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Homeschooling Methods: Seasoned Advice on Learning Styles

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For new and veteran homeschool families alike, this extensive new release from the editors of The Old Schoolhouse TM Magazine serves as “a homeschool convention in a book.” It details today’s most viable education models, helping parents formulate an educational game plan and choose teaching methodologies. There are more than twenty contributors including Christine Field, Jessica Hulcy, Dr. Raymond Moore, and Dr. Ruth Beechick.

269 pages, ebook

First published February 1, 2006

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Paul Suarez

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5 stars
21 (18%)
4 stars
36 (32%)
3 stars
42 (37%)
2 stars
9 (8%)
1 star
4 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 27 of 27 reviews
Profile Image for Emily.
933 reviews104 followers
March 3, 2011
Good overview of several different approaches to homeschooling including a classical education, unit studies, Charlotte Mason, and unschooling. The sections on carschooling and unit studies were especially helpful and I liked some elements of the Charlotte Mason approach as well.

However, the book felt a bit like a "bait-and-switch." There is absolutely nothing on the front or back cover to indicate the heavy Christian focus. A homeschooling book geared toward Christians who want to incorporate their faith into their educational approach would have a particular audience and that's just fine. I'm Christian and I'm sure that will influence how and what I teach my children, but mention it on the cover, people. I almost didn't get past the second article because it started veering too far into the realm of bearing-witness-of-narrowly-defined-faith-promoting stories when what I wanted was some solid information of homeschooling methods - incidentally, what the cover promised. I'm glad I kept reading because there really is some valuable info there, but I'm a fan of truth in advertising and I don't think this book delivered that.

For more book reviews, come visit my blog, Build Enough Bookshelves.
Profile Image for Anjanette Barr.
Author 3 books38 followers
October 24, 2011
This book was exactly what I needed. I happened upon it while browsing the at the library and was sure that, given its generic title, it would be too broad or too boring to be of use. I was obviously wrong.

The book is broken up into examinations of ten popular Christian homeschooling methods. Each section includes essays from one or more of the prominent voices among the advocates for that method.

It was wonderful to have side by side comparisons of the philosophies behind each method, as well as how they are executed. Some of the essay authors even laid out the major tenants of their methods with enough detail to get you started using that method. Overall, however, the essays are meant as a jumping off point for more research.

I'd highly recommend this book to anyone beginning their homeschool journey, or to anyone looking to move away from the method they currently use.
Profile Image for Adrienne.
276 reviews16 followers
April 25, 2010
Somewhat helpful but I've seen better overviews (Homeschooling for Dummies comes to mind).

Every chapter begins with a Bible verse and then the religious references just keep on comin'. When will people learn that if their book is going to be a heavily religious version of an otherwise non-religious topic (which, technically, homeschooling is), then they need to PUT IT ON THE COVER!!!

It's 2010, people--Christians aren't the only people homeschooling anymore...by a long shot. They don't own the idea or the term.

(But I did really like the chapter about Carschooling. I've not seen that anywhere else, so that's why the book gets 2 stars instead of 1.)
Profile Image for Leslie.
71 reviews
January 20, 2014
Fabulous! I devoured this in about two days. It's very accessible and informative. As a former teacher trained in the classical method, this was both refreshing and reassuring. In addition, I was surprised at how much of the "delight-directed" style I appreciated and how others like Charlotte Mason's methods made me want to know more. This is a GREAT place to start if you're preparing to homeschool and developing your family's philosophy of education. Five stars. I want to own it!
268 reviews3 followers
March 3, 2008
This is a much more "militantly" Christian overview of the different styles of homeschooling. I found some useful information, but overall I felt the writers to be a little extreme. All styles of education are presented from a Christian point of view, so this would not be useful for a non-religious homeschooler.
Profile Image for Noemi Martinez.
Author 23 books34 followers
May 12, 2012
While some of the homeschooling methods listed were new to me as I am just beginning to read up on homeschooling, no where on the cover or back did it note that the different methods were applied from a Christian perspective. Granted, that wouldn't bother me so much-it was the anti-atheist chapter that made me put the book down.
Profile Image for Jo.
601 reviews2 followers
June 23, 2022
A compilation of articles by proponents of different "styles" of homeschooling. Includes articles on Classical, Charlotte Mason, Unschooling, Unit Studies, Traditional Textbooks, Eclectic, and Whole-hearted Learning (along with a few others that are less mainstream).

I found this helpful in defining some of the words that I've heard thrown about in homeschool circles but have not heard a formal definition for. Although I like the concept of education as Christian discipleship which is present in many of the methods, in some cases there seemed to be a misapplication of biblical principles - for example, the Whole-hearted Learning method concludes that since God primarily communicates to us through the written Word (the Bible), therefore we are meant to primarily learn through books. I do not think you can conclude that. Other such "stretches" were present in some of the other presentations.

Overall, I learned that many parts of these methodologies sound appealing to me, but I don't always agree with the reasoning behind them. The idea that children, left to themselves, will naturally choose to learn and that we just need to provide the "spark" for them has crept in from Rousseau, and I associate it with moral therapeutic deism (as traced in Carl Trueman's Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self). I think if you pinned down most Christian homeschoolers on this issue they would probably agree with me, but it concerns me that the language has been adopted into the homeschool vernacular.
144 reviews3 followers
February 13, 2023
A nice survey of a variety of homeschooling methods and approaches written by parents who actually use each of them. Could use a second edition now that homeschooling is much more common and there have been changes in the movement since this was published.
A few notes:
1. This book is incredibly Christian. The dedication page is to Jesus Christ, and it was published in 2006 (when basically all homeschoolers were homeschooling for religious reasons) so it's not surprising, but if you are not a Christian homeschooler, I don't think you'll be able to sift out anything useful, that's how pervasive it is.
2. Some of the essays are incredibly poorly written or poorly edited. I skimmed a few and completely skipped others. If you have an interest in unit studies or unschooling, those methods are poorly represented here.
3. Some of the methods are ones I've never heard of, and I suspect that is because they've died out or been subsumed since this book was published.
Profile Image for Carla May.
154 reviews1 follower
June 25, 2021
An excellent resource, even though it's slightly dated. Has brief inside into multiple methods of homeschooling, including those who homeschool for special needs, so I knew pretty quickly which ones would work for my family and which ones would not and where to go from there. The best part? Every author was so supportive and gracious! So encouraging!
Profile Image for Charlene Gibson.
90 reviews1 follower
September 5, 2021
If you're wanting to homeschool but are overwhelmed by the number of different methods out there, I would recommend picking up this book! For each method, there are two articles by practitioners or creators of the method explaining how it works and how it can be implemented in your own home. Lots of really good information here!
Profile Image for K.
282 reviews6 followers
September 4, 2019
Well. This book has some racist bits, lots of super legalistic Christian bits, and some snobby language. It doesn't even provide a decent overview of the methods, more so the ideology behind them. Google has better information.
It's a no from me.
Profile Image for Amy.
278 reviews
March 2, 2017
This was an enjoyable read and gave a good overview of the different types of homeschooling methods out there. It does have a religious slant and explains things from a Christian perspective. However, these methods are all worthy of examination whether you are religious or not.
Profile Image for Marcie.
133 reviews1 follower
February 5, 2009
Homeschooling Methods provided an interesting overview of some homeschooling models. I liked that each method was presented by someone who used the homeschooling method and who often published materials and was a public speaker for that method. I found the book useful in laying out the styles and I liked the discussion of why you might want to choose one homeschooling method over another. I liked the references to additional resources.

I did not like the Christian slant. Each chapter started with a bible verse and each writer wrote about how God fit in with their homeschooling. Had there been some mention in the title or on the cover that this was going to be the case, I likely would have chosen another book. I felt that by only including writers with a narrow Chrisian viewpoint I wasn't getting a full picture of homeschooling and am left wondering if there might be other methods that might not have had a Christian voice and were left out.
Profile Image for Cara Sexton.
29 reviews5 followers
August 3, 2014
Found this to be a helpful overview but even as a Christian, would have appreciated that the subject matter not spend so much time on how building a Christian worldview fits into the various methodologies. About 1/3 to 1/2 the book seemed to be dedicated specifically to specifically Christian worldview perspectives, often in ways that seemed forced into the topic at hand. Again, I am a Christian and appreciated this as an approach but could have done with less of it, specifically because the book does not purport, from outside appearances, to be about this. Overall, though, I found it more inspiring than overwhelming...which is a great place to be. Lots of great ideas and no judgement call over which is right or better. Also much more in depth than other overview-style method books on homeschooling.
Profile Image for Christina.
1,152 reviews
November 29, 2010
The authors have compiled a series of essays on various topics by experts, so you can read this book as if you are attending a day-long seminar on homeschooling. You can pick and choose what topics to read. I read all of the chapters and surprisingly found myself swayed by the great advice in a few areas in which I had not anticipated I would be interested (i.e., unit studies, non-textbook learning). I highly recommend this book if you are open to reading about different methods or just investigating homeschooling at a high level. I also really liked Sally and Clay Clarkson of Whole Heart Ministries and plan to further check out their resources.
Profile Image for ZombieLMG.
6 reviews1 follower
April 20, 2015
This book has some good overviews of many homeschooling methods. All are presented with a very Christian viewpoint, which I can ignore. However I did deduct one star from my rating due to the anti-atheist chapter (The Principle Approach). They showed their complete ignorance of atheism by calling it "a religion of unbelief." Anyone who knows anything about atheism knows it is not a religion. The rest of the religious stuff I just skimmed over as there is some good advice in the book. The unit studies, Charlotte Mason, whole-heart learning, and even the textbook sections being the best written and most informative.
Profile Image for Lauri.
39 reviews4 followers
April 10, 2014
This book has a Christian focus, and even for those not homeschooling for religious reasons, it provides an excellent overview of the most prevalent approaches to homeschooling. There is one chapter that is a bit judgmental of those not choosing that particular approach, but otherwise all the other chapters are excellent descriptions and examples that would help someone interested in learning about the various methods of homeschooling.

For those non-Christians, I feel that it is very easy to read about the various methods and just substitute your own personal belief in place of the Christian statements.
Profile Image for Amanda.
1 review
August 9, 2016
I thought this book, while giving first-person accounts of homeschooling methods from individuals experienced/ authoritative in their respective fields, often confused methods with ideology. Of course the two intertwine and are often inseparable, but a few of these methods were strictly ideology- and, as a person just beginning to investigate homeschooling, I found it difficult to form a practical idea of what these would "look like." This book may well be geared toward those with more experience than I have with homeschooling, because though I have my degree and certification in education, this book largely eluded the basic tenets of education with which I am familiar.
Profile Image for May.
154 reviews
February 6, 2017
I was trying to home school my children and have found this book to be inspiring and helpful. Worried that I am not teaching enough for my children, I was encouraged and liberated after reading this. There isn't a homeschooling curriculum in this book but it offers a lot of principles for you to follow such as catering to your child's interests and building a love for books which will give you some ideas when you are planning what to do with your child at home. There are a lot of biblical references in this book, I would only recommend this to Christian parents.
Profile Image for Ami.
1,599 reviews43 followers
September 6, 2009
This book contains a very nice overview of the most popular methods of homeschooling. Each different method is given a general summary. Then, advocates of that particular methodology write essays explaining their personal experiences and philosophies.
This book has a decided Christian slant that I found jarring at first. This puzzled me, as I have deep religious convictions, myself. Upon reflection, it occured to me that I am supremely accustomed to the separation of church and state. Interesting....
Profile Image for Pene|ope.
809 reviews104 followers
March 21, 2013
Covers the basics of most of the homeschooling methods out there (doesn't cover Thomas Jefferson, Waldorf, or Montessori) and helped me get an idea of what type of method applies to my family. It's got a strong focus on Christian teachings, which I appreciate. Sadly, some methods were covered better than others (a comparison of two-three pages for some methods, compared to 20+ for others).

If you want a one-stop explanation of homeschooling methods to give you an idea of where to begin (and don't mind that a few methods are missing), this is your book.
Profile Image for Jamie.
128 reviews
March 27, 2012
Excellent introduction to different options for Christian homeschooling. Highly recommended for those who are interested in learning more about the various methods. I had a lot of ideas before reading this, but I feel like this book helped me to clarify which directions I'd most like to pursue as well as feel more confident in my own style of parenting and leadership as we learn at home. I really recommend this one!
8 reviews4 followers
July 21, 2007
This book is excellent in giving you a sufficiently detailed yet not too complicated summary of the various homeschooling methods out there.

I wanted to know about the different styles and which style would be best to use with my almost 3 year old son next year. I liked the moore method and the unit studies style of homeschooling.
81 reviews
June 5, 2012
I remember checking this out to understand more about learning styles. That's not what this is really about. It's synopses of a variety of methods of homeschooling. Although it's not what I expected, I enjoyed it nonetheless. There are the summaries explaining about the type of homeschooling and then writings from people who have implemented that type of teaching.
Profile Image for extraordinary ordinary whimsy.
126 reviews126 followers
October 9, 2015
Awesome. Easy to read. A MUST for any parent even considering homeschooling. It will bring you up to date with the main homeschooling methods. Each section is an intro/breakdown to each method with a few chapters contributed by veterans in that method/school of thought. I need to purchase a copy and re-read it with my highlighters ready.
March 30, 2015
Good info about home schooling and the state of public schools. Written from a Christian perspective.
Displaying 1 - 27 of 27 reviews

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