We get a lot of questions on the different roads to homeschooling and curriculum, so we thought we could throw a few definitions out there to clarify.
This approach is a secular, creative approach to homeschooling, and perhaps, one that homeschoolers are most familiar with. Many homeschoolers build their own school approach, while choosing the subjects and curriculum that work best for their families and/or individual children. However, it is possible to find boxed curriculum sets for secular homeschoolers. Traditional homeschooling does not utilize public education in any venue.
The real difference between traditional and Christian homeschooling is the curriculum. Christian homeschoolers often build their own religious-based curriculum but may also use programs such as Sonlight and My Father’s World (to name a few). These boxed curriculum sets are popular among Christian homeschoolers. Traditionally, Christian homeschooling does not utilize public education in any venue.
This type of homeschooling is done in both Christian and Secular circles. The idea behind unschooling is to allow the children to guide their own learning within a natural/ organic environment. In this way, the students choose their own learning paths through curiosity and personal interest.
The Umbrella School:
Homeschooling through an umbrella school is becoming more common place. In this case, the students do most of their homeschooling in their home environment, while also choosing to take classes at a facility outside of this environment to supplement their education. These classes are paid for by the parents. Umbrella schools are usually private with no public or government connection.
Home-study Hybrid Programs:
Not all private schools are geared toward homeschooling. This section only covers the home-study hybrid program. In this program, a parent chooses to homeschool a few days out of the week, while the student attends the private program the rest of the week. These schools can be religious or secular in nature. Schools such as Classical Conversations fall into this category.
Public School At Home:
It is debatable whether public school at home should be considered homeschooling at all. However, for this purpose we are adding it in because we know families who have made this choice for reasons that align more with homeschooling than not. Public school at home is exactly what it sounds like. In this case, the student takes his or her classes online while attending the public education system. Often, books and curriculum are provided to the student as well as a personal tutor. Attendance is required, grades are filed, and state testing is a requirement.
While the above listed are the main styles of homeschooling there are always those styles that are not as common. As always, with homeschooling, it is best to choose the approach that fits your family and lifestyle.
Amy teaches college English and literature full time. She recently self published a book of poems, and her novel is currently with an editor. Amy started homeschooling her oldest when he was in first grade and now he is a junior in high school. Her other two are 9 and 12. They are eclectic and Amy has dived into several curricula. Her middle son is dyslexic so that’s a challenge in itself. They have done umbrella schools, groups and even online curriculum.