View Full Version : Is there a link to quick definitions/synopses of the different types of homeschooling

04-02-2014, 10:16 AM
Hello! I am a newbie here and am planning to homeschool my kids come fall (they are in public K and 2nd currently). I'm getting a little overwhelmed by all the homeschooling info. out there, and I'm looking right now for a list of the different types of homeschooling and what they're like. (I saw the one forum description mention eclectic and Waldorf, and I have no idea what those are like!)

I'm so glad to have found this website, because so much of my research was leading me to religious-based programs and philosophies, which isn't what we're looking for. Thanks for your help!

04-02-2014, 10:28 AM
I liked this site for good definitions (tho not everyone agrees on any definitions) Homeschool Diner - Free Homeschool Resources - HomeschoolDiner.com (http://homeschooldiner.com/) Check out the click-o-matic!

However, I spent my first year struggling to figure out what 'kind' of homeschooler I was, and finally a wise person said I'm doing "Cara" homeschooling (thats my name). She was right - i figure it out as I go and do what I think needs to be done next. I mostly call myself relaxed eclectic.

04-02-2014, 10:43 AM
However, I spent my first year struggling to figure out what 'kind' of homeschooler I was, and finally a wise person said I'm doing "Cara" homeschooling (thats my name). She was right - i figure it out as I go and do what I think needs to be done next. I mostly call myself relaxed eclectic.

Amen! I like the name. I'm not into any one type either. I found The Well Trained Mind to be inspirational even though I didn't agree with all of it.

04-02-2014, 11:56 AM
Like others have mentioned, we have tossed the formal definitions, and we do our own eclectic thing, as we don't fit into any of the definitions, neatly. We are calling it the "choose your own adventure" method.

What I would do is figure out what is important to you, what you really want your kids to get out of school, what your state requires your kids get out of school, and then find a way to do it that works with you and your kids personalities. Take what works and don't worry about the rest.

Norm Deplume
04-02-2014, 12:42 PM
Our first year of homeschooling can be summed up in the old saying, "Watch out for the first step. It's a doozy!"


I tried to do hsing like other people, with other people's definitions, but I really don't think there's a shortcut to it. There is a LOT of trial and error. Sorry. But the payoff is totally worth the trouble.

04-02-2014, 07:06 PM
Yes, there are a number of competing philosophies out there and if one really does fit you and your perspective, then by all means, embrace it. But I find that many people are influenced by a philosophy (or two or three or more) and aren't really full on that philosophy. Which is 100% fine.

My suggestion is that before you get too immersed in reading about different philosophies and methods and so forth, write down a loose sense of your own goals. What future do you want for your kids? What is the basic goal of education for you? How do you envision your homeschool? And then, once you've done a little reading, go back and read that again. It may be that you'll have changed, which is fine. But it may also be a needed reminder of why you're really doing this.

04-02-2014, 07:29 PM
I don't fall neatly into any of the definitions or methods either, but it is definitely helpful to know and understand them as you are getting started. I checked out Cathy Duffy's book 100 Top Picks book from the library, and it had brief explanations in it, and even a list of questions to help figure out what styles for which you might be better suited. Then as I was looking at curriculum and making decisions and daydreaming about what I wanted, at least I had a few ideas about what "Charlotte Mason" meant, etc. Otherwise, you come across something that says "... following the classical method of history..." and you think, "HUH?" Just so you know, though, Cathy Duffy reviews plenty of stuff that is NOT secular. Seems like she called it out though. Good luck!

04-06-2014, 06:49 PM
Hello & welcome! As we transitioned from public schooling to home schooling I did copious amounts of researching and exploring and trying to define different approaches. I found that MY homeschooling philosophy (and what approach and curriculum I'm drawn to) is NOT my what child's homeschooling approach is or should be. It's been hard for me at times to reconcile what *I* think is great (literature-based & project--based peppered with Charlotte Mason/Nature Study with a hint of Classical Education) to what her learning style and needs truly are (I'll call it Eclectic Textbooky with a need for step-by-step well laid-out linear instruction with a clear beginning, middle, and end with hands-on learning thrown in). In your researching of what's what in the homeschooling world, make sure you can differentiate what your needs are and what your child's needs are. It sounds so obvious but I really did struggle with that :) Good luck!

04-11-2014, 09:52 AM
Wonderful advice! Thank you all. These responses really clicked with me, because I've always felt like I never really "fit in" to any category or mold anyway, so it makes sense that my hs methods will likely not fall into anyone else's definition. :) I also appreciate the advice to make sure I'm considering my kids' needs and wants since they may not be the same as mine!

I think I'm gonna like it here. :)

04-12-2014, 01:48 PM
Here are some descriptions from a blog I like a lot: Other Homeschooling Methods | Sandbox to Socrates (http://sandboxtosocrates.com/other-homeschooling-methods/)
But after reading a bit, as others have said, do it your own way. :)