8 Different Types of Homeschooling Methods

While home education has been around since the beginning of time, In recent years many families have embraced homeschooling as a way to educate their children outside of traditional school systems. Homeschooling comes in various shapes and sizes, and this guide will help you learn about the different types of homeschooling methods available.

Different Types of Homeschooling Methods

From classical education to unschooling, each approach has its unique benefits and considerations. 

First and foremost, understand that if you are new to homeschooling, what you try first more than likely won’t be the same method you settle on for the rest of your homeschooling adventure.  I tried various curriculums an I would say that it’s only in the last couple years I’ve figured out what works best for our family.  I’ve been homeschooling for over 12 years, so you do the math.

I am of the belief that for most people it won’t take them as long as it took me to land on my favorite curriculum for my kids, but don’t be discouraged if you try out one curriculum and it just doesn’t work.  You can decide whether you are going to finish the year with it to save money and then start fresh the following year, or whether you need to switch it in the middle of your school year. 

I’m going to tell you that I’ve done both.  We’ve pushed through and worked on our curriculum that we just didn’t love because I had already spent money on it, but we’ve also changed it halfway through the year if we found it was a particularly bad fit for us.

So, let’s dive into various homeschool styles and find the one that best fits you and your child’s needs.

​8 Different Types of Homeschooling

1. Traditional Homeschooling: A Structured Path

Traditional homeschooling is like bringing the classroom home. It often replicates the traditional schooling idea. Families following this method adopt a structured curriculum and often have a daily schedule that mirrors that of a typical school. Lessons cover core subjects like language arts, math, science, and social studies. Parents using the traditional method find comfort in its resemblance to a formal school setting, which can be particularly helpful for those transitioning from public or private schools.  

2. Unit Studies: Learning by Themes

Unit studies homeschooling takes a thematic approach. Instead of studying subjects in isolation, children explore various subjects within the context of a central theme. For instance, a unit on Ancient Greece could include history, art, literature, and even science lessons related to that time period. This approach promotes holistic learning and allows children to connect abstract concepts to real-life situations.

3. Charlotte Mason Method: Nurturing Through Nature

The Charlotte Mason approach emphasizes the role of living books and real-life experiences in education. Named after its founder, this method encourages “nature study,” which involves exploring the outdoors to learn about the environment. It also focuses on developing good habits, fostering a love for reading, and incorporating fine arts into daily learning.

This is the homeschooling method our family uses the  most and have discovered it is our favorite way to learn.  We don’t do Charlotte Mason for every subject, but we enjoy using the Simply Charlotte Mason curriculum for history, geography, Bible, and outdoor learning.

4. Montessori Method: Learning Through Exploration

The Montessori method, developed by Maria Montessori, emphasizes independent exploration and hands-on learning. This approach provides children with learning materials that are self-correcting, allowing them to learn through trial and error. Montessori homeschoolers often create prepared environments that foster curiosity and critical thinking.

Ways to Homeschool

5. Unschooling: Learning Through Life

Unschooling, inspired by educator John Holt, takes a radically different approach. It centers on the belief that children learn best when they’re self-motivated and pursue their interests. Unschoolers don’t follow a set curriculum; instead, they encourage learning through everyday experiences, conversations, and the pursuit of personal passions.

6. Eclectic Homeschooling: A Mix and Match Approach

Eclectic homeschoolers combine elements from various methods to create a personalized approach that suits their family’s needs. This flexible method allows parents to choose the best parts from different styles of homeschooling, tailoring their child’s education to their learning style and interests.

As I said above, we lean towards Charlotte Mason, but we also take an eclectic approach as we use different methods for different subjects.  I prefer a curriculum called Teaching Textbooks for math, and we love the Good and the Beautiful for Language Arts.  This particular method works great for us.

7. Online Schooling: A Digital Classroom

Online schooling has become more prevalent, offering a virtual classroom experience. Families can choose from a variety of online platforms that provide structured curricula, interactive lessons, and assessments. This method can be especially beneficial for parents who prefer a more structured approach but want the flexibility of a digital learning environment.

8. Classical Homeschooling:  Three stages of Learning

Classical homeschooling is an educational approach that draws inspiration from the teaching methods of ancient Greece and Rome. It focuses on nurturing critical thinking, logic, and a deep understanding of classical subjects. This approach is divided into three stages – Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric – tailored to a child’s developmental level. 

Finding the Best Fit for Your Family

Choosing the right homeschooling method is a significant decision that depends on your child’s learning style, your teaching style, and your family’s values. Consider your child’s needs, your available resources, and the approach that aligns with your educational philosophy. Don’t hesitate to experiment with different methods and adjust as needed to create the optimal learning environment for your child.  

Ask fellow homeschool parents what they use and ask to look at their books before you buy.  It’s very helpful to leaf through someone else’s curriculum books to get an idea of what is inside.

The world of homeschooling offers a wide spectrum of methods, each catering to different aspects of a child’s education. Whether you’re drawn to the structured classical approach, the free-spirited nature of unschooling, or something in between, remember that the best way to homeschool is the one that resonates with your family’s unique dynamics and goals. 

How to Homeschool

Understanding Homeschooling Requirements: Tailoring Curriculum to Meet Regulations

Before you embark on your homeschooling journey and you buy and choose curriculum, take a moment to consider the legal requirements in your state or country. Regulations regarding homeschooling can vary significantly, and it’s crucial to ensure that you’re in compliance with the laws that pertain to your area. 

Research the specific requirements, such as registering as a homeschooling family, submitting educational plans, keeping attendance records, or participating in assessments. Keeping these regulations in mind as you choose your curriculum will help create a successful homeschooling experience for both you and your child.

Of course, you may live in an area like I do where the homeschooling rules are pretty relaxed, and if so, you are given a lot of freedom to homeschool the way you want.


Where to Buy Homeschooling Curriculum

When it comes to homeschooling, you want to choose the right curriculum, but where do you find it? Fortunately, there’s an abundance of resources available to help you find the perfect fit for your child’s education. In this section, we’ll explore various avenues where you can purchase homeschooling curriculum and learning materials.

If you want to find specific recommendations on frugal homeschool curriculum, you can find my thoughts on that here.

1. Publishers and Online Retailers

Many well-known educational publishers offer comprehensive homeschooling curricula that cover a wide range of subjects and grade levels. Some popular options include:

  • Homeschool Curriculum Providers: Companies like AbekaSonlight, and BJU Press Homeschool offer complete curriculum packages for various grade levels. These packages often include textbooks, workbooks, teacher guides, and supplementary materials.
  • Online Retailers: Websites like Rainbow Resource CenterChristianbook, and Amazon offer a vast selection of homeschooling materials from multiple publishers. You can find everything from textbooks to art supplies and science kits.  In Canada, where I am, my favorite place to order curriculum is from The Learning House.

2. Online Homeschooling Marketplaces

Dedicated online marketplaces for homeschooling materials provide a platform for both educators and parents to buy and sell curriculum resources. Some of these platforms include:

  • Teachers Pay Teachers: This website offers a wide range of educational resources created by teachers for teachers. While primarily aimed at classroom teachers, many homeschooling parents find valuable materials here as well.

Attending homeschool conventions and curriculum fairs can be an great experience. These events bring together curriculum publishers, authors, and educators, allowing you to explore materials in person and ask questions. Some of the most prominent events include:

  • Great Homeschool Conventions: Held in various locations across the United States, these conventions feature a wide array of workshops, speakers, and a vendor hall filled with curriculum options.
  • HEAV Convention: The Home Educators Association of Virginia hosts an annual convention that showcases curriculum vendors, workshops, and resources for homeschooling families.

Homeschooling your Kids

4. Local Homeschool Groups and Networks

Connect with local homeschooling communities to tap into a wealth of information about curriculum options. Many groups organize curriculum swaps, where you can exchange or purchase used materials from other homeschooling families. Try searching on social media for groups in your area.

5. Online Communities and Social Media

Social media platforms and online homeschooling forums provide a space for parents to share recommendations and advice on curriculum choices. Joining groups on platforms like Facebook can help you gain insights into what other parents have found effective.

6. Creating Your Own Curriculum

If you’re leaning toward an eclectic or unschooling approach, you might choose to create your own curriculum using a mix of resources. Libraries, educational websites, and even video tutorials can serve as valuable learning materials.

Remember that the best curriculum for your family will align with your child’s learning style, your teaching preferences, and your homeschooling approach. Take advantage of sample materials, reviews, and recommendations to make an informed decision. Additionally, some curriculum providers offer free trials or samples, giving you the opportunity to assess whether a particular curriculum suits your child’s needs before making a purchase.

Where to Find Free Homeschool Printables

Homeschooling can be supplemented with a wide array of resources, including free printables that enhance your child’s learning experience. These materials provide engaging activities, worksheets, and educational tools that can supplement your chosen curriculum. Let’s explore some of the best online sources where you can discover a treasure trove of free homeschool printables.

1. Education Websites and Blogs

Many educators and homeschooling parents share their expertise through blogs and websites. These platforms often offer free printables designed to reinforce various subjects and skills. Websites like Education.comTeachers Pay Teachers (which also has a selection of free resources), and Super Teacher Worksheets host a wealth of materials suitable for different grade levels.

2. Homeschool Curriculum Providers

Some curriculum providers offer a selection of free resources as a way to introduce their materials. Khan Academy offers a comprehensive range of free lessons in math, science, history, and more. Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool is a complete, free Christian homeschool curriculum for kindergarten through high school.

3. Government and Educational Institutions

Government educational websites often provide free resources aligned with official standards. The National Geographic Kids website offers geography-related printables, while the NASA Education website provides space and science-themed resources.

4. Pinterest

Pinterest is a treasure trove of homeschooling ideas and resources, including countless free printables and is personally my favorite place to find this kind of thing. By searching for specific keywords, you can find worksheets, activities, and lesson plans shared by homeschooling parents and educators.

5. Homeschooling Communities and Forums

Online communities and forums, such as Homeschool.com  is an excellent place to connect with other homeschoolers and discover free printables. Members often share resources they’ve found helpful in their own homeschooling journeys.

6. Library Websites

Many public libraries offer online resources, including free access to educational databases, e-books, and even printable activities. Check your local library’s website to see what they provide.

7. Educational YouTube Channels

Some YouTube channels dedicated to education offer companion printables that go hand in hand with their video content. These materials can help reinforce the concepts covered in the videos.

Remember that while free homeschool printables can be incredibly valuable, they should complement your curriculum and teaching style. It’s essential to ensure that the materials align with your educational goals and cater to your child’s learning needs. Whether you’re seeking math worksheets, science experiments, or creative writing prompts, these online sources can provide a wealth of resources to enhance your homeschooling journey.

The process of choosing a what type of homeschooling you want to do can be both exciting and overwhelming. With the numerous options available, take the time to research and explore what aligns with your educational goals. Whether you opt for a structured package from a publisher, digital resources from online marketplaces, or a combination of various materials, your commitment to providing a quality education for your child will undoubtedly lead to a fulfilling homeschool journey.  

If you are ready to try something different than the traditional education method, hopefully these different ways of teaching your child will help.  The ideas on this list are some of the most popular homeschooling methods that have worked for thousands of families, so one of them is bound to work for you too!

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