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  1. #1

    Default Is there a link to quick definitions/synopses of the different types of homeschooling

    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!

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Arrived dbmamaz's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
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    I liked this site for good definitions (tho not everyone agrees on any definitions) Homeschool Diner - Free Homeschool Resources - 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.
    Cara, homeschooling one
    Raven, ds 10, all around intense kid
    Orion, floundering recent graduate
    22 yo dd, not at home
    Inactive blog at longsummer

  4. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by dbmamaz View Post
    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.

  5. #4


    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.
    A mama, who teaches college writing, as well as help her 11-year-old in
    choosing his own life adventure. Using Global Village School to support our desire to develop a sense of social justice and global awareness.
    I also share free and low-cost educational resources at

  6. #5


    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.
    working-at-home mother of two.
    homeschooling the 11yo boy.
    the girl is 14 (8th grade) and loves her public school.
    they are very very different kids.

  7. #6


    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.
    Want to read about my homeschool?
    Children's Books, Homeschooling and Random Musings...

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  8. #7


    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!
    Mommy to C1 (DD - 05/07) and C2 (DS - 11/09)
    So far so good!

  9. #8


    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!
    Amy, Southern California.
    DD 15, 10th grade. Working towards college admittance into a BFA program in Musical Theatre or Theatre Arts
    Curriculum: Filing privately in California, a blend of classically-inspired, unschooly learning through the performing arts lens with a healthy dose of social activism.

    "I'm through with playing by the rules of someone else's game." -Elphaba, from Wicked

  10. #9


    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.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Evolved
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    Here are some descriptions from a blog I like a lot: Other Homeschooling Methods | Sandbox to Socrates
    But after reading a bit, as others have said, do it your own way.
    Mama of one DS, rising fourth-grader;
    recovering schoolteacher;
    lifelong bookworm

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Is there a link to quick definitions/synopses of the different types of homeschooling