critical thinking and problem-solving. Rhetoric occurs during the high school years and is the communication phase where everything is brought together.


Subjects are taught in chronological order so they can overlap historically making events in history much easier to follow. In place of traditional workbooks, there is a lot of debate and discussion used.


Because this is such a prevalent way of teaching, there are many prepackaged curricula choices available to homeschoolers giving you many options to choose from.


The downside to this method is that is can be very time-consuming for the student. It requires a lot of reading and can take away from other potential activities. It is definitely more thorough than an education from the school system but will also require more time and dedication. It is a personal preference as to what you want your child to learn and the amount of time you expect him to put in each day.


This is not so much a method as it is a mindset that if you provide a rich learning environment for your child in your everyday life, it will stimulate him to want to learn and discover on his own.


Unschoolers may vary from family to family, but they usually fall into one of the following categories: not using a packaged curriculum, using daily experiences to learn with some guidance, or completely letting the child be in charge without any schooling at all. All are child-led and can happen at home, in nature, at a store, or any other situation where learning opportunities may arise.


A typical school schedule is usually not followed because learning can take place any time anywhere depending on what the child is curious about at that moment.


Many think children must go to school to be taught, but that’s exactly what the parent has been doing at home for the first five years of the child’s life through the natural course of daily living. The unschooler believes this is the best way to continue the education.


Not following a set schedule or specific materials allows the family to have the freedom to learn what they want in the way they want. It also frees up their time to explore specific interests.


The downside to this method is children may not do as well as their school-aged peers when tested because they are learning skills at different times than the typical school schedule. Potentially there could be a problem if they were to re-enter the school system.


Cyber School

Cyber SchoolSome parents choose to enroll their child in a free, all-inclusive online program that is offered by their state or a private one which must be paidfor. This is called cyber school.

The advantage of this type of schooling is there is not a lot of work involved for the parent because someone else is doing the teaching for them. The student lo

gs into the site, and the program directs the child as to what to do each day. Lessons are recorded as well as progress and grades. The parent only has to log into the parent account to check in and see what work has been done and if there are areas of concern. Some programs even have a built-in review for missed problems or areas needing more attention.

Bear in mind when registering with a state provided program, you may be held accountable to specific educational content you may or may not want your child to learn. Another factor to consider is whether your child likes to do all his work sitting at a computer. If you have a child that loves technology, this approach may work well.


On the other hand, if you have a child who needs to move around or prefers illustrating or narrating answers, a computer program isn’t going to give you the ability to cater to your child’s learning style. That doesn’t mean you have to avoid it altogether. It could just be you need to limit it to one or two subjects and split them up with other methods in between.



EclecticThe eclectic method is probably the most popular and the easiest to do because it’s not one particular approach. In fact, it’s called eclectic because it’s a combination of the others. The parent may pick and choose from several methods combining favorites parts from each.


This is another excellent technique to use when you are just starting out homeschooling, especially if you aren’t sure of the style you’d like to use. Try out some different materials and see which one resonates with your family or for specific children.


You may love the idea of nature studies for science, a classical approach for history, cyber school for math (maybe because you’d rather have someone else teach this subject), traditional textbooks for reading, and letting your child lead and explore on his own for arts and creative activities. That’s what eclectic is all about.


I will be starting my fourteenth year of homeschooling this fall, and we are definitely eclectic in my household. I have a child that is a visual learner and another that is tactile. My son, who just graduated, was a kinesthetic learner. One single curriculum in a specific style would not have worked with all three of them. Not sure what your child’s learning style is? Go HERE to read my article.


It became very obvious early on that I needed to individualize the materials for each of them. This does not mean the curriculum needs to be thrown out. It may simply need some tweaking. If you bought a traditional textbook for a child one year and want to use it with another child who does better with a Charlotte Mason style, one example of a change would be to have the child narrate answers back to you instead writing everything down. There are tons of ways to change up materials. It’s okay to do that!


What Makes Homeschooling So Great


Different Types-of-Homeschooling-Methods

The beauty of having all these methods is that it gives homeschoolers many options to choose from. You may find what works one year may not work the next and having all these choices allows you to try something else. This means your child doesn’t have to struggle. Most likely there is a method out there that works better.


I know it may seem like a lot to try different types of homeschooling methods but be brave and give each one a shot at some point, even if it’s just for a nine weeks period. You are not going to ruin your child, and you may find a way of teaching that works really well and you and your child absolutely love!



What method do you use most in your house? Leave me know in the comments below.

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I’d like to share with you five independent learning strategies you can use in your homeschool today. There are a number of reasons why we want our children to be independent learners. The biggest reason is they will become adults that need to function in the real world and the workplace. As an adult, no one is going to be standing around watching them to make sure they are getting their work done.

Different Learning Styles in Children- Does it Affect Your Homeschool?

You picked all your curriculum out for the year and are very excited to start. Shortly into the new school year, you realize something isn’t working quite right. Maybe your child is bored or complaining about the work. Perhaps he is struggling with all the writing it requires. Maybe sitting in the chair for long periods of time makes him antsy. Even though you’ve had him write his spelling words ten times each twice this week, he just can’t seem to remember them. He wants to touch everything you put in front of him and do anything except his work.

All of these situations could be that your child just doesn’t want to do his work. But what if that wasn’t it? What if the curriculum you chose isn’t right for him? The different learning styles in children can play a large role in how they respond to the curriculum you choose.

Types of Homeschooling Methods- Which One Are You?

Whether you are new to homeschooling or just getting started, you probably have a teaching method that you lean towards. Most people favor a style that caters to their personality. These different types of homeschooling methods can be categorized into six main groups.

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Homeschool Planet Planner-It's Exactly What You've Been Searching For!

Planning is probably one of the most daunting tasks about homeschooling. Staying organized is critical for making sure things get done, keeping a good record, and not forgetting important events. Trying to keep up with your home, family, and school can be exhausting. I don’t know about you, but my brain can only remember so many things, and it seems to remember less as each year passes. I constantly have to write things down or I will forget them. Unfortunately, I often lose those little scraps of paper I write on as well.  And then came the Homeschool Planet planner!

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  1. I have been for old school (traditional) home school but like stated it can be boring since there is no much time for exploring some talents and also having to stick to the Curriculum, This is great have some other methods to explore

    • Being a former school teacher, I was very much for the traditional
      method as well. I have learned to branch out some over the years. Definitely experiment. You may be surprised.

  2. I did not put my children through homeschooling though in hindsight two of the three would have gotten more out of education if I had. I read your post as my daughter in law is considering homeschooling and so it has peaked my interest. I will definitely be pointing her to your site as you obviously have lots of experience and ideas.

    • That would be wonderful! Thanks so much! I hope I can be a help to her.

  3. I’m going Homeschool my eighth grader this year.

    • That’s great! I hope this site will be a help to you. If you have any questions, let me know.

  4. Looks like your site will help many parents make good choices for their kids! Keep up the good work. I’ve homeschooled for 28 years with two years to go, so I understand the many choices and challenges that go hand-in-hand with education. We opted for mostly the eclectic model with a lot of independent free study and work in the various fields each child was interested in. Now most of them have their own businesses or are working in small companies making a good income. Plus, they are each use their own minds to make wise decisions (versus the culture), which is what I consider the best part of homeschooling! Thanks for helping others to learn more about this great opportunity to teach our kids. Terry over @ livingabovethenoise.com

    • Thank you Terry! We are fairly eclectic here as well and follow their individual interests. I agree that being able to use their own minds and make wise decisions are some of the best results! I just graduated my first but have a long ways to go to finish up the other two!


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