Homeschool Overview 2020-21

In this post: homeschool options, homeschool methods, homeschool curriculum, learning styles, teaching styles, online resources

Background (quick-style): We never had plans to homeschool but life is full of surprises. We’ve been homeschooling in various ways since the girls were preschoolers…and I guess really since they were born…and maybe in the womb since I taught Pre-K while I was pregnant. This school year Melody is going into 8th grade and Emily is going into 6th grade, so I have no experience beyond middle school homeschooling. I have a degree in Business Administration but I also went back to study Early Childhood Education.

School this year will look different from what we’ve known, regardless of the decisions that have to be made in your district/state. There probably is no best solution right now and there may be adjustments that need to be made along the way. (Let’s offer grace to all and think before we speak.) But what better way to demonstrate to our children many life lessons!

  • creativity in possible solutions in learning
  • community and families working together to help support each other
  • perseverance in the face of hardship and obstacles
  • flexibility when changes occur

I’ve had a few people ask me about homeschooling and I’ll have to be honest that this is a tricky question to answer at this time mainly because of the different factors involved which makes the reasons for choosing this route a nonconventional one.

I’ve also had a few people ask me about supplemental resources and while that’s a little easier to respond to, it is still challenging because there are still many unknowns as to what the schools will be offering.

But that said, I thought I would share some initial thoughts to guide anyone who may be looking for information or resources. I’m not an expert by any means and I can only share from our own experiences and what we’ve seen and heard from others, so please make sure to talk to friends who homeschool and look around the interwebs.

Also, much of what I’m sharing is very general to give an overview. This is not a comprehensive list by any means. There’s no right or wrong to any of these ways. There are pros and cons to everything. Find what works for you, make adjustments along the way, offer grace and pray that you receive grace for mistakes, learn from mistakes, have fun!

HOMESCHOOL OPTIONS

  • Public Charter – This might not be an option at this time because of a recent bill that was passed regarding public school funding. You meet with a specialist from the school each month (or so) to get guidance, turn in work, etc.
  • Private School Satellite Program (PSP) – You pay a tuition fee. There may be classes or extracurricular/sports offered to your children. You are your children’s teacher.
  • Your home as the private school – I believe you need to file an affidavit with your district. You are your children’s teacher. Make sure to keep good records.
  • Online school – I’m not familiar with this one at all. I don’t recall that I know people in our area/state who does online school but I know of others who have outside of California.
  • Private Tutor – Another one I’m not super familiar with since I don’t personally know anyone who has solely used tutor(s) but it’s an option.

HOMESCHOOL METHODS

Once you’ve chosen an option, you will need to think about methods. Depending on your preference, you may want to choose a style/method/type of teaching/learning first. These are very general statements about each method so make sure to do your own research on what you think you’d like to do in your own homeschool.

  • Traditional – similar to a classroom
  • Unschooling – child-led learning
  • Eclectic – a blend of different methods
  • Classical – training children to think for themselves using these stages: concrete, critical, and abstract learning
  • Montessori – child-centered approach
  • Unit Studies – centering learning around a theme/topic
  • Charlotte Mason – emphasis on the whole child, nature, “living books”
  • Waldorf – whole child learning from the world around them, less emphasis on textbooks and academics in the early years
  • Roadschooling, Worldschooling, Carschooling – incorporating learning everywhere you go, field trips, traveling

HOMESCHOOL CURRICULUM

There are lots out there! And lots more sites with reviews and explanations and demonstrations and so on and so forth. It can be overwhelming so make sure to get an idea of what all of the above first before spending too much money on materials.

  • Complete All-in-One Boxed Curriculum
  • Videos
  • Online classes
  • Literature-based
  • Workbooks

LEARNING STYLES

How do your children best learn and process information?

  • Visual – pictures, graphics
  • Auditory – sounds, music
  • Verbal – words, both spoken and written
  • Physical – use your body, hands, touch
  • Logical – logic, reasoning, systems
  • Social – learn in groups with others
  • Solitary – work alone, self-paced

TEACHING STYLES

How do you best teach information?

  • Lecture – teacher presents
  • Coach – demonstrations
  • Activity – hands-on, games
  • Group – discussions, labs, feedback
  • Blended – a mix of styles
  • Technology – videos, both watching and creating

ONLINE RESOURCES

I know lots of families are looking to supplement. If you’re okay with your children having more online/screen time in addition to what the school might offer, these sites are good, both with information on what your children need to know as well as having lessons that are age-appropriate. These are paid subscriptions but there certainly are lots of free sites out there as well.

ONE LAST NOTE

One more thing to note is to take into account your family – your values, priorities, other commitments, work schedules, goals, and other factors that will impact how and what your homeschool will look like for the 2020-21 school year. Learning is much more than an education in a school classroom. Make the most of this year to grow.

 

YOUR TURN…I’D LOVE TO KNOW…

What’s your family’s plan for the school year?

What questions do you have?

What extra/supplemental things is your community doing to support families?

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