Methods
Homeschoolers cover an entire spectrum of different educational methods. On the one end, you have unschoolers, families that believe in self- or child-led learning. Relying on real world experiences, they learn by living. On the other end of the spectrum, you find parents who have "school at home." They may set up a classroom environment, use structured curriculums, and rely on schedules to keep things moving smoothly. And of course, there is everything in between. There are as many different ways to homeschool as there are homeschoolers. Explore the different methods, ideas, and approaches that make the homeschooling experience so rich.
Learning Styles

Is your child a visual learner? Better doing things hands on? Do they learn through listening. Explore the learning styles of visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and reading/writer learners. When you better understand the differences in learning styles, you will be able to utilize effective strategies to help your child maximize their learning. And even more, you'll probably discover that your child has a combination of learning styles, making different ways of learning available to you.  

Charlotte Mason

Charlotte Mason said, "The education of habit is successful in so far as it enables the mother to let her children alone... letting them go their own way and grow, having first secured that they will go the right way and grow to fruitful purpose." Mason encouraged the use of living books, nature walks and writing and drawing in a nature journal, and incorporating music, poetry, art, and excellent literature into a child's education. 

Montessori
The Montessori approach to education can work very well in the home environment. Learn about incorporating Montessori techniques at home, national support organizations, and how to find resources and materials.
Classical Homeschooling
The classical method of education is based on the Trivium of the three stages of learning: the Grammar stage, the Logic stage, and the Rhetoric stage. It is a traditional model of learning and teaching. Read more about this method and find out how homeschoolers are using it to teach their children at home.
Unschooling
Unschooling is more than just not going to school. It is following your child's interests to get the most out of learning through living.
Waldorf
Explore the Waldorf philosophy of education and see how it can be integrated into learning in the home.
Unit Studies
Unit studies are a creative and dynamic way to integrate core subjects into topical learning. They can excite interest in your child and can help you cover a number of subjects in a shorter amount of time. Learn more about unit studies and how to incorporate them into your own homeschooling methods.
Eclectic Homeschooling
What do you call the homeschooler who doesn't necessarily subscribe to a certain homeschooling method? Well, the term eclectic fits just perfectly. Eclectic homeschooling involves a diverse and unique approach to learning at home.
Vocational Training
Vocational training offers teenagers and yound adults the opportunity to learn a trade, often with on-the-job training.
Co-Ops
What do you do when you are overwhelmed and feel like you can't do everything all by yourself? Join a co-op! Co-ops pull together the resources, strengths, and gifts of several people to help provide a more diverse, complete, and rewarding educational experience for your children.
Online Programs
A virtual school in general refers to a program in which your child is at home, but takes courses over the Internet. These virtual schools offer online programs and often full curricula. They are usually administered by a public or private school. Thus, children enrolled in these programs are effectively enrolled in a school and skirt the definition of a homeschooled student. There are some controversies regarding these programs, but they do provide an alternative that is appropriate for some families. Learn more about how these programs work, what to expect, and how to get the most out of them.
Community Colleges
Many community colleges around the country have opened their doors to homeschooled teenagers, giving them an opportunity to start their college careers early, to gain classroom experience and college credit, to challenge them with more difficult materials, and to expand their horizons. Many parents look to community colleges to provide instruction in materials that they are not well suited to teach themselves.
What's Popular
Foothills Unschooling Network
Foothills Unschooling Network is a support group for families in Placer County, CA, and neighboring counties.
Unschool LA
Unschool LA is a group of Greater Los Angeles-area parents, children, teens and extended family/friends who identify as unschoolers (or their supporters).
Western Region Unschoolers
The Western Region Unschoolers is a group for unschoolers who live in the Western U.S. covering: Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and California. This is a forum to announce and organize conferences, travel, camping, and other places to get together.
Humboldt Unschoolers
Share your homeschooling journey. Unschooling is a life-long learning adventure. Unschoolers learn from everything, so feel free to talk about anything and everything. Come share your stories, ask questions, philosophize. Find out what's going on in Humboldt County, and/or make things happen.
San Diego Waldorf at Home
San Diego Waldorf group is designed to bring others together in the area of San Diego County who are inspired by the methods of Waldorf education and are bringing their education home (homeschooling) or thinking about it.
Classical Homeschoolers of the Silicon Valley
Classical Homeschoolers of the Silicon Valley is an all-inclusive support group for those following the classical homeschooling education model of "The Well Trained Mind" (Jessie Wise and Susan Bauer) or similar methods (e.g. Hirsch, Bennett, Mason).
Capistrano Connections Academy
Capistrano Connections Academy provides a new form of public school that students can attend from home. This is a unique program that combines strong parental involvement, the expertise and accountability of publicly funded education, and the flexibility of online classes. Capistrano Connections Academy (CapoCA) is a charter school authorized by the Capistrano Unified School District. CapoCA serves students in grades K–12 who reside in San Diego, Orange, Riverside, Los Angeles, and San Bernardin...
CAVA K12 - LA County
All members of this group live in or near Los Angeles County, have children who are enrolled in CAVA (California Virtual Academy) or use K12 curriculum on their own, or are interested in the programs.
Central California Connections Academy
Central California Connections Academy (CenCA) provides a new form of public school that students can attend from home. This is a unique program that combines strong parental involvement, the expertise and accountability of publicly funded education, and the flexibility of online classes. Central California Connections Academy is a charter school authorized in May 2006 by Alpaugh Unified School District. CenCA serves students in grades K–12 who reside in Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Kings, and Tulare cou...
Butte County Unschoolers and Eclectics
This email group is for unschoolers and eclectic homeschoolers in Butte County.
Learning Circle Cooperative Homeschool Support
The Learning Circle Homeschool Support Group is an inclusive group partially sponsored by Trinity Lutheran ISP. Homeschool families of varying religious or educational philosophies are members. Serves all homeschool families in San Benito County and adjoining counties.
Unschool San Diego
Unschool San Diego is designed to facilitate connections between unschooling families in the Greater San Diego area and surrounding communities. It exists to provide a place where local unschoolers can meet and get to know one another, arrange get-togethers and have a local unschooling support group.
San Francisco Bay Unschooling Network
This is an online support group for homeschooling with an unschooling approach in the San Francisco Bay area.
California Unschoolers
This group is for families in California that are homeschooling their children in an unschooling fashion.
Santa Monica West LA Child Led Learners
Unschooling support group serving families in the Santa Monica and West Los Angeles area.
Resources
Teach Me to Do It Myself: Montessori Activities for You and Your Child
Based on the key Montessori principle that children learn best through active experience, Teach Me to Do It Myself presents simple activities through which children explore and develop their skills. These skill areas include sensory perceptions, body coordination, language, understanding of numbers, and movement. This practical, color-illustrated parenting book is filled with activities and instructions for overseeing children as they carry out a variety of learning activities. Most activities will seem simple to parents, because once mastered, adults perform them automatically. However, toddlers experience a sense of accomplishment and self-worth when they learn to perform them independently. The many activities start with dressing and personal hygiene, then go on to include . . .
  • Pouring activities
  • Threading and sewing activities
  • Peg activities
  • Cutting with scissors
  • Sorting activities by touch
  • A color matching game
  • Making musical scales with bottles and water
  • Using alphabet tiles to make words
  • Growing things in a window box
  • Making finger puppetsActivities are described in detail and include checklists of needed items, as well as variations and related activities for children to try.
  • Maria Montessori: Her Life and Work
    Maria Montessori is important background reading for parents considering Montessori education for their children, as well as for those training to become Montessori teachers. The first woman to win a degree as a Doctor of Medicine in Italy in 1896, Maria Montessori's mission to improve children's education began in the slums of Rome in 1907, and continued throughout her lifetime. Her insights into the minds of children led her to develop prepared environments and other tools and devices that have come to characterize Montessori education today. Her influence in other countries has been profound and many of her teaching methods have been adopted by educators generally. Part biography and part exposition of her ideas, this engaging book reveals through her letters and personal diaries Maria Montessori's humility and delight in the success of her educational experiments and is an ideal introduction to the principals and practices of the greatest educational pioneer of the 20th century.
    The new introduction to Maria Montessori: Her Life and Work by Lee Havis, executive director of the International Montessori Society, discusses the changes that have taken place in Montessori education within recent years.
    An updated appendix of Montessori periodicals, courses, societies, films, and teaching materials.
    A revised bibliography of books by and about Maria Montessori.
    Kinder Dolls: A Waldorf Doll-Making Handbook
    This comprehensive guide for beginners and experienced doll makers shows how to create many different kinds of handcrafted dolls from natural materials. Handmade dolls with their simplicity of expression and design leave children’s imaginations free, rather than being confined by perfectly finished dolls made of artificial materials. Instead, these dolls encourage the magic of creative play and bring children the gift of imagination in which they see themselves as “makers.”

    Included are:
    · Ten designs, including soft, baggy, angel, pouch, sack, and limbed dolls
    · Twelve basic clothes patterns and ethnic variations
    · Tools, techniques, and materials
    · Safety guidelines and sewing methods
    · Recycling tips and where to get materials

    The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education
    This classic homeschool resource is intended for teens who are ready to take charge of their own education. Written by Grace Llewellyn in the '90s, it is still relevant today. Teens will be empowered by claiming their natural ability to teach themselves and to fully personalize their education. Covers the decision to leave school, as well as many of the learning opportunities available to teens. 
    Understanding Waldorf Education : Teaching from the Inside Out

    Written by a teacher with more than 25 years of experience, this book offers a jargon-free view of Waldorf schools with their philosophy of the importance of a three-dimensional education. Through learning experiences that involve all of the senses, children use a variety of intelligences to develop thought, feeling, and intentional, purposeful activity. Whether you_re a Waldorf parent or teacher, or you just want to learn more about these innovative educational concepts, this book contains important ideas on learning that you can apply today.

    Real Lives: Eleven Teenagers Who Don't Go to School
    Grace Llewellyn, author of the The Teenage Liberation Handbook, offers the stories of 11 teens who made the decision to reject traditional schooling methodologies and take their education into their own hands. The essays highlight offer a day-in-the-life look at teen homeschooling and unschooling, as the teens embraced self-education and increased in their self-confidence and motivation. 
    Montessori Play And Learn : A Parent's Guide to Purposeful Play from Two to Six
    We all want the best possible starts in life for our children, and one of the best possible starts in life, educationally, is the "method" pioneered by Maria Montessori and taught successfully today throughout the world.

    Now, Lesley Britton, the leading Montessori practitioner in England for more than twenty years, will show parents how to bring Montessori home. If you would like to facilitate the development of your child's unique personality, make it possible for him to develop to his full intellectual capacity, and help him become socially and emotionally well adjusted, then this is the book for you.

    Montessori Play and Learn is packed with ideas, activities, and games that can fit into your normal routine and help supplement preschool learning for your child. For planning your home, introducing your child to the supermarket or the neighborhood, and helping him discover other people and cultures, this book provides valuable tips and insights that help parents and children grow and learn together.
    -- Create hundreds of learning opportunities from everyday life
    -- Learn dozens of games and activities to help prepare children for mathematics, reading, science, and writing
    -- Make your home environment as stimulating for your child as the best Montessori preschool.
    Free to Learn: Introducing Steiner Waldorf Earkt Childhood Education
    Free to Learn is a unique guide to the principles and methods of Steiner Waldorf Early Childhood education. The author draws on kindergarten experience from around the world, with stories, helpful insights, lively observations and pictures. This inspiring book will interest parents, educators, and early years education students. It is up to date, comprehensive, and contains many illustrations, including a 16-page color section. Lynne Oldfield invites you to explore Steiner Waldorf kindergartens. Here, teachers and parents believe that children's early learning is profound, that childhood matters and that the early years should be enjoyed, not rushed through.

    Topics include:
    · How kindergarten enables healthy child development
    · What is movement based learning
    · Why creative play is so crucial
    · How children learn through imitation and rhythm
    · When children are ready for school
    · How to get support for parenting and daycare

    Free to Learn is a unique guide to the principles and methods of Waldorf early education, drawing on kindergarten experience from around the world, with stories, helpful insights, lively observations, and pictures.

    Montessori Method
    This book is Montessori's own exposition of the theory behind her innovative educational techniques. She shows parents, teachers and administrators how to "free a child to learn through his own efforts".
    Homeschooling Essentials: A Practical Guide to Getting Started

    If you're ready to begin homeschooling, then the experiences of others can offer valuable help and encouragement as you jump into this new adventure. This practical guide answers common questions, helps you navigate the legalities of homeschooling, talks about the practical side of homeschooling and different methods, offers resources and gives advice about high school. 

    Dr. Montessori's Own Handbook
    A short, illustrated guide to the use of Montessori classroom materials. Describes how to set up a "children's house" - an environment for learning where children can be their own masters.
    The Ultimate Book of Homeschooling Ideas: 500+ Fun and Creative Learning Activities for Kids Ages 3-12
    Fun and Effective Home Learning Activities for Every Subject
    As a homeschooling parent, you're always looking for new and creative ways to teach your child the basics. Look no longer! Inside this innovative helper, you'll find kid-tested and parent-approved techniques for learning math, science, writing, history, manners, and more that you can easily adapt to your family's homeschooling needs. And even if you don't homeschool, you'll find this book a great teaching tool outside the classroom. You'll discover fun and educational activities for kids ages 3 to 12, including how to:
    ·Create maps based on favorite stories, such as Treasure Island or The Wizard of Oz
    ·Make letters out of French fries as an alphabet learning aid
    ·Explore architecture by building igloos, castles, and bridges with sugar cubes and icing
    ·Review spelling words by writing them on the sidewalk with chalk
    ·And many more!
    This comprehensive collection of tried-and-true—and generally inexpensive—ideas provides the best-of-the-best homeschooling activities that can be done anywhere, anytime, and by anyone.
    Secret of Childhood
    Maria Montessori describes the child with warmth and the exactness of a scientist. She also discusses the array of materials and techniques needed to release his learning potential.
    Homeschooling: The Early Years: Your Complete Guide to Successfully Homeschooling the 3- to 8- Year-Old Child
    Nothing beats seeking the voice of experience if you want to join the estimated 1 to 3 million parents who teach their children at home. Here's a guide that comes direct from the experts: a mother of two homeschooled, now-grown children and 83 homeschooling families she surveyed. Their stories make reading this starter kit on teaching ages 3 to 7 worthwhile. For those ready to take on what author Linda Dobson calls "a natural extension of being a good parent," the manual provides at-a-glance boxes of insightful anecdotes called "How We Did It," as well as lists at the end of each chapter of helpful books, magazines, Web sites, software, and computer message boards that connect homeschooling households. The straightforward writing covers the basics on reading, writing, and math; different teaching approaches; organizing a curriculum; even how to deal with skeptical relatives and spouses. There are no specifics on each states' homeschooling requirements, which vary widely. But as a primer for parents starting out, the book serves as a confidence builder and an inspiring how-to guide. --Jodi Mailander Farrell
    Tomorrows Child
    Tomorrow's Child magazine offers insights and information that helps parents to feel confident that Montessori will prepare their children for the real world. It will help you understand and appreciate Montessori and apply it in your home.
    Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling
    This radical treatise on public education has been a New Society Publishers' bestseller for 10 years! Thirty years of award-winning teaching in New York City's public schools led John Gatto to the sad conclusion that compulsory governmental schooling does little but teach young people to follow orders as cogs in the industrial machine. In celebration of the ten-year anniversary of Dumbing Us Down and to keep this classic current, we are renewing the cover art, adding new material about John and the impact of the book, and a new Foreword.
    Montessori International
    Montessori International is the magazine for all parents and teachers. Montessori International magazine is a high quality colour education magazine with a Montessori focus and a truly child-centred approach. The magazine is for Montessori parents, nursery owners, teachers, and students with an interest in Montessori education.
    Discovery of the Child
    Maria Montessori went beyond the conventions of the day to seek a new way of knowing and loving a child. In THE DISCOVERY OF THE CHILD, she describes the nature of the child and her method of working more fully with the child's urge to learn. With 16 pages of photographs.
    Montessori: A Modern Approach
    Montessori: A Modern Approach has been called the single best book for anyone -- educator, childcare professional, and especially parent -- seeking answers to the questions: What is the Montessori method? Are its revolutionary ideas about early childhood education relevant to today's world? And most important, especially for today's dual-career couples. Is a Montessori education right for my child?

    Paula Polk Lillard writes both as a trained educators and as a concerned parent -- she has many years as a public school teacher, but it was her enthusiasm for the education her own child experienced in a Montessori school that led her to become a leading voice in the Montessori movement in this country.

    Her book offers the clearest and most concise statement of the Montessori method of child development and education available today.
    Waldorf Education: A Family Guide
    Waldorf Education finds itself catapulted from its humble beginnings 80 years ago into the midst of the central educational and social issues of this decade.

    What draws parents and educators toward Waldorf Education today? "Waldorf Education - A Family Guide" offers a "first look" for parents and educators into the history, philosophy, curriculum, and traditions of this unique education. This comprehensive book is a collection of articles describing the world of Waldorf Education - the fastest growing independent school movement in the world.

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