12 Homeschooling Methods You Should Know - Ihsaan Home Academy

'Should' is probably not the most appropriate word to use in relation to homeschooling because quite frankly, you really don't have to know these methods by name. But as a new home educator, it could help you figure out how exactly you want to start your journey.

There are many styles of homeschooling out there, some with recognized titles, and others without titles. This list has been compiled just to give you an idea of what's going on in the homeschooling 'world' and hopefully help you choose a path or make up your own.

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1. Virtual School
This method is probably the easiest one because it requires no preparation on your part and no record-keeping. Virtual school is a 'regular' school that uses 'regular' curricula (usually) and teaches students online. There are public and private virtual schools. Some use common core curricula while others don't. Public (free) virtual schools are more available in the United States than any other country.

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2. Unit Studies
This style of teaching is based on focusing on theme-related topics; one at a time. It can make thorough learning easier and more fun for children. It also makes lesson planning less of a challenge for the educator because the focus is on one topic at a time. A unit study can be as long as a whole year or as short as a week (maybe less). What makes unit studies convenient is that it makes teaching multiple grade levels at the same time much easier.

An example would be learning about butterflies, mammals, or birds at different grade levels at the same time. The problem with unit studies is that it can become harder to include subjects like Math or chemistry for example.

3. Montessori
Montessori is all about observing students and letting them learn at their own pace. Making available real and measurable tools that are well organized to make learning easier is also important. This method usually works great for early learners.

4. Charlotte Mason
If you love nature, the Charlotte Mason method could be fun for you. This style of teaching encourages learning through play and real-life experiences such as nature walk and going on trips that create value. Even the subjects that are taught through books, such as History and Social Studies, are taught using living books. Living books are basically books that are written in a narrative fashion to make the book relatable and alive.

5. Classical
The classical style of educating is ancient yet popular. The emphasis of this method includes reading (a lot!), logic, self-learning, critical thinking, communication, and language (especially Latin and Greek).

6. Waldorf
The Waldorf method makes arts, craft, music, and movement an important part of its learning strategy. It also encourages students to create their own books instead of using traditional textbooks.

 7. Traditional (or School-at-Home)
This is basically following the traditional school system while doing it at home. It's literally taking school home. Most homeschoolers who use this method buy packaged/boxed curricula, lesson plans, grade sheets, and everything else that comes with the traditional school system. It can make homeschooling easy, especially for beginners, because it allows the educator to know exactly what's being taught and how to teach it. However, the expenses add up pretty quickly!

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8. Unschooling
Unschooling is the most 'relaxed' form of education. The whole point of this method is to let the child lead the learning journey. It comes with no structure, specific plans, or curricula. The belief is that children are natural learners and can learn everything from their environment just as well as they learn to walk and talk.

9. Tutor Method 
Some home educators simply hire tutors for one, more than one, or all subjects to teach/tutor their children. This method can take some weights off parents' shoulders, although, the expenses add up depending on the total cost of tutoring.

10. Notebooking
Notebooking isn't usually seen as a "method" of homeschooling, but I see no reason why it shouldn't be included. It consists of using notebooks or sheets of papers (put in binders) to write down important information, drawings, timelines, reports, biographies, and more. If you've heard of notebooking before, you've probably heard of lapbooking as well. Lapbooking is a more elaborated form of notebooking. Notebooking is simple and to the point.

This is not a new style of learning, but what's different today is that you can find many ready-made notebooking sheets that come with images, clip-arts, or designs for specific topics.

11. Reading Method
Again, this one isn't a "method" per se, but you can make it one if you want to. You can homeschool by just reading out loud to your children, especially in the early years. It's a topic for another time.

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12. Eclectic
Eclectic is pretty much a mixture or any or everything; whatever you prefer. This method is also very popular and is more flexible. I didn't even know there was a name for it when we started our homeschooling journey making our own curriculum (or the lack of) and doing it however we saw fit.

Whatever you choose, just keep in mind that how you start your journey doesn't have to be the way you continue or end. I truly believe that one of the benefits of starting homeschooling early is to see what works or doesn't work for your child. Never be afraid to switch it up or stop at one point (especially for early learners) if you have to. And if you choose a particular method, you can always make changes to accommodate your lifestyle as a Muslim.

Do what works for you and your family. Don't feel obliged to buy every curriculum, textbook, or printable that's out there. This is your journey, so focus on what you believe would benefit you and your family. You don't have to do it exactly the way everyone else is. I wish you all the best on your journey.
Umm Sumayyah is a mother of two and a former teacher who turned into a home educator after becoming a mother. She is also an editor and a researcher who loves collecting and sharing information on social matters, education, career, and entrepreneurship.


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