In this day and age, “homeschool” can be a bit of a misnomer. Plenty of students who take part in nontraditional educational options aren’t actually learning from home. They are learning at parks, zoos, and museums. They’re taking trips with their families, exploring and experiencing cultures and lands that those in a more traditional setting typically only read about in textbooks. There are tons of different homeschool styles that families can follow!
If learning from the kitchen table is more your style, there are plenty of options for that, too! Choosing a homeschooling style boils down to sustainability. That is, what you as a family can sustain. If loads of field trips and outdoor activities aren’t feasible, you can certainly alter your approach to fit your family’s needs. There isn’t one “correct” way to homeschool, but some of the most popular styles include:
Trying to Choose Between Homeschool Styles?
One of the most important questions you must ask yourself before committing to a particular style of homeschooling is, “How do my kids prefer to learn?” Do they:
- Thrive in fast-paced environments?
- Find a thrill in real-world experiences?
- Enjoy exploring the outside world?
- Require a more serene environment with little distraction?
Another thought to consider is how you enjoy teaching. If your kids love field trips but they exhaust you, multiple field trips a week is likely not sustainable. It’s important that you find a good balance between your children’s needs and your own.
Some families thrive off structure, while others find a relaxed approach much more appropriate. The list can go on and on, but the beauty in all of this is that you get to choose. Having a choice makes all the difference.
Different Homeschool Styles
So you’ve asked yourself some important questions, determined your family’s needs, and now you’re ready to choose a homeschool style. This may seem like a monumental task, but we’re here to help! We’ll break the most popular options down for you.
For many people, the word “homeschool” conjures images of children sitting around a table, diligently completing assignments from workbooks while a parent leads the day’s activities. In most traditional homeschool settings, parents purchase a particular curriculum for their children, with materials to match. This sort of homeschool style works well for large families with children working at many different grade levels, families with children who require a distraction-free environment, and parents who value a more traditional approach to education.
Child-led education has grown in popularity over the past few years, with Montessori leading the pack. While brick and mortar Montessori schools do exist, many families have adapted Montessori techniques to fit their homeschooling lifestyle. Montessori homeschooling is great for families who want to encourage their children to think independently, learn through trial and error, and develop a love of discovery. Young children benefit the most from this style. However, young children who require more direction and guidance to support their learning may benefit from a more structured style.
Curious how Miacademy can fit into the Montessori approach? Learn more about this timeless style on our Montessori page.
If you love literature and feel it should be featured prominently in your children’s education, the Charlotte Mason homeschool style is for you. This method is also a great fit if you appreciate the fine arts. Charlotte Mason homeschooling may not work for children who harbor a dislike of reading or struggle with staying engaged while reading texts. It also may not be the best choice for families seeking a more traditional approach to homeschooling, with equal time and emphasis placed on the core subjects.
Waldorf homeschooling places emphasis on educating the whole child, with less focus on academics and more focus on experiences. Families who appreciate flexibility and developing nurturing relationships will appreciate this method. Waldorf homeschooling may not be a good choice for families who rely on technology. Computers and devices are discouraged in this style, especially for children younger than 12. A fair amount of parental involvement is required when using the Waldorf method to homeschool, which may be difficult to sustain for some families.
Much like the name implies, the project-based homeschool style focuses on one project at a time. Your child’s interests lead the lessons, incorporating core subjects in the process. The Project-Based method is great for families with children who have very specific interests and/or have a hard time concentrating on learning activities outside of those interests. Newer, more challenging work can be presented to the student each time the project topic changes. This allows students to continue learning in the same fashion while also providing an opportunity for advancement. Parents who prefer to keep the topics of their lessons for each subject varied will probably not opt for a project-based approach.
Learn how to use Miacademy to support your student’s discoveries and projects on our Project-Based Homeschooling page.
Unschooling is a method of homeschooling that focuses on learning from experiences rather than a set curriculum. Students focus on and learn about that which interests them. Families using the unschooling homeschool style benefit from the freedom it provides, and children benefit from the low-stress environment. While a totally valid form of homeschooling, Unschooling can lead to some issues if or when parents want their children to return to traditional school. As an example, Unschooled children could struggle to do well on formal tests, as tests are typically rarely given while Unschooling.
Wondering how Miacademy can complement an unschooling approach? Check out our Unschooling page.
Perhaps the most adventurous of the homeschool styles is roadschooling! Roadschooling is an excellent way to combine real-world experience with quality education. Matching lessons with trips to historical sites, museums, or nature preserves is a surefire way to promote interest in learning and a lifelong love for exploration. Roadschooling works best for families who love to travel and don’t mind being confined together in a vehicle for large amounts of time. While Roadschooling may sound like fun, some families will find the constant traveling to be exhausting, and some children may be unable to handle the frequent change of scenery.
If you’re ready to hit the road, check out our Roadschooling page to see how Miacademy can fit into the digital nomad lifestyle.
Eclectic homeschooling mixes both traditional and relaxed styles, tailoring a student’s curriculum so that it meets their needs. It’s a great homeschooling style for families who prefer a more relaxed approach to learning but can’t commit to any one style mentioned above. Children who are easily stressed by deadlines and pressure often benefit from the Eclectic style. Families and children who thrive when on a schedule aren’t the best candidates for the eclectic approach. The lack of structure may pose a problem for families who have very busy schedules.
Miacademy and MiaPrep Can Fit Into All Homeschool Styles
Our curriculum is extremely flexible and completely customizable. This allows parents to use our programs with just about any homeschool style. Does your child work at different grade levels depending on the subject? Would you like to exclude certain subjects or lessons from your child’s schedule? You can do that and more from your parent account with ease! Does your child prefer a more relaxed approach to learning? Would they benefit from the freedom to move at their own pace? Our learning path is completely customizable, student-led and automatically adjusting.
A common concern for parents who are looking into homeschooling is the quality of the education their children will be receiving. Our sites are accredited through the Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges as a supplementary education program. If you have any questions about this, please reach out to our customer service team!
As mentioned above, our curriculum is extremely flexible. So flexible, in fact, that children can take their schoolwork just about anywhere! Our program is mobile-friendly, with many students using tablets and other devices to work in the places they feel most comfortable, whether that be outside, in a comfy spot in their home, or on the road!
If you decide that a particular homeschool style isn’t working for your family, you can easily adjust our program to fit your family’s needs. Parents can easily increase or decrease the amount of structure in their child’s school day right from their parent account.
Join Our Community!
In our parent Facebook group, we answer parent-posed questions and provide helpful information. You can get tips and advice from fellow homeschool parents as well. We hope to see you there!