As parents and caretakers gain more ability to choose their children’s educational paths, the popularity of homeschooling has surged across the country. The fact that many school-age children are already learning online has opened new opportunities for parents to jump from traditional education to homeschool curriculums.
With that being said, parents are often ill-informed about the many different homeschool educational approaches and philosophies, which can vary drastically. How a child is homeschooled should depend on the child’s learning ability, the family’s access to resources, values, income, and goals of switching to homeschooling. There is no one size fits all philosophy or approach for these and many other reasons, and families must make the best choices for their personal needs.
Traditional Homeschooling Approach
The traditional homeschooling approach is what initially comes to mind when considering educating children at home. Parents may create home versions of a classroom as a school-at-home approach, complete with traditional educational learning tools. Typically a designated parent teaches classes on a schedule, following that of the public or private schools. In some aspects, this approach gives parents a solid outline to follow, especially when new to homeschooling.
The Waldorf Approach
Founded by Rudolf Steiner, the Waldorf approach to homeschooling encourages children to explore their environments through play and activities. Seeking to expose children to the arts and humanities, this approach weaves the sciences and arts together through holistic learning. Steiner believed in educating the whole child, and parents today see this philosophy as one that focuses on learning without the help of electronics, lessening dependence on technology.
For many parents, the use of technology is a must for homeschooling their children. With the increased amount of technology-based curriculums from which to choose, this approach appeals to many parents. Technology-based curriculums use a combination of live teachers, pre-packaged lessons, videos, and more to provide children with a more traditional education at home. Students can typically move through the curriculum at their own pace, giving parents and students alike options to choose what suits individual needs.
Homeschool approaches based on religious philosophies are shaped and influenced by scripture. Assignments may include religious studies as a part of the core curriculum. Often religious-based homeschool duties are shared by other parents, and children are included together in certain planned activities, classes, or other community-based aspects. While religion may be the inspiration or reason behind this type of homeschool education, it is not the curriculum’s entirety. It is open to secular families who desire a valued based educational approach.
Finding Your Homeschool Path
Homeschooling has made its way into the most popular modern education choices of families today. With numerous approaches and philosophies and options of curriculum styles and delivery methods, there is something for everyone. Finding what works best for your child and your family will ensure the resources necessary for your child’s educational and social growth.