Homeschooling Methods, Approaches and Styles Explained

Complete guide to Homeschooling Methods, Approaches and Styles. Knowing about these terms like Montessori, Waldorf, Play way method will help you choose your own unique style that works for you and your kid.

Homeschooling is quiet a known term now. Many of us are aware about it and some are eager to know about homeschooling. Let’s have a small peek in what homeschooling is and what are the methods of homeschooling?

Homeschooling is a movement when parents choose to educate and teach their kids at home instead of sending them to school for traditional learning. The reasons behind it may be many like dissatisfaction with the traditional learning method, parents may think the teaching methodologies are not competitive enough and their kids are not getting proper environment in schools, parents have some security issues of their kids etc.

According to Holt, author of the best-selling book Teach Your Own, the most important thing parents need to homeschool their children is “to like them, enjoy their company, their physical presence, their energy, foolishness, and passion. They have to enjoy all their talk and questions, and enjoy equally trying to answer those questions.” For the majority of parents who homeschool, the only prerequisite is the desire to do so, along with a dedication to the educational process.  

Now once you have decided that you are going to homeschool your kids, the first thing is to gather resources.

Taking a decision to homeschool means you have sailed half the sea now next thing is to decide what approach are you going to follow, what is your style and what are the available methods or styles of homeschooling.

Common homeschooling methods, approaches and styles

Montessori Method

Among this Montessori is the most loved and practised method as it is hands on and easy to implement at a home with available resources.

This is also a Wonderful method which gives child the freedom to choose the activities and learn via self correcting methods. The beauty of this method is this is completely child led, the activities designed for kids are completely  age-appropriate. Another reason for Montessori homeschooling is that there are tons and tons of resources available that are super easy to use.

E.g printables. Any Mom who is homeschooling their toddler /Pre-schoolers will find a wonderful access and the efficiency in delivering the knowledge becomes easy.

Is Montessori practiced in Higher standards ?

Now Montessori can be practised till the age of 12 and further (But we In India have no such state laws or elementary Montessori schools). So from Grade 1 where the options of different boards area where options of different boards are available. Selection can be done according to the curriculum / area you stay or Child’s interest.

Remember there is no such rule that you have stick to one, provided that you are not giving every grade exams. If you are giving every grade exams then you have stick to one curriculum.

-ICSE and IB boards (Selected) allows a child to stay at home and attend the examination at the end.- In other cases Homeschooling is carried out completely till age of 16 and then externally appeared for grade 10.
-Even further one can skip grade 10 and take up Bachelor’s development Programme or similar and pursue his graduation and post-graduation.

Reggio Emilia – Method and its principles

This is another wonderful method of learning. It is way far away from the traditional method of learning where students are supposed to sit and listen to their teachers and to check their knowledge we use paper and pencil. 

This method is child focused and child led and tend to bring best from the child.

This principle focus more on giving an environment where kids can explore and learn. Naturally kids are quite curious and they keep exploring the world and that is the way they learn.

So this principle tend to give a space and let the child learn on his own.

Kids can understand their own situations. They can interact with others as well and get to know many more things through their conversation. It may be the possibility others can learn something new and different from your kid.

Thus, this method focus on collaborations with other people and tend to keep the kids with peers so they can learn and grow with others.

Communication is a process and kids know how to communicate. Your kid can explain his feelings or may be learning to explain it. We should have patience and should give them the opportunity to explain about something they want to.

Let them learn to frame sentences and give them opportunities to grow.

Kids learn lots so many things from their environment. We should not keep them packed in a class or home and let them roam freely and learn on their own.

Let their mind be open and let their brain to think differently so they can ask and learn something new.

Now we adults or teachers should be act as a facilitator and should help the kids to learn on their own and should try to answer their queries in a best possible way.

We should focus more on what kids interests are should provide the environment where they can learn whatever they want to learn.

Waldorf Steiner- Method and its principles

Waldorf education, also known as Steiner education, is based on the educational philosophy of Rudolf Steiner. This method of learning focusses on the role of imagination in learning, striving to integrate holistically the intellectual, practical, and artistic development of kids.

This method divides the child development into three major stages

  1. Early childhood education (age 6-7) -  focuses on practical, hands-on activities and creative play
  2. Elementary education (age 7-14) – focuses on developing artistic expression and social capacities;
  3. Secondary education (age 14 and up) – focuses on developing critical reasoning and empathetic understanding.

In the early childhood education, this method focuses on lots of pretend play (free play), artistic time (colouring, painting, crafting), circle time (stories, rhymes, games), outdoor time and practical life skills (cooking, gardening, washing clothes etc.) The idea is to let the child think the world is good and through various practical life skills they learn to do their work on their own.

In the elementary education, this method tends to cultivate children’s emotional life and imagination. In order to develop a better understanding of subject matter, this method use artistic work that includes story-telling, visual arts, drama, movement, vocal and instrumental music, and crafts

In the secondary education, this method, focuses on that kids should learn through their own thinking and judgment. Students are supposed to form conclusions based on their own judgement.

Interest – led learning method

This is the beautiful method of homeschooling. This method focuses on let the child move freely and think freely. This method is really good for parents who know the flaws in the traditional method of learning and want to homeschool their child so he can learn about the world on his own.

This method believes we should not keep the children in the boundaries of classrooms and home. Let them go out and let them decide what they want to learn about. Let them fly freely and decide the things that interest them.

Playway – Method and its principles

This is a wonderful method of making the kids learn and grow in their own pace. Through play kids learn so many things, play give them pleasure and their physical work becomes an enjoyable moment. This method makes the kid learn through play.

Play way method focuses more on activity based learning. As per this method activity based learning stimulates creative skills and self creation and motivates kids to be creative and through their art they tend to express themselves.

This method focuses on providing the best environment to kids where they can learn and grow.

This method focuses on improving memory skills of kids through various games and activities.

Remember this a wonderful journey of you and your child. Success isn’t what the world applauds but something that you master on your own.

Hope you found this article on various homeschooling methods and approaches useful.

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You may also want to check our other popular articles and activities for child development.

Did you find this article on Homeschooling styles and methods ? Do let me know if there is any other queries you have using comments below . Would love to hear from you.

Renuka Mahesh
Renuka Mahesh

A Marketing Graduate. Also holder of Bachelor's in Tourism and Hospitality management. Just completed Masters(English literature & Clinical psychology). Aspiring to get a PhD. A child educator by profession, carrying our family legacy of Nurturing our small Montessori inspired space “Explore kids World”, where we enjoy learning The Montessori way and encourage kids to learn out of the box. The curricular and co-curricular activities are designed in such a way that kids experience the joy of learning This is our third generation. I have grown up seeing Montessori | Early learning | Gentle parenting around me. This was the utmost Inspiration that I refused so called corporate jobs only to pursue my passion and became a child educator. This Inspiration led me to take up workshops and courses in Nutrition(Infancy and child care), Gentle parenting ,Literacy and numeracy skill(The Montessori way ) | Counseling psychology. Now rigorously working/Studying / Writing about homeschooling.To spread a bit of Inspiration I blog on -

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  1. Reply
    Disha Bhandari Dadala 12th February 2018 at 8:19 am

    I am saving this for future reading as my toddler grows. This is a comprehensively written piece.

  2. Very well explained. I think we all should know about different kind of teaching styles. Thanks for sharing this…

    • Thanks a lot shaily. Very well said. These approaches are also used in preschools and playschool. Knowing about these helps in our selection and also helps in applying these technique at home

  3. Homeschooling is an option when we have limited access to good school.
    Great post.

    • Thanks a lot amrita. Completely agree. There are other reasons why people choose homeschooling for eg safety concerns, at times kids not well enough for going to school..

  4. So many new learning methods I’ve explore today. Indeed education can become fun and easy with good Approach

    • Thanks a lot Bushra. Completely agree. Knowing about these approaches help us parents make decisions and choose a method that works best for our kids. Learning should be fun

  5. i have been thinking about homeschooling for a very long time but the fear of moving out of the everyday schooling patterns is a difficult option.

    • Same here prisha. But the decision is not easy. So have started reading about homeschooling it’s methods and approaches. In today environment where we hear so maybe around school it’s looking like an option

  6. Wow neha,

    Such lovely details and information about homeschooling.

    Few info, I didn’t know about it.

  7. I am amazed how parents keep up on homeschooling. This is a good reference.

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