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 not entirely true. There are different homeschooling methods, and the method you choose will decide the curriculum and your teaching style. 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 complete homeschooling program that is fun and educational at the same time. This method focuses on all the core subjects, emphasizing 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 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 then, 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 good character and behavior were essential to the child personality's complete development.
The Eclectic Homeschooling Methods: This is a mixture of various Homeschooling Methods. Here, innovative parents trust their own judgment and pick out the topics that make their child's best curriculum. Such parents continuously lookout 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 named 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 their own interests guide them. His message was to 'un-school' the child. This method is a hands-on approach to learning, where parents take definite cues from the children. There is no definite curriculum, schedules, or materials. This method is the most unstructured of the various homeschooling techniques.