What education model fits your family’s HOMESCHOOL STYLE? Take our free QUIZ!

Freedom is an incredible and complicated thing. Many take it for granted—I know I do. Others abuse it. Some thirst for more of it. Some even scorn it. To me, freedom is invigorating! But it can also be overwhelming or even crippling, especially when freedom is in the form of choices.

We love choices in our modern culture, and we are spoiled by their abundance everyday—food choices, shopping choices, entertainment choices, friend choices, device choices, and then what color-shape-size-and-style choices. And I’m guessing that only about a minute after you decided that Homeschooling was the best (or only) option for your family for Back-to-School 2020 . . . an avalanche of choices came crashing down on your triumphant decision. All that freedom can really be a slap in the face.

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32 Reasons Why Our Family Loves Homeschool!

I’ve been homeschooling for three years now, and I get overwhelmed about once a day! There are just so many options! You have the freedom to educate your kids in virtually any style, with any curriculum, and on any schedule of your choosing! That’s an amazing but truly overwhelming thing! Which is the best? Which will you and your kids enjoy the most? Which is the least amount of work? And what is this all going to cost? It’s a LOT to sort through.

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Teach with TOYS; the Reading & Writing Resources lurking in your home!

The first thing to do is channel your inner Marie Kondo and really clear all the educational clutter that is bogging you down! How to do this? IDENTIFY YOUR FAMILY’S HOMESCHOOL STYLE and the EDUCATION MODEL(S) TO MATCH using one of the three methods to follow.

Once you determine which education model/method best supports your family’s values and education mindset/beliefs, you will be able to easily identify what won’t work or jive for you and your kids. This is positively liberating! Only then will you be able to freely toss aside any ideas, lessons, curriculum, activities, etc. that are merely cluttering up, overloading, or confusing your Homeschool efforts.


Your Family’s HOMESCHOOL STYLE & the EDUCATION METHOD TO MATCH

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Sand, Water, Bubbles, Chalk, and Mud

By discovering which education model best agrees with you and your kids, you will be narrowing your resource search results to only those that match your family’s unique style! That means less time, less sifting, less confusion, and fewer failed Homeschool days! To help you out, I’ve laid out the six most common education models that you will come across. I’ve done this in three ways:


1.) QUICK-VIEW COMPARISON CHART: What Education Model is Best for My Family?

2.) 20-QUESTION QUIZ: https://ourholistichomeschoo.survey.fm/what-education-model-best-fits-your-family-s-homeschool-style

3.) More detailed DESCRIPTIONS + PROS/CONS FOR THE 6 MOST COMMON EDUCATION MODELS below


Check out the comparison chart, take the quiz, or read through the descriptions to follow and choose which one you think best fits your style, your kid(s)’ style, your schedule, and your budget. OR: cherry-pick from each and create your own fusion (as we have done for ~Our Holistic Homeschool~)!

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Teach with Toys!

~The 6 most common Education Models~

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Back-to-School Bibliotherapy Book List

1.) MONTESSORI:

WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE AT-A-GLANCE: children moving about at own will, selecting prepared trays from open shelves to work on individually or in pairs and at own pace. 

IMG_6612 - CopyKEY CHARACTERISTICS

  • hands-on learning
  • parent teacher facilitates learning by providing minimal lessons and preparing trays
  • student-chosen activities/trays
  • emphasis on practical life activities
  • emphasis on realism (discourages fantasy until age six)
  • does not require a set curriculum
  • does not use textbooks
  • scheduled windows, no specific subjects or schedule
  • does not include “board learning”, “drilling” or memorization work
  • no worksheets, no homework, no quizzes, no tests
  • reading and writing are made available and encouraged for young children, and are the main focuses for tray materials for older children
  • does not use computers

PROS & CONS

  • PROS
    • appeals to most children
    • allows parent teacher to observe rather than directly teach
    • eliminates homework battle
    • eliminates time spent grading
    • includes the arts
    • provides a no-pressure atmosphere for the child
  • CONS
    • material intensive (can be time or cost intensive)
    • may provide too much freedom for older children or those not conditioned to be self-motivated learners
    • the avoidance of fiction and imaginative play may not be acceptable to some parents and childrenIMG_5714 (2)

2.) WALDORF:

WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE AT-A-GLANCE: children moving about at own will, often outside, selecting raw, natural, or imaginative materials for playing and working with.

IMG_5700 (2)KEY CHARACTERISTICS

  • play-based learning (often imaginative)
  • raw materials provided for unstructured play
  • teacher facilitates learning by providing minimal lessons and preparing materials and environment
  • student-chosen materials/activities
  • emphasis on nature and life-skills such as bread-baking
  • emphasis on fantasy and imagination for all ages
  • strong emphasis on the arts
  • does not require a set curriculum
  • does not use textbooks
  • scheduled windows, no specific subjects or schedule
  • does not include “board learning”, “drilling” or memorization work
  • no worksheets, no homework, no quizzes, no tests
  • reading and writing are made available and encouraged for all ages
  • does not use computers

PROS & CONS

  • PROS
    • appeals to most children
    • allows parent teacher to observe rather than directly teach
    • parent teacher does not need to prepare as many trays (as in Montessori)
    • eliminates homework battle
    • eliminates time spent grading
    • includes the arts
    • provides a no-pressure atmosphere for the child
  • CONS
    • material intensive (can be cost intensive)
    • may provide too much freedom for older children or those not conditioned to be self-motivated learners
    • lack of set schedule may be unsettling to some children
    • imaginative involvement may be hard for some parents to commit to
    • may be difficult for new parent teachers to incorporate core subjectsIMG_5787 - Copy

3.) CHARLOTTE MASON & LITERATURE-BASED LEARNING:

WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE AT-A-GLANCE: children reading and/or being read to from “living” or realism/life-giving literature, and interacting with corresponding literature-themed trays, activities, or assignments.

IMG_4180 - CopyKEY CHARACTERISTICS

  • literature-based learning (uses “living books”; books that are realism-based and rich in their text)
  • cross-curricular learning usually tied to reading material
  • themed learning centered on current reading
  • does not require a set curriculum
  • does not include text books
  • usually has somewhat of set schedule or loose/flexible schedule, and incorporates other subjects or links them to literature
  • can include “board learning”, “drilling” or memorization work but usually of interest, or tied to meaningful literature
  • homework, worksheets, quizzes, and tests may or may not be used
  • secondary focus on writing: reports, essays, research
  • strong emphasis on the arts, nature, and practical skills
  • computers may or may not be used

PROS & CONS

  • PROS
    • easy for both parent teacher and student to adapt to
    • appeals to most children if the chosen reading material is of interest
    • does not require a set curriculum
    • does not require textbooks
    • easy to incorporate history and science in reading material
    • is bonding for parent and child
    • is focused, simple, and not overwhelming
    • includes the arts
    • provides a low to medium pressure atmosphere for kids
  • CONS
    • is book intensive (may require book purchases for families with small home libraries)
    • may be difficult to include math and higher level sciences (may need to supplement)
    • may provide less free movement than Montessori or Waldorf
    • may be considered less hands-on and play-based than Montessori or Waldorfcharlotte - Copy

4.) CLASSICAL EDUCATION:

WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE AT-A-GLANCE: children sitting at desks and taking notes, raising hands to answer questions, reading, writing, or working on projects of a classical nature.

IMG_9044 (2)KEY CHARACTERISTICS

  • learning that focuses on “mastery” of all core subjects, with a classical style
  • requires a set curriculum
  • uses text books
  • relies heavily on “board learning”, “drilling” and memorization work
  • worksheets and homework are given
  • quizzes and tests are used
  • focuses on writing: reports, essays, research
  • computers may or may not be used

PROS & CONS

  • PROS
    • format is usually familiar for most parents and kids
    • does not require much preparation of materials or environment
    • incorporates all core subjects
    • includes the arts
    • may appeal to kids who love traditional learning methods
    • easy to gauge mastery
  • CONS
    • may not appeal to children who struggle with traditional learning methods
    • requires a set curriculum
    • requires text books
    • requires a good deal of direct teaching time
    • provides a medium to high pressure atmosphere for kids
    • requires grading time
    • may include homework battles
    • is book intensive (may require book purchases for families with small home libraries)
    • less hands-on and play-based than Montessori or Waldorf
    • may be too stationary for very active kids (may need to supplement with more active learning techniques or lots of movement time)IMG_4880

5.) STANDARD/TRADITIONAL EDUCATION:

WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE AT-A-GLANCE: children sitting at desks or at computers, taking notes, raising hands to answer questions, reading, writing, or working on a project.

IMG_9034 (2)KEY CHARACTERISTICS

  • learning that focuses on “mastery” of all core subjects
  • requires a set curriculum known as common core
  • uses text books
  • relies heavily on “smart board learning”, “drilling” and memorization work
  • worksheets and homework are given
  • quizzes and tests are used
  • focuses on writing: reports, essays, research
  • uses computers as a key part of education

PROS & CONS

  • PROS
    • format is usually familiar for most parents and kids
    • does not require much preparation of materials or environment
    • incorporates all core subjects
    • usually does not include the arts
    • may appeal to kids who love traditional learning methods
    • may appeal to kids who love computers
    • easy to gauge mastery
  • CONS
    • may not appeal to children who struggle with traditional learning methods
    • requires a set common core curriculum (which some parents are adverse to)
    • requires textbooks
    • requires a good deal of direct teaching time
    • provides a medium to high pressure atmosphere for kids
    • requires grading time
    • may include homework battles
    • less hands-on and play-based than Montessori or Waldorf
    • does not include the arts
    • may be too stationary for very active kids (may need to supplement with more active learning techniques or lots of movement time)IMG_9045 (2)

6.) UNSCHOOLING (yes, it’s a thing) & PROJECT-BASED LEARNING:

WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE AT-A-GLANCE: children reading, writing, researching, building, playing, daydreaming, or doing whatever interests them in that moment or whatever project they have been working on.

IMG_4030 (2)KEY CHARACTERISTICS

  • self-led, interest-led, project-based learning
  • requires no lesson plans or curriculum
  • does not use text books
  • does not include “board learning”, “drilling” or memorization work
  • no worksheets, homework, quizzes or tests
  • reading and writing are made available and encouraged
  • many card and board games made readily available 
  • may or may not use computers

PROS & CONS

  • PROS
    • appeals to most children
    • works for children who are self-motivated learners
    • allows parent teacher to observe rather than directly teach
    • parent teacher does not need to prepare activities or trays
    • does not require curriculum
    • does not require textbooks
    • eliminates homework battle
    • eliminates time spent grading
    • includes the arts
    • provides a no-pressure atmosphere for the child
  • CONS
    • may provide too much freedom for older children or those not conditioned to be self-motivated learners
    • free-form involvement may be worrisome or hard for some parents to commit to
    • lack of schedule may be unsettling for some children
    • may be difficult for new parent teachers to incorporate core subjectsIMG_5706

Happy Homeschooling! (breathe, you’ve got this)

You may want to check out my other homeschool posts here: “SUDDENLY-HOMESCHOOLING”

Comment below what education model/style (or fusion) you chose!

Please pass this on to another SUDDENLY-HOMESCHOOLING-FAMILY!


Love, ~Our Holistic Homeschool~