When your child is old enough to go to elementary school, it can be tough to decide on the right education path. These days, homeschooling is becoming more and more popular for a variety of reasons. However, having access to so many options can be overwhelming to many parents.
So, to help you understand the potential benefits and downsides, we want to go over the different homeschooling options for elementary school students. This decision will affect your child for years to come, so you must take the time to decide.
Technically speaking, there are seven different options for homeschooling, but we’re going to break them down into three sections: conventional, online, and individual learning. Here is what you can expect from each.
Conventional Homeschooling: Classical Method, Charlotte Mason, School-at-Home
With this method, you develop a structured curriculum for your child to follow. Typically, subjects are similar to what you might find in a classroom, but you can tailor the material to fit your child’s needs.
The Classical method focuses heavily on ancient works and texts and looks at how ideas and learning have evolved over time. There is a strong historical element to the curriculum.
Charlotte Mason schooling is based on segmenting the day into blocks of learning and interaction with nature. This method is also heavily Christian-based, so most of the material has a biblical lean to it.
Finally, school-at-home is designed to mimic the classroom as much as possible. Rather than learning from a teacher at school, your child follows the material with you.
Online Homeschooling: Unit Studies, School-at-Home
As the name suggests, your child does most of his or her learning online. You can find a wide array of courses and curriculum based on different subjects, such as math, science, and reading.
To ensure that your little one doesn’t spend all day in front of a screen, most of these courses have downloadable material you can use to teach as well. Also, they will suggest tactile learning like field trips, playtime, and other real-world elements. Make the Grade is a perfect example of merging online curricula with homeschooling techniques.
Unit studies are when different topics are grouped into a related unit. For example, when studying ancient history, you may talk about the geography of the Roman Empire, the science behind aqueducts, and present reading material from the time. This method is much easier to do online since you have instant access to information.
Individual Learning: Montessori, Unschooling, Eclectic Education
Finally, rather than developing a curriculum for your child to follow, you can let your little one dictate how he or she learns. Individual homeschooling can focus on topics that interest your child, and it has a more freeform feel to it.
Montessori schooling focuses on tactile learning, such as playing and interacting with objects, rather than reading books.
Unschooling is popular because it lets the child learn at his or her own pace and focused on activities and learn-as-you methodologies.
Eclectic Education is the loosest option available, as it has no rigid schedule or curriculum. You basically make it up as you go based on the needs and passions of your child. For example, if he or she is interested in biology, your lessons will mostly be related to that.
Bottom Line: Homeschooling is Adaptable
Overall, you want to focus on the why behind homeschooling before looking at the how. Will your child go to school at some point? A structured lesson plan will help prepare him or her for that. Do you want to avoid the assembly-line nature of modern education? Then Unschooling or Montessori may be a better option.