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Homeschooling Approaches

Following are descriptions of some common methods of teaching. Resources are listed where applicable.


Often referred to as School-at-Home, this approach attempts to replicate the school model in the home setting. Textbooks are used and a schedule is followed.

The Educated Child
William Bennett
ISBN: 0684833492

What your nth Grader Should Know series
E.D. Hirsh
ISBN Varies


In the Classical Approach, children are taught tools of learning collectively known as The Trivium. The Trivium has three parts: the Grammar stage, the Dialectic stage and the Rhetoric Stage. Each part corresponds to a childhood developmental stage.

The Well-Trained Mind
Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer
ISBN: 0393047520

Unit Studies

A unit study takes a topic or theme and delves into it deeply over a period of time, integrating language arts, science, social studies, math and fine arts as they apply. Instead of studying subjects as unrelated, all subjects are blended together and studied around a common theme or project.

Five in a Row
Literature-based unit study for children ages 2-12.

The Unit Study [Idea] Book
Valerie Bendt
ISBN: 1-880892-43-X

How to Create your own Unit Study
Valerie Bendt
ISBN: 1880892421


Unschooling is a less structured learning approach which allows children to pursue their own interests and find personal meaning and purpose in learning. Children are surrounded with a rich learning environment and adults who model a lifestyle of learning.

The Unschooling Handbook: How to Use the Whole World As Your Child's Classroom
Mary Griffith
ISBN: 0761512764

The Relaxed Home School
Mary Hood
ISBN: 0963974009

An unschooling resource and information sharing site.

Charlotte Mason

Charlotte Mason was a turn of the century British educator. She believed in treating children as persons, involving them in real life situations and allowing them to read living books, well-written books that bring events to life. This method includes a strong emphasis on nature.

A Charlotte Mason Education
Catherine Levison
ISBN: 1891400169

Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections of the Gentle Art of Learning
Karen Andreola
ISBN: 1889209023

Charlotte Mason's Original Homeschooling Series-6 Vols. (click here to view online for free)
Charlotte Mason
ISBN: 1889209007


This method is based on the philosophies of an Austrian educator named Rudolf Steiner. He felt that concepts should not be taught to young children. Instead, emphasis should be on creative play, imagination, imitation, games, crafts and artistic activities.

An Introduction to Waldorf Education
Henry Barnes

Kingdom of Childhood
Rudolf Steiner

Oak Meadow

Waldorf Without Walls


The Montessori method is based on the philosophies of Italian doctor/educator Maria Montessori. She believed that children should have freedom to develop their own physical, mental and spiritual growth. Self-motivation and self-education are stressed. Emphasis is placed on the proper use of tools and materials as opposed to fantasy and imaginative free play.

Montessori at Home: a complete guide to teaching your preschooler at home using the Montessori method
Heidi Anne Spietz
ISBN: 0-929487-37-0

Modern Montessori at Home: a creative teaching guide for parents of children six through nine years of age
Heidi Anne Spietz
ISBN: 0-929487-02-8

Montessori Educational Products


Most homeschoolers fall into this category. A blend of different approaches is used to create a homeschooling method that works best for your child and family. For example, one may use a traditional curriculum for math, unit studies to cover history, language arts, art and science and take music classes.

Eclectic Homeschooling on the Web

Eclectic Homeschool Online

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