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More than one way to homeschool

An overview of varying homeschooling options

An overview of varying homeschooling options

Before I moved to the Hudson Valley, I’d met maybe five people who’d been homeschooled. One or two in my childhood. The method was generally looked down on by most people I knew, snobbily derided as control-freak “religious nuts” afraid of modernity. How wrong they were.

By contrast, raising a son in this region and in this time period, and performing for thousands of families, I have lost count of how many homeschoolers I’ve known, and how many kids – and parents – are all the better for it; well-adjusted young adults, often attending the college of their choice, or confidently making their first independent steps into the world. My son attended Onteora public school, but his peer group included kids from private schools, Waldorf schools, the Sudbury school, the Bruderhof school, and various types of homeschool. (A handful of parents “unschooled” their kids.)

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For obvious reasons, homeschooling is bigger than ever. Although the butt of a well-received SNL sketch some years ago, in which backward-minded religious folk teach kids mostly Bible stories (a stereotype, of course), homeschooling is now getting a lot more respect from the mainstream.

For anyone curious about homeschooling, or seriously considering turning your home into a fulltime learning center, writer, teacher, and homeschooler Angela Anagnost-Repke gives a comprehensive overview of homeschooling history and philosophy in PopSugar. She lists the various options available, and interviews parents involved in various disciplines – or lack thereof – for some excellent insight into this growing area of education.

Her overview covers the nature-based Charlotte Mason homeschool method, of which one user says, “It can be boiled down to reading quality literature and having good conversations to spark a love of learning in children.” Mason herself said, “The question is not, how much does the youth know when he has finished his education, but how much does he care?” Also in the mix are Classical Homeschooling, Unschooling, Waldorf Homeschooling, Montessori Homeschooling, and Eclectic Homeschooling, each distinctive.

For parents who can balance work schedules with becoming fully engaged with and totally responsible for their children’s education, homeschooling can offer numerous benefits, not least of which is more control over the safety of one’s kid in a world more unpredictable than ever.

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