Now that you've got a general idea of the various approaches you can take to homeschooling, there's something you should consider before selecting a particular method -- your child's learning style. There are four basic ways in which a person can learn something:
- A visual learner is someone who must see things to really understand them. Visual learners respond well to diagrams, images, charts, picture books and so on. They may also like to respond to new knowledge by creating a visual representation of it.
- An auditory learner is someone who learns from listening and speaking. An excellent homeschooling approach for auditory learners, because of its unique narration element, is the Charlotte Mason method.
- A tactile learner is someone who learns through touch. A good way to engage the tactile learner is through field trips, experiments, craft projects and so on.
- A kinesthetic learner needs to be closely involved in what he is learning. For example, if a kinesthetic learner is reading a story about sailing, he/she will want to see a sailboat in person, to investigate the sailboat and possibly go sailing.
You may already have a good idea of what type of learner your child is, but if you don't, all it takes is a little time and some close observation. You may also want to figure out what kind of learner you are, because that could have an impact on your natural teaching style.
Photo courtesy Morguefile
Some children learn best by close interaction with the lesson topic.
Homeschooling will be as much a learning process for you as it is for your child. You don't have to lock yourself into one method and stick with it forever. If you start with the Structured Method and it's too rigid, try Unit Studies. If that's not a good fit, move on to the Eclectic Method. Furthermore, according to several homeschooling Web sites and books, many homeschooling parents approach homeschooling on a year-to-year basis: It's never too late or too early to homeschool, and if it doesn't work out, you can re-enroll your child in a more traditional school the following year.
Now, let's take a look at what's beyond homeschooling.