8 Ways to Homeschool Without Curriculum
Is it even possible to homeschool without a curriculum?
Yes, it is.
Many parents choose this style of homeschooling. There is not a single way to do it. Like many things related to homeschooling, the way you choose depends on your child’s learning style and needs.
Keep reading to learn what it means to homeschool without a curriculum and all about 8 of the most popular homeschooling styles that don’t require your child to follow a curriculum.
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Is a Curriculum Really Necessary for Homeschooling?
In a word, no.
You don’t have to follow a curriculum to practice homeschooling. There are several ways to homeschool, and a curriculum-based system is only one.
So, why do so many parents and educators rely on a curriculum?
Well, the reasons are varied, but in a way, some parents may find it easier to just pay for a curriculum and not worry about what their child will learn every day.
It might solve a problem, but it comes with added consequences. It outsources the content and style of education your child gets.
What Does it Mean to Homeschool Without Curriculum?
Most people tend to assume that when you homeschool, you must get a curriculum for your child to follow. However, that doesn’t have to be your case.
Many parents have discovered several benefits of homeschooling without a curriculum.
For instance, if you decide to homeschool without a curriculum, you’ll save a lot of money. It can also be liberating for your child’s learning experience, as many curriculums tend to be based on textbooks and often miss many other learning opportunities.
Finally, you can also choose if you want your child’s homeschooling experience to be faith-based or not religious at all.
8 Ways to Homeschool Without Curriculum
These are some of the most popular ways to homeschool without a curriculum.
Deschooling may not precisely be a way to practice homeschool without a curriculum.
Still, I’m including it in this list because it’s an essential first step in your child’s journey to an education free of the restraints that a curriculum brings.
Deschooling is “the belief that schools and other learning institutions are incapable of providing the best possible education for some or most individuals.” This educational approach believes in the freedom of kids to choose what they want to learn.
But deschooling is more than that.
It’s also the process of leaving a traditional education and adapting to home-based education.
Deschooling can be a transitional phase between a public-school education or a curriculum-based one and your new style of homeschooling without a curriculum.
Use this time to visit museums and libraries, and try to let your child discover their interests without any pressure or structure.
After your deschooling period, and depending on your child’s discoveries about themselves, you may want to choose one of the following options.
According to The New York Times, unschooling is “a pedagogy premised on letting your kid sleep in, read whatever they like (or not) and learn math (or not) through baking, elaborate Lego creations or wandering the internet rather than working through a textbook.”
Unschooling is also known as “natural learning,” “experience-based learning,” and several other terms. Unschooling is about letting your child follow their interests and learn through living instead of a specific convention of school or any other education system.
Some say that unschooling isn’t only a homeschooling style but a lifestyle on its own.
It focuses on families living stimulating lives that will teach kids everything they need to know. You can forget about curriculums, lesson plans, grades, and any assessment with unschooling.
Gameschooling is based on the idea that kids learn better when having fun and playing games. So, with gameschooling, you basically use “games to teach.”
But parents don’t take this lightly and pretend that the occasional game is good enough to learn what their children need to know. For the families that engage in gameschooling, playing games is the centerpiece of their educational approach.
If you like this approach, you may want to know that there’s a Gameschool Academy formed by parents who believe their children “should have a play-based education.”
You might like: 10 Ways to Incorporate Spanish Into Your Gameschooling
Homeschooling cooperatives or co-ops are networks of families that homeschool and “meet regularly at libraries, churches, community centers, or homes, and work together toward similar goals.”
Joining a homeschool co-op can be an option to practice homeschooling without a curriculum. Each co-op has its homeschooling style, and some don’t follow any specific program.
By joining efforts, homeschooling families can share learning experiences, tips, resources, and skills, to help their children to learn in independent, innovative ways.
You might like: How to Start a Homeschool Co-Op You Love
Worldschoolers have taken the famous Shakesperian phrase “the world is your oyster” to heart and tweaked it.
Worldschooling is “when the whole world is your school, instead of school being your whole world.”
Worldschooling doesn’t require curriculums, teachers, or even books. The children’s best teacher is the world, which is like an open book for them. This method involves a lot of traveling, tours, excursions, and visiting “temples, museums, markets, hotels, railway stations, and playgrounds.”
The idea is that no curriculum can teach children what they can learn through observing and interacting with the real world.
6. Online Homeschool Lessons
Some homeschool parents that don’t want to buy a curriculum and limit their children’s education opt to enroll their kids in online homeschool lessons.
You can either hire a private tutor or sign up in one of the different online academies available for homeschool students.
However, you must be aware that some of these online classes may follow their own curriculum, which in a way would be the same as just buying one. If you like this option, discuss with the private tutor or academy of your choice the type of education you have in mind for your child.
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7. A Mixed Approach
I like this homeschooling style as parents who follow it don’t mind coining a label for their approach and simply take what they think is better for their children in any subject or situation.
For example, you can teach your child language arts through tabletop games (such as Scrabble and Supersize Mad Libs) and books.
You can also teach math through manipulatives, games, and baking. Teaching science could be fun using Lego resources, hands-on experiments, and chemistry sets.
Did you notice that games are included, and books are not banned? Why do you have to quit books just because you call yourself a gameschooler? And vice versa.
You might like: 20 Free Spanish Books, Novels, and Stories in PDF for All Ages
8. Forest Schooling
Forest schooling is another exciting way of practicing homeschool without a curriculum.
In a sense, it’s similar to world schooling but emphasizes spending time in nature and learning through it.
This type of education strongly focuses on developing “survival skills such as fire-building, orienteering, and know-tying.” The topics studied in forest schooling are cross-curriculum and always include the natural environment.
Examples of topics learned through this model are “the role of trees in society, the complex ecosystem supported by a wilderness, and recognition of specific plants and animals.”
Are You Ready To Homeschool Without Curriculum?
Homeschooling without following a set curriculum isn’t that hard, and more and more parents are choosing this path. Your child wins in independence, freedom, and openness to the world.
On the other hand, you will open the door to a diversity of educational models from which you can choose the one that best fits your way of thinking. As a bonus, switching to homeschool without a curriculum may save you some money you can spend on things that make more sense than following a specific curriculum.
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