The Approaches

Below are links to all the posts in this series. See also my quiz to find your best fit, questions to ask when selecting an approach, and my advice to new homeschoolers.

Approaches to Homeschooling: Introductory Post

Approaches to Homeschooling: Summary Post (this is actually not a bad place to start)

Classical Education: Classical is a very broadly used term so I’ve got a number of posts on this one. For help in sorting it all out, start with this post: Sorting Out Classical  and Characteristics of Classical Education

Charlotte Mason: Charlotte Mason (CM) is a late 19th/early 20th century educator from England whose ideas have undergone a resurgence. Because my personal approach is similar to hers, I have done many posts on the CM method; you can find them all here. Charlotte Mason was herself a Christian (Church of England) and her approach assumes a Higher Being (at the very least). Modern takes on CM have applied her principles in Catholic, Muslim, Jewish, and even secular settings (seethis post).

Unschooling: In my area, unschooling is perhaps the single most popular approach (other than a very traditional school-at-home model) among non-Christians. While radical or “pure” unschooling has a vibrant and well-defined underlying philosophy, it is also inherently flexible and is often in practice adapted to one’s particular circumstances and needs. See also Long-Term Results of Unschooling.

Montessori: Most have heard of Maria Montessori. Like Charlotte Mason (see above) she lived and worked in the early 20th century (Montessori was slightly later). Rumor has it they didn’t get along well.

Waldorf: An approach formulated by Rudolf Steiner in the early 1900s (it was a big time for new philosophies of education) which still has some adherents today.

Unit Studies and additional thoughts: Unit studies is more of a practical approach than a philosophy but there are some ideas there lurking behind it all.

Values- and Character-Based Approaches:

Christian Worldview Curricula:

The Puritans’ Home School Curriculum: Another Christian curriculum (if the name didn’t tell you that). This one is specifically reformed (my own branch of Christianity) though I cannot say it appeals to me (click the link for more on that).

And, in case you were wondering about the ideas in your local public school:

John Dewey, Evolution, and Socialization; see also Evolution as a Mindset