Here are some of the most widely recognized comprehensive methods chosen by families who home educate. The options within these methods range from do-it-yourself to curriculum packages to enrollment in a distance learning school.
Based on the Trivium, which divides learning into three age-related stages: Grammar (memorization of basic facts); Dialectic (logic and critical thinking); Rhetoric (effective communication).
The Lost Tools of Learning by Dorothy Sayers
Charlotte Mason was an English schoolteacher, lecturer, and founder of a college for governesses. She died in 1923, and her educational philosophy became “old-fashioned.” She emphasized literature, nature, the arts.
Charlotte Mason, The Andreola family Web site on Mason’s education
Introduction to Practical Charlotte Mason by Catherine Levison
A Charlotte Mason Education, a secular approach to the CM learning style
Based on the spiritual philosophy of Rudolph Steiner, who opened his first school in Austria in 1919. Waldorf schools emphasize delayed academics, the arts, crafts (all Waldorf students learn to knit), fairy tales, folk tales, and mythology, avoidance of television and computers.
Mainly known in the U.S. for early childhood education, but methods work well into the teen years. Maria Montessori’s work with impoverished children in pre-WWI Italy proved that children are capable of learning and doing much more than was commonly believed. “Control the environment, not the child” is the key philosophy.
Questions and Answers by Jim & Susan Stephenson
Rather than divide learning into discrete subjects, unit studies wrap subjects around a theme. This approach is one of the most library-intensive of all home education models.
The Joy and Ease of Learning Through Child-led Unit Studies by Kandi Chong
Home Schooling With Frugal Unit Studies by Nannette Gilbert
Designing Homeschool Unit Studies by Jennifer Kaufeld
“Umbrella schools,” prepackaged curricula, video courses, correspondence courses, online classes. A spectrum of learning opportunities exists for families who home educate. Single courses, comprehensive curricula, records-keeping, assessment, teacher support, even social forums and graduation ceremonies are available. For more information, please see our Distance Learning page.