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Types of Homeschooling Styles
Table of Contents

1)  What is meant by learning styles?
 
2)  How do I determine what learning style my children have?
 
3)  What is Christian classical education?
 
4)  What is the difference between Christian classical education and classical education?
 
5)  What are unit studies?
 
6)  What is the Montessori Method?
 
7)  What is the Charlotte Mason Method?
 
8)  What is unschooling or child-led education?
 
9)  What if I just don't know what type of homeschooling method I want to use?





 

 

Learning Styles & Methods of Homeschooling

 

 

1)  What is meant by learning styles?

Not everyone processes information the same way.  Learning styles has to do with how individuals learn.  Generally, a child's learning style is a combination of the mother's and father's learning style with his/her own special way of processing information.

The three learning styles are visual (seeing), auditory (hearing), and kinesthetic (doing).  

Learning style characteristics tend to overlap.  Many will notice that their children experience characteristics from each learning style.  

When children are young, many think they are best described by the kinesthetic (doing) learning style.  Learning styles begin to become more evident as children grow older and mature.  

Learning Style Advantages:  
Concepts that may be difficult for your scholar to master is best presented in the learning style he/she prefers as it will aid them in learning a new concept quickly.  After the concept is understood, begin to build up tolerance and ability for the other learning styles.  We may all have our preferences of how we learn, but it is important to develop competence in other learning styles as well.

Learning Style Disadvantages:
Some tend to only focus on educational or learning style the scholar prefers without attempting to aid the scholar in developing reasonable skill and competence in the other learning styles.  This is truly unfortunate and a set up for failure.  Life will not always allow an individual preferences on how they learn.  Frequently, there are emergencies in one's life (war, natural disasters, etc.) when a scholar does not have the luxury or the option in overcoming a situation with learning style preference.

Visual

Auditory

Kinesthetic

Visual
Does your child learn by seeing?  Does he learn by watching demonstrations?  

Visual Characteristics:

reading: recognizes words by sight


writing: appearance important; spacing/size good


memory: remembers faces, forgets names; takes notes


problem
solving:
 
deliberate, plans in advance, lists problems, organizes by writing 


inactivity: stares, doodles, finds something to watch


new situations: watches people/events, looks around


emotions: facial expression good index of emotion; stares when angry, beams when happy


communicate: quiet, does not talk at length


attitude/
appearance:

meticulous, likes order, does not vary dress appearance

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Auditory
Does your child learn by verbal instructions?

Auditory Characteristics:

reading: reads aloud, sounds out words, spells words the way they sound


writing: writes lightly, no difference between small and capital letters


memory: remembers names, forgets faces, memorizes easily with repetition


problem
solving:
 
talks problems out; tries solutions verbally


inactivity: hums, sings, talks to self/others


new situations: talks about situation, asks questions


emotions: expresses emotions verbally, noticeable change in voice tone/ volume / pitch


communicate: long descriptions


attitude/
appearance:

matching clothes not important, can verbally explain clothing choices

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Kinesthetic
Does your child learn by doing or with direct involvement?

Kinesthetic Characteristics:

reading: fidgets when reading, poor speller


writing: initially good then deteriorates, spacing becomes smaller


memory: remembers what was done (not what was seen or talked about)


problem
solving:
 
physically attacks problems, impulsive


inactivity: fidgets, finds reasons to move, brings something to do


new situations: touches, feels, tries things out


emotions: jumps when happy, stomps when mad, etc.


communicate: gestures when speaking


attitude/
appearance:

initially neat, becomes wrinkled through activity


 

 

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2)  How do I determine what learning style my children have?

First try to determine how you and your spouse's preferred learning style.  Generally, a child's learning style is a combination of the mother's and father's learning style with his/her own special way of processing information.  Review the learning style characteristics and be aware that as your child mature, his/her learning style may change or broaden.

If you are truly "stuck" on learning style, use experimentation to see what style "fits" your child for various academic subjects.  You may notice that your child prefers textbooks for some subjects like math / grammar (visual), listening for literature / grammar games (auditory), or kinesthetic for science / civics (doing).  

When initially presenting a new concept, many try to use the learning style the scholar most prefers as it makes understanding the new concept much easier for the student.  Then, after the scholar understands the rudimentary aspects of the new concept, approach the same "new" concept with the other learning styles.  In this way, your child is improving on the learning style he/she prefers most while gaining competence in the other learning styles which will help him/her later in life.

 

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3)  What is Christian classical education?

Christ is at the center of the Christian classical education approach.  Humanistic authors are not avoided but studied, assessed, and processed from a Christian worldview.  This process enables the Christian student to practice defending the faith and understanding life from his/her Christian worldview while still at home with a roof over his head, clothes on his back, and food on the table.  A book report, or more accurately, a book synopsis gradually aids the scholar with what to look for and how to process information from a Christian worldview that is presented in a piece of literature, a song, poetry, newspapers, etc.

This training will prove to be invaluable for the scholar as it is excellent preparation for learning how to deal with humanism outside of the Christian community.  It trains young warriors with how to respectfully defend the Faith without caving in to humanistic arguments.  In fact, it prepares the scholar for the humanistic arguments he/she will face in the future without compromising the Faith.

Math, grammar, science, civics, literature, geography, phonics, and all things else are approached from a Christian worldview and, in time, are compared with how humanists approach these academic disciplines.

Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.  (Jesus)
     — Matthew 7:6 —

Examples:

In literature, Christian authors may sandwich a humanistic one.   A parent may opt to have their scholar read G.A. Henty's In the Reign of Terror, Charles Dickens' Tale of Two Cities and, then, The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy.    By reading the books on the French Revolution, in this order, the humanism becomes quite apparent even without a lot of discussion.  Henty and the Baroness have their characters thoughtfully rescue soon-to-be-victims, while Dickens' main character commits mental adultery, becomes an alcoholic and dies.  As one homeschooling student put it, "Mama, Dickens' character reminds me of Proverbs 8:36:  But he that sinneth against Me wrongeth his own soul:  all they that hate Me love death."

Poetry is another area where humanism pops to the forefront.  Again, sandwich a humanistic poet between two Christians and the humanism becomes quite evident.

Comparing and contrasting revolutions and wars of independence throughout history is not only useful for history and civics, but current events vividly illustrating a Christian worldview in opposition to the humanistic worldview.  Watch your scholar come alive and understand the two different approaches to civics throughout history and with current events.

Wars of Independence — the American War of Independence (PrestonSpeed Publication's G.A. Henty and C.D. Baker), Dutch War of Independence (PrestonSpeed Publication's By Pike and Dyke and By England's Aid), Scottish War of Independence (PrestonSpeed Publication's In Freedom's Cause)
 
Revolutions French Revolution (PrestonSpeed Publication's In the Reign of Terror), the communist revolution in Russia, and the 1930s-1940s socialist revolution in Germany (World War II and Hitler)

 

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4)  What is the difference between Christian classical education and classical education?

Christian classical education
The study of well-known classics that made Western civilization great and to understand Christianity's role.  Christ is at the center of all subjects whether it be history, literature, grammar, math, science, geography, culture, current events, civics, etc.  The student studies and interprets academic disciplines from a distinctively Christian worldview while learning to differentiate Christianity from humanism.

Classical education
The study of well-known classics.

 

 

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5)  What are unit studies?

Unit studies are simply a topical study including most if not all areas of academics in one study — literature, grammar, applied math, science, history, geography, etc. Unit studies typically include areas of art, character building, and Bible study.  It is typically recommend that a child have a full course of study in phonics (when applicable) and mathematics to round out a unit study approach.  

Benefits of unit studies include, but are not limited to:  teaching multiple children at varying grade levels at one time; correlating history, science and geography together; relating learning to life via character building and Bible study; many choices of topics and covering a wide range of studies.

Unit studies teach to a variety of learning styles, so even if your child(ren) learn differently, they are exposed to all the learning styles and are able to learn the most from their particular area of strength.

Some use other teaching methods for their scholars and refer to unit studies as "Goof Off Time" encouraging their scholars to participate in unit studies after homeschooling.  In this way, the scholar begins to incorporate the topic being studied in to their lives and gain mastery of the concept.

 

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6)  What is the Montessori Method?


Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1952)
(pronounced MON-tuh-SORE-ee)

First:  first woman in Italy to receive medical degree (1896)
Disciplines:  psychiatry, education and anthropology
Work:  University of Rome psychiatric clinic
Held:  each child born with unique potential, not a blank slate, children teach themselves
Montessori Method:  founded in Rome, 1907
Invited to USA:  by Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison; spoke at Carnegie Hall in 1915
World War II:   forced into exile from Italy because of her anti-fascist views living and working in India

     — Maria Montessori

Supposing I said there was a planet without schools or teachers, study was unknown, and yet the inhabitants — doing nothing but living and walking about — came to know all things, to carry in their minds the whole of learning: would you not think I was romancing?  Well, just this, which seems so fanciful as to be nothing but the invention of a fertile imagination, is a reality. It is the child's way of learning. This is the path he follows.  He learns everything without knowing he is learning it, and in doing so passes little from the unconscious to the conscious, treading always in the paths of joy and love.

Dr. Maria Montessori authored the book The Montessori Method Scientific Pedagogy As Applied To Child Education In "The Children's Houses" With Additions And Revisions in 1912 which was translated from Italian by Anne E. George and Professor Henry W. Holmes of Harvard University writing an introduction.  Discipline was encouraged through liberty and Independence with prizes and external forms of punishment abolished.  Diet and gymnastics were developed for each child on an individual basis.

The Montessori Method prefers students to enter into education at age three as it is held each stage has its own developmental characteristics.  Montessori holds that learning between the ages of 3-6 is spontaneous and without effort by encouraging self-motivation and self-discipline.  The classroom is the domain of children and not adults being designed to encourage independence and personal empowerment.  

     — Maria Montessori, Education for a New World

Scientific observation has established that education is not what the teacher gives; education is a natural process spontaneously carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not by listening to words but by experiences upon the environment.  The task of the teacher becomes that of preparing a series of motives of cultural activity, spread over a specially prepared environment, and then refraining from obtrusive interference.  Human teachers can only help the great work that is being done, as servants help the master.  Doing so, they will be witnesses to the unfolding of the human soul and to the rising of a New Man who will not be a victim of events, but will have the clarity of vision to direct and shape the future of human society.

 

The Montessori Method emphasizes learning through all five senses.

— famous Montessori adage

first the education of the senses, then the education of the intellect

 Children learn at their individual pace.  Children are placed in three-year age groups (3-6, 6-9, 9-12, etc.) forming "communities".

Note:  
Montessori and her ideas gained popularity as Christianity with its teaching styles were being removed to the sidelines and competition was heavy for who would control the government school system.  Many of the ideas of Montessori come from Christian education but with definition changes of words so as not to offend Christians or those working to develop the Prussian government school system in the United States.  For example, Christian education throughout the ages has encouraged children to participate in family care activities like meal preparation, cleaning, gardening, caring for clothes, shoes, putting away toys, etc. in order to encourage independence thereby preparing warriors to take dominion for Christ.  (See:  Onward Christian Soldiers, Christ Shall Have Dominion, Dare to be a Daniel, Stand Up for Jesus, Am I a Soldier of the Cross?, etc.)

 

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7)  What is the Charlotte Mason Method?

 

 

 

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8)  What is unschooling or child-led education? 

 

 

 

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9)  What if I just don't know what homeschooling method I want to use?

Experiment.

 

 

 

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Curious about what the Bible has to say about Education?
Check it out at
Christian Education? What's That?
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