Rogue Zahmbie Chickens

Homeschooling Methods- Demystified

So… recently I’ve been asked by many people about the different methods, or styles, of homeschooling. There was a program on one of the Discovery Channels last week called Radical Parenting and there was a style of Homeschooling called “Radical Unschooling” that was presented in that show. This is a parenting style combined with Unschooling. We use some Unschooling methods (not a whole lot of Radical Unschooling methods, although many people do believe unschooling in and of itself to be radical), along with some Unit Study methods with our boys. When parents/teachers combine methods to come up with a method that works for their family, this is called “Eclectic Homeschooling”. Below are Links to explainations of different styles of homeschooling methods.

an overview of different styles:

Charlotte Mason Method:

Classical Method:

Eclectic Homeschooling:

Enki Homeschooling:

Montessori Method:

Thomas Jefferson Education:

Umbrella Schools:
These are distance learning, virtual schools, independent study programs or charter-type schools that children are enrolled in (some states do not allow homeschooling and so a parent enrolls their child(ren) in an umbrella school and the child is a student of this school but does his or her studies at home.)

Unit Studies:

Unschooling: (I think the name “unschooling” is a misnomer. Unschoolers “reject” traditional grading systems, worksheets and other “busy work” in favor of experientially based learning. For example, Jonah does his math in the grocery store – if these are four for a dollar, how many can I get if I want to pay $5?, or keeping track of how much the bill will come to, unit cost on items (there are 5 ounces in this bottle and it costs $X…. how much is it per ounce and is it cheaper to get this other product?). Jonah has had a difficult time with reading… so, to me, it is important that he learns to read, so when he shows interest in the sports page of the newspaper or in a basketball website… I am going to encourage him to read the sports page and the basketball website… It doesn’t matter to me that he doesn’t care about “See Spot Run.”… the end result is that the child is reading. So, experience is vital in unschooling… which is why the boys are also involved in farm chores, animal care, the garden and other life experiences that introduce critical thinking, problem solving, practical life skills as well as opportunities for math (if we need to worm a goat, and she weighs 100 pounds, how much medicine do we give her? We got 15 eggs today,how many will we have this week if we get 15 eggs on 5 days?), reading (plant seeds to 1/4 ” depth, dosing information sheets for animal meds, feeding instructions for food, etc) and sciences. The primary difference between unschooling and radical unschooling is that unschoolers have some “governing rules” to live by… the boys have restrictions on what they can watch and how long, limited time on video games (and did not play video games until they got a wii for their 9th birthday), and they have chores and things they have to do because they are part of the family and have to help keep things afloat… not a terrible amount of things to do, but the twins are expected to help Sam pour a drink if he’s thirsty, we just help each other get our things done.)

Radical Unschooling: (Below is a fantastic site, I’ve used it as a reference many times. You will see the difference between unschooling and radical unschooling -in radical unschooling, there generally are no rules to speak of. The child(ren) choose all aspects of their lives – what to eat, when & where to sleep, there is no discipline, no restrictions on anything (including video games and television, etc. I am not a radical unschooler but there are several things we “borrow” from this philosophy. I will say that the children and families that I know (and know of) who are radical homeschoolers are content, peaceful and very polite and well adjusted. Some of the aspects of radical unschooling are different, even unsettling, to some, but, as with anything else that is not harmful to a child/family… I think everyone needs to choose what works for them.)

Waldorf Method: