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Unit Studies- The unit studies approach is where several subjects are covered under one theme, i.e., a
specific time period or location. Unit studies are popular among both traditional and non traditional homeschoolers as it more closely imitates real life. An example of a unit study would be to study a country , person, event in history or a theme such as nursery rhymes or fables for 2-10 weeks (give or take) where all the general subjects would be covered under that particular theme. Here are some great links for Unit Studies http://www.courageousbeings.com http://www.thehomeschoolmom.com/schoolroom/unitstudies.php http://happyhomeschool.familyclassroom.net/Archives.shtml http://www.squidoo.com/lapbooking http://www.squidoo.com/groups/unit-studies
Unschooling- Unschooling is on the opposite end of structured homeschooling. It is child led with parental
assistance and guidance when necessary. The child pursues their education based on their interests. Unschooling parents trust that the child learns spontaneously through daily activities and trusts that the child will pursue education when they are ready. Unschooling parents believe life is about learning and learning should be about life. unschooling parents allow their children as much freedom to learn in the world as they are willing to bear. Here are some great links for Unschooling http://www.unschooling.info/forum/ http://www.lifelearningmagazine.com/ http://www.unschoolingamerica.com/ Here are some of my favorite Blogs about Unschooling http://www.throwingmarshmallows.com/ http://anunschoolinglife.com/
Montessori- The Montessori approach was founded by Dr. Maria Montessori in the early 1900’s. It is child
led (based on the child’s interests) and is very hands-on focusing on the child’s environment by observing their child’s interest. Montessori parents believe that children learn best by doing and that happy self-motivated learners form positive self images as confident, successful people. There are a lot of specially designed resources for teaching your child the Montessori way. Here are some great links for the Montessori Method: http://imsmontessori.org/what-is-montessori.htm http://www.montessori.org.uk/magazine-and-jobs http://www.montessori.edu/ http://www.montessoriblog.com/ Some of my favorite BLOGS about Montessori http://www.mymontessorihouse.com/my_montessori_house_at_home.html http://montessorifreefall.blogspot.com/ http://mommyme-thewonderyears.blogspot.com/
Charlotte Mason- this approach is is centered on the idea that education is three-pronged: Education is
an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life. By “Atmosphere,” Charlotte meant the surroundings in which the child grows up. By “Discipline,” Charlotte meant the discipline of good habits — and specifically habits of character. The other third of education, “Life,” applies to academics. Charlotte believed that we should give children living thoughts and ideas, not just dry facts. Students use living books rather than dry textbooks. Living books are usually written in story form by one author who has a passion for the subject. A living book makes the subject “come alive.” The charlotte Mason method is a very hand-on method where much of the learning takes place outside being one on one with nature. Here are some great links for the Charlotte Mason Method: http://www.secularcm.com/ http://simplycharlottemason.com/ Some of my favorite BLOGS about the Charlotte Mason Method: http://charlottemasonhomeschooling.wordpress.com/
Classical- classical education
is based on how the greatest minds in the history of the world were educated. It is centered around the Trivium. They believe that No matter how your child learns, he or she goes through three phases. In grades K-6, students are excellent at memorizing. In grades 7-8, students become more argumentoriented. They are ready to be taught logic and critical thinking. In grades 9-12, students become independent thinkers and communicators particularly concerned with their appearance to others. classical education is centered around rhetoric, the art of speaking, communicating, and writing. Students typically read the great works of Western literature and philosophy. They also study Classical languages (Latin and Greek) Here are some great links on the Classical Method: http://www.classicalhomeschooling.com/ http://www.classicalcurriculum.com/ Some of my favorite BLOGS about the Classical Method: http://closeacademy.blogspot.com/ http://successful-homeschooling.blogspot.com/
Eclectic- Eclectic homeschooling is a mix and match approach between
some or even all of the different types of homeschooling. For example these parents might use a certain curriculum but let their children complete it on their own time. Or they might use Unit studies but use the unschooling approach of having the units be based around the child’s interests. Parents might possibly draw from the classical approach by familiarizing his/her child with grammar, logic and rhetoric but will seek out living books like the Charlotte Mason method suggests. Eclectic Homeschoolers try to tailor the education based on the child’s needs, interests, or desires. Here are some great links for Eclectic Homeschooling: http://eclectichomeschool.org/ Some of my favorite BLOGS about the Eclectic Method: http://homeschoolcreations.blogspot.com http://strongquiver.blogspot.com/ http://www.weirdunsocializedhomeschoolers.com/ http://thesnailstrail.blogspot.com/
Also called the Steiner Method, the Waldorf method can be summed up by their common goal: "to produce individuals who are able, in and of themselves, to impart meaning to their lives". They seek to educate the whole child, “head, heart and hands". The Waldorf method believes that Education has to come from experience. They believe that in the first seven years of life, the child seeks to see that the world is a place of goodness, and will learn primarily by imitation and through activity. In the next developmental phase (through puberty) the child most naturally learns through beauty, from adults who merit being authorities. (This is why storytelling and art are employed as teaching vehicles throughout the elementary curriculum.) Finally, entering into the third developmental stage, and ready at last for true independent thinking: the teenager naturally begins a quest for truth. Waldorf education does not use textbooks. The children make their own based on experiences. Here are some great links about the Waldorf Method: http://www.waldorfhomeschoolers.com/ http://www.waldorfwithoutwalls.com/ http://www.timsellers.net/steinerhomeschooling/ http://www.whywaldorfworks.org/ http://waldorftv.weebly.com/index.html Some of my favorite BLOGS about the Waldorf Method http://www.frontierdreams.blogspot.com/ http://naturenest.wordpress.com/ http://syrendell.blogspot.com/ http://www.herewearetogether.co.uk/
Structured / Traditonal- This type of homeschooling resembles institutionalized educations the
most. (public and private schools. The school usually starts at a specific time of day and math, reading, history, etc are taught in time slots using curriculum purchased materials. The structured method is also sometimes called the traditional method, or the scope and sequence approach. A lot of parents start out with this approach as it is the most familiar to them or because they don’t know of any other options out there. Here are some great links for structured homeschooling: http://www.hsunlimited.com/resources/homeschool-methods/traditional.php http://www.waymarks.com/homeschool/ http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/31mom4/ Some of my favorite BLOGS using the Structured homeschooling method: http://theladyathome.wordpress.com/2009/09/03/confessions-of-a-structured-homeschooler/ http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/kristenph/
Thomas Jefferson- The Thomas Jefferson approach is centered around teaching your child leadership
skills and developing profound thinking. This approach advocates a daily family learning time that emphasizes reading, discussing, and journaling about classics (in literature and other fields) and includes lots of time for "free study" where students work toward their own goals. Here are some great links for the Thomas Jefferson Method:
http://www.tjedonline.com/ http://www.newfoundations.com/GALLERY/Jefferson.html Some of my favorite BLOGS about the Thomas Jefferson Method: http://blog.letshomeschool.com/2009/08/thomas-jefferson-homeschooling-method.html http://www.edwardshomeschoolkids.com/Leadership_Education.html
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