6 Homeschooling Methods You Need to Know About
Learning about homeschooling methods is your next step after you’ve learned the benefits of homeschooling and you’ve made the brave decision to leave the traditional educational system behind.
But now what? How do you do this?
While not all homeschooling methods are the same—and the options can get overwhelming—there’s hope at the end of this tunnel!
In this list, I’m covering six homeschooling methods that showcase different styles. Some are more traditional and resemble the subject your child might study at a traditional school, while others are completely unique in their approach.
Don’t let the recent surge in homeschool programs, methodologies, and curricula get you down. Let me help you find what inspires you to create the most amazing homeschool experience ever for your kids!
Keep reading to see which methods you find most interesting and possible for your homeschool.
Who Is Homeschool Spanish Academy?
We’re an online Spanish school committed to empowering parents and their children to live happier lives, enjoy stronger learning outcomes, and experience real success. Learn more about our classes. ➡️
1. Charlotte Mason Curriculum (CMers)
This Christian homeschool curriculum is based on the philosophy of education of a British educator and reformer from the 19th century named Charlotte Mason. His idea of perceiving a child as a person and respecting them was innovative for that era.
Mason proposed a wide and liberal curriculum inspired by the Bible. She believed that children naturally love learning and develop best in a positive atmosphere.
This homeschooling method is child-centered and focuses on liberal arts, emphasizing concepts instead of facts. It proposes plenty of nature walks, nature journals, and all types of portfolios.
Reading is an important part of the CM homeschool curriculum. However, instead of textbooks, “living books,” such as stories with heroes and life lessons, are preferred.
Besides typical academic subjects like English, science, and math, CMers study nature, art, music appreciation, and handicrafts. The lessons for elementary students last about 15-20 minutes and 45 minutes for high schoolers. It’s a very flexible approach with a learning pace dictated by the child.
After reading about other methods, you’ll see that this one is a bit more structured than the Montessori approach, for example, or the unschooling method.
In contrast to newer curriculums, this one has worked for over 100 years.
One of the cons of this method is that it works better with elementary than middle and high school students. Unfortunately, there are not so many resources for older kids on official CM sites, so you’ll need to look for your materials. Its Christian approach is not for everyone, and some educators think it’s not modern enough.
2. The Classical Method
The classical method is the most popular homeschooling method, and you can find its roots in the Middle Ages and some varieties of it, even further in Ancient Greece.
The Latin writer Martianus Capella invented this learning style in the 5th century, and homeschooling families have recognized its benefits for teaching and learning for ages.
With the classical method, the homeschoolers move through three stages:
- Concrete learning (the grammar stage) for students up to 4th grade
- Critical learning (the logic stage) that starts in 5th grade, and
- Abstract learning (the rhetoric stage) for high school.
The curriculum strongly focuses on language and literature and often incorporates Greek and Latin studies.
The Biblical classical approach also puts a strong emphasis on biblical worldview training.
The Classical homeschool curriculum gives students solid core knowledge of language arts, mathematics, science, and history apart from classical languages, logic, and rhetoric. It also emphasizes teaching values and training in logic and critical thinking.
This method is rigorous and systematic, so some parents may find it incredibly tempting. However, there are also ready-to-use resources online and many homeschooling support networks.
”Who won’t like this method?” you may ask.
Classical schooling is not for students that don’t like reading, for example. However, focusing on reading takes time from other subjects such as math and science, so it’s more suited for students with a humanistic approach.
It’s also not very modern, and there’s lots of desk work.
- The Well Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education, by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise, 3rd ed. (Norton, 2009)
3. Montessori Homeschool Curriculum
This method might sound familiar even for parents who are new to homeschooling.
Maria Montessori, an Italian doctor and educator, invented this method first for kids with special needs in the late 19th century. She later extended it to students who usually don’t need any adaptations.
Her method revolutionized early years education and is still a favorite among parents.
This homeschool mode is child-centered and recognizes kids as unique individuals. Learning in this method is creative and based on natural curiosity. It’s a hands-on approach that adapts to individual learning styles. Additionally, the kids can choose what and when they want to study.
The Montessori approach incorporates specific, adapted furniture and architecture to make the homeschooling environment attractive and inspiring. It’s recommended for kids with special educational needs but allows gifted students to move faster through the curriculum.
What are the drawbacks?
The same as the Charlotte Mason Curriculum, this one is better for more elementary students. It’s also more focused on humanities than sciences and math.
- The Montessori Method, by Maria Montessori (Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1912)
- American Montessori Society
- Living Montessori Now
It surely sounds like the opposite of a teaching method. But unschooling it’s a well-known learning approach based on the philosophy of one of the homeschooling pioneers of the 1970s: John Holt.
There’s no one unschooling definition. It’s a way of learning that lets children design their learning path.
In the unschooling model, children make the decisions, not the parents. Parents are facilitators and not instructors. This method is activity-based and often dispenses tests or any type of evaluation. However, basic skills such as reading, writing, and arithmetic are taught rigorously. It’s the opposite of the Classical Model and the School-at-Home method, and it’s excellent for talented kids that know what they like and want.
What some parents love, others think, is a severe drawback.
A lack of structure can be horrifying for families that need more order. Some students feel lost without concrete guidance. There’s also an underlying danger of omitting some required parts of the curriculum because of the unsystematic approach.
- Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book of Homeschooling, by John Holt & Pat Farenga, 1st Paperback Ed. (De Capo Press, 2003)
5. Home Education (Traditional Homeschool)
If you’re not convinced by the unschooling method, the home education might be for you.
This method’s way of teaching and learning is almost identical to the one in public or private schools. The only difference is that it’s home-based.
Families that opt for this method usually use complete curriculum packages for each grade. The parent can administer the curriculum or independently by the student, with the help of an online homeschool program provider. It’s easy for families new to homeschooling to adopt this method, as it follows the rules they know from traditional education.
It’s also aligned with federal and state standards, easily measurable, and therefore recommended for homeschooled high schoolers.
If you don’t want much hassle or plan to homeschool only for a short period of time, this should be one of your first choices. If your child needs to spend a term or even a year outside the traditional educational system, the School-at-Home method will let them return easily to their previous method.
But what about cons?
Due to its rigorous and inflexible curriculum, the Traditional Homeschool method may be as burned-out as the traditional system. It’s also very time-consuming, and if you opt for ready-to-teach programs, it can also be very expensive.
6. Relaxed Homeschooling (Eclectic Education)
The Relaxed homeschooling method, also called “eclectic homeschooling,” combines a bit of everything from other methods.
The eclectic homeschooling method focuses on the child’s needs in every area and is non-curriculum based. It’s by far the most flexible of the homeschooling methods.
Relaxed homeschooling means you can try different methods in different moments of your homeschooling journey or combine them in the same year. For example, you could follow the School-at-Home method for math and the Charlotte Mason curriculum for Visual Arts and Music.
It works well for parents that feel secure about homeschooling and know their child’s educational needs and talents. Since you can use materials from any homeschooling model, tons of resources are available to you and your kids. Nothing can beat that!
Naturally, this method includes many of the cons of each of the other methods.
Maybe the CM method in science will not be the best choice for secular homeschooling families. Perhaps the Montessori approach may slow the pace of your middle school kid.
- Think Outside the Classroom: A Practical Approach to Relaxed Homeschooling, by Kelly Crawford, (CreateSpace, 2014)
Hear Your Child Speak Spanish! Your Free Trial Class Is Waiting ➡️
Ready To Choose a Homeschooling Method?
Now that you know the different homeschooling styles, and their pros and cons, you can make your choice.
What should you take into consideration?
Think of the values that are important for you and your family and the educational philosophy that you find attractive. Decide how long you want to homeschool—some of the homeschooling methods I showed above work better with elementary levels.
- What are your family goals, and how flexible do you feel?
- Which method seems the easiest to implement in your family circumstances?
Once you make your choice, nothing is written in stone. You can always change your mind and the homeschool model. For more advice, you can also check out
Remember, your child and family are unique, and only you can know what is best for them!
Learn more about our K-12 Online Spanish Programs!
Join one of the 40,000 classes that we teach each month and you can experience results like these…
“This is the best way for your kid to learn Spanish. It’s one-on-one, taught by native Spanish speakers, and uses a curriculum.”
– Sharon K, Parent of 3
“It’s a great way to learn Spanish, from native Spanish speakers in a 1-on-1 environment. It’s been fairly easy to schedule classes around my daughter’s other classes. The best value for us has been ordering multiple classes at a time. All the instructors have been great!”
– Cindy D, Parent of 3
“HSA offers very affordable, quality, one on one classes with a native speaker. My son has greatly benefited from taking classes. We have seen his confidence increase as well as his pronunciation improve, because he learns from a native Spanish speaker. HSA has quick, personal customer service. Our family has been very pleased with our experience so far!”
– Erica P. Parent of 1
Want more super useful education-related content? It’s for you!
- 10 Websites Offering Short Stories in Spanish for Beginners
- Can Homeschoolers Participate in Sports?
- 10 Tips for When Homeschool Isn’t Working
- Is There Homeschooling in Latin America?
- 10 Productive Back-to-School Activities for Your Spanish Class
- Foreign Language Credits 101: How to Earn Credits for College
- Tips and Tricks for Homeschooling Your Kids While Working Full-Time
- How To Include Foreign Language Into Your Homeschool Schedule
- 10 Tips for When Homeschool Isn’t Working - August 21, 2023
- 15 Fun Spanish Icebreakers for High School Students - July 31, 2023
- Get Ready For Back To School Season: Tips and Tricks - July 13, 2023