Homeschool Philosophies - Which One Fits You and Your Child? Part 1

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As you consider homeschooling, you may be trying to decide on which approach or philosophy fits your child and family. Do you like things relaxed and informal, or do you prefer a more structured approach? How much time do you have to devote to homeschooling, and what is your child's learning style? These and other questions come into play as you consider your homeschooling philosophy.

Following are some of the approaches that homeschoolers use when teaching their children. Hopefully, you can use this list as a guide to help you decide which philosophy is right for your home. (Also, many homeschoolers try one philosophy or approach one semester and find it isn't a good fit after all, and switch to another. That's perfectly all right!)


The unschooling philosophy takes its inspiration from the child's interests, passions, and learning style. Unschoolers do not use a curriculum; they teach according to their child's inherent desire to learn and nurture that desire along the way.

For practical matters like learning math facts and handwriting, unschoolers may say something about how their child will want to learn to write and tell time - and therefore ask to be taught - when the need arises. Unschoolers prefer to wait until the child expresses interest, as this is seen as a sign of readiness to learn a concept.

Charlotte Mason

You have probably already heard Charlotte Mason's name if you have talked to other homeschoolers. Mason is sometimes thought of as a sort of homeschool "founder," or at least an inspiration behind the homeschooling movement. Her method stresses character development and good life habits, and homeschooling teachers are encouraged to look for "teachable moments" in their students.

Charlotte Mason methods include the core subjects, and poetry and classical literature are often incorporated........Check out Part Two

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