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The problem is that Montessori schooling is often overlooked as a homeschool method. Montessori schools often incorporate lots of furniture, constructs, and tactiles, to make their classrooms inventive playgrounds for young learners. In this way, the Montessori method is tailor fit for homeschooling. Nevertheless, many articles listing the different homeschool methods leave out Montessori entirely.

For Montessori education, aspiring educators can go straight to the source. Maria Montessori has several guidebooks from which to choose. Tim Seldin also has a popular, and contemporary book on Montessori homeschool education. The International Montessori Index has more tools and resources, but has the added benefit of indexing most every Montessori School in the world.


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You can use contact information to find a Montessori school where you can observe, inquire, and learn more from actual Montessori educators and administrators. She offers lots of practical and non-technical resources for orienting you into this method. There are many Montessori publishers to choose from.

But be aware that since Montessori is still primarily a school-house educational model i. They can be fairly expensive on an item-by-item basis. You may have to do some research or get creative i.

Fortunately, even within conventional Montessori schools, however, there are many recommended materials for use at home. It is thus that the Montessori method has always overlapped heavily with homeschooling. The Hope4Me printables are a great place to start your own library of free Montessori materials.

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EdVid is unique for offering primarily video-based materials. So long as you are willing to network with school-house educators in the Montessori tradition, there are lots of groups and networks to choose from. Based largely on the work of homeschooling pioneer John Holt, Unschooling is a free-form learning model which is student-centered, unconventional, and individualistic.

Unschooling allows homeschool parent-teachers to question most everything about conventional schooling whether public, private, or homeschooling. In this model, parent-teachers tend to be facilitators rather than lecturers, instructors or otherwise "conventional" teachers. Unschooling is probably the most unique homeschooling option in the bunch. And since it veers widely from School-at-Home and Classical models, it can appear strange and impractical.

The drawbacks are essentially the "flip side" of the benefits. Parent-teachers who Unschool will find that this method can challenge their expectations. Unschooling is liable to be the most confusing and unfamiliar method for parent-teachers to use. Holt explains the theory behind Unschooling and Aldrich offers short and sweet axioms to help shape your Unschooling outlook. Other sources and sites listed can help fill your operating knowledge of this method. The last book listed, Thomas Jefferson Education , is a popular recommendation inside and outside of Unschooling.

This text uses the educational practices of Thomas Jefferson as a model for Unschooled leadership training. The key principles are "lead by example" and "inspire, not require," which together create a character-oriented, example-based model of learning. Unschooling resources vary widely because Unschoolers can use most anything in their learning plan. This method enables parent-teachers to find learning opportunities where others might have thought the topic too trivial or non-academic to be worth studying.

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Unschoolers can use conventional curriculum in unconventional ways, or derive lessons and learning projects from otherwise extra-curricular activities. That said, since Unschooling can be so unconventional and counterintuitive, one is advised to dig into the teacher guides above to become familiar with this model. Few people were raised to think of education in terms of Unschooling. So your instincts may pull you back into conventional models.

Fortunately, a host of Unschooling sites offer a generous array of resources, often at low or no cost, and can provide some informal coaching on how to make the world your classroom. Working with a team is important in most major ventures, and so it is with Unschooling. There are numerous Unschooling groups in circulation. Feel free to sample from different ones. Unschoolers are sometimes known to be individualistic so you may need to experiment before settling into a single Unschooling group or meetup. Each of these four sites offers a range of options for you: Family Unschoolers Network , Unschoolers.

Another popular model of homeschooling is School-at-home or "Traditional" Homeschool. School-at-Home education is typically organized around complete curriculum packages, often arranged by school year, and might even be the same curriculum your local public or private school uses. School-at-Home education can be done independently and administered entirely by a parent-teacher. However, often it is a complete teacher-facilitated school administered online, either as a public or a paid private school such as K While this method tends to be expensive-accompanied as it is with prepackaged curriculum sets-parent-teachers can construct much of the curriculum for free using open-courseware like: Tufts or the Open Education Consortium.

See also: HomeSchoolDiner. The benefits for School-at-Home tend to revolve around its conventionality and ease-of-access. While Unschooling or Montessori can diverge from our traditional educational expectations, School-at-Home education allows the homeschool family to share in the time-honored strengths of a traditional education model that nonetheless boasts many of the benefits of home-based education.

Because this method is largely a prefabricated school room imported into your home, it might not need as much "guidance" as other methods might.


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The philosophy of education will be specific to each curricula or school, so you would do well to study up on any school or curricula you are considering. The two links here above are a good place to start. The greatest strength of the School-at-Home method is here, in the variety of top-tier prepackaged curricula options available. Many more options could be listed besides these. This selection is a good example of the wealth of material out there for Traditional homeschools. HLDA is one of the best sources for tracking down support networks in your area.

Unit studies are thematically related learning plans where students will study the same event or object from the perspective of each subject area.

In a Class by Themselves

For example, students might study Egypt in Geography, the book of Exodus in Reading class, "out of Egypt" theories of human origins in Science class, and pyramids and triangles in Geometry-Trigonometry. These subject areas can be addressed separately or together. Unit-studies can be thought of as an instrument for use within other, more comprehensive, educational methodologies via the Eclectic method see the model section for Eclectic education hereafter.

In that way, Unit studies afford great versatility to transform lessons into multifaceted projects and integrative exercises that engage different student interests and learning styles.

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Unit studies methodology has many benefits, but with these come some tradeoffs. Most of these tradeoffs can be resolved by using this methodology within the larger context of an Eclectic model, joining, for instance, Charlotte Mason and Unit-Studies into a single course of study. Unit studies are a popular part of many homeschools, whether as a primary method or as a component in Eclectic schooling see section below. Do not expect elaborate explanations for Unit studies as a comprehensive teaching method.

This model is primarily a curriculum model, not a fully-formed educational method. These manuals are a powerful supplement to most any homeschool. Unit studies vary from the elaborate prepackaged series to the free Do-it-Yourself online kits. Unit studies are truly distinct from traditional schooling in this way, since parents can literally construct an entire curriculum from everyday experiences, local attractions, and household materials.

For some people, this openness is terrifying, but for others, it is the adventurous outlook that makes homeschool great.

A flexible, child-led homeschooling day in the life

Unit studies are often compatible with other homeschool styles so you can sample those networks through the links above, in Charlotte Mason, Unschooling, Classical, etc. You can also find some fans of Unit studies through Eclectic networks listed in the section hereafter. If all else fails, you should be able to find a network, group, or meetup through the Homeschool Legal Defense Association — Homeschool Support Groups.

Eclectic homeschooling, also called "Relaxed" homeschooling, is the most popular method of homeschooling. The reason for its popularity is obvious. Homeschool parents love to share ideas and resources across different methodologies because their key focus is not in propping up a method, or touting some favored curriculum. Their main objective is educating their child and each child is unique.

Eclectic homeschooling is typically child-directed, resourceful, and non-curriculum based. It has no built-in loyalties to a particular method and tends to treat curriculum options like a buffet instead of a set meal plan. Parent-teachers can sample from any combination of other homeschooling methods, or resources. This model is the most flexible of all methods. You may prefer a Classical classroom for a few days out of the week while reserving the rest for Charlotte Mason-based activities like nature walks.

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Or you might adhere to the ideologies of Unschooling for the liberal arts, while engaging simultaneously in a rigorous School-at-Home calculus class. One of the growing brands of Eclectic schooling is "hybrid" homeschool, which combines part homeschooling and part traditional schooling public or private. See also Eclectic-Homeschool.

In simple terms, when you implement Eclectic homeschooling well, you can enjoy the unique benefits of each method you consult. The benefits of this method are many, but whenever you combine different methods or resources together, there is always the risk of importing their drawbacks or even synergizing new problems. If the Eclectic method is looking like a strong option for you, make sure you read over the other methods above so you have a sense of what strengths and weaknesses might accompany each.

This method needs to be used tactfully. The nature of Eclectic homeschooling incorporates all other guidebooks from other methods. The top three websites are a good start. Eclectic educators often love to develop their own lessons from household materials, local sites, and real-world experiences, but they can also use formal curricula to make sure that all the important subjects are covered.

If he or she loves dance and music, for instance, these predilections can steer you search accordingly.