This post is part of the Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling Styles series – view the entire series here
So many homeschooling styles – how do you decide which one to use? How do you even COMPARE them when they’re all so different?!
One way is to look at how structured each homeschooling style is – does it stick to a strict curriculum? Who designs that curriculum? Do you want it to look like school or not?
Ranking homeschooling styles by the amount of structure looks like this –
There may be some surprises there – most people think a Steiner/Waldorf homeschool is very relaxed (probably because it’s very arty/crafty), but the philosophy actually follows a very strict structure. Remember, you also don’t NEED to take the bad with the good – if you want to steal some great ideas from a very structured method without implementing the whole thing, you definitely can! That’s why the ‘eclectic’ style spans the entire structure – think of eclectic homeschooling as your DIY homeschooling style, picking and choosing from all the styles to build a truly personalised homeschool.
You don’t need to choose a style RIGHT NOW and stick to it forever. That’s the way to overwhelm and meltdown. As you learn more about homeschooling certain styles will naturally become more attractive to you. As your family grows and changes you may change styles. You may think an area of one is wonderful when your children are younger, but find you move to other approaches when they become teens.
That’s perfectly OK – in fact, I encourage it! Flexibility is the greatest benefit to homeschooling, so give yourself permission to change when you need to. Yes, even if it means abandoning the expensive curriculum that wasn’t as popular as you predicted – it happens to all of us.
So choose what suits you right now, start exploring, and remember that you’re in charge – stay flexible.