LeapingFromTheBox.com provides information on some of the different methods of homeschooling. Methods include Charlotte Mason, Classical (Trivium), Eclectic, Montessori, School-At-Home (Scope & Sequence), Unit Study, Unschooling and Waldorf.

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~ Henry David Thoreau


    Charlotte Mason

    This approach advocates reading good books from original sources and spending lots of time in nature. It is based on core subjects and incorporates the fine arts. Children deal directly with the best books, music and art. The children are trained in the practice of narration, or telling back what they've learned. The emphasis is always placed on what the children do know rather than what they do not know.

    Classical (Christian) / Trivium

    The Trivium contained three areas; Grammar, Dialectic, and Rhetoric.

    • Grammar, or skill in comprehending the facts.
    • Logic, or skill in reasoning out relationships between these facts.
    • Rhetoric, or skill in wise, effective expression and application of the facts and their relationships


    According to the World Book Dictionary eclectic means "selecting and using what seems best from various sources, systems or schools of thought." Eclectic homeschoolers use what "seems" best at the time. The choices eclectic homeschoolers make are not erratic. The methods and resources they select to use are chosen to further the educational goals they have for their children.


    Maria Montessori advocates observing your child, removing obstacles to learning and providing children with real, scaled-to-size tools to use. The three Montessori principles are Observation, Individual Liberty, and Preparation of the Environment. These principles guide the teacher to "control the environment, not the child;" to look at the child as an "unknown entity" and allow its true nature to freely emerge. Montessori teaching is therefore a way of being committed to these three fundamental laws of nature.

    School at Home (Scope & Sequence)

    This is the type of “schooling” we are all most familiar with and what we all experienced in public school. The first assumption is that there is an encyclopedia of information that every child must learn. The second assumption is that we can divide this encyclopedia down into efficient little increments according to twelve grade levels and 180 daily installments. The third assumption is that every child should be able to regularly digest these installments with other children whose age falls within nine months of their own.

    Unit Study

    Doing Unit Studies, in a nut shell, means to integrate all of the normal "subjects" that come to mind when we think of "school," into a single "theme." Unit studies are designed for multi-level teaching. That means that the same topics are taught to all of the children at once, regardless of age or grade. There are many prepared unit studies available, or you can create your own. Unit studies come in based around different themes: character building studies, history based studies, literature based studies, and science based studies.


    The term "unschooling" was coined by John Holt to mean not sending children to school. The term has been stretched and changed since then, and now is used to represent one method of home education. Unschooling is taking the process of 'education' out of learning - allowing learning to occur in a natural way, led by interest, passion, need, want, desire, to satisfy some immediate demand or long term goal. Many follow a child-initiated unstructured approach where the adult's role is as a facilitator and the child's role is as a guide.

    For more information about unschooling, visit my Unschooling Page.


    Waldorf education is based on the philosophy of Austrian Rudolph Steiner. The aim of Waldorf schooling is to educated the whole child; head, heart and hands. It fosters imagination and fantasy. It is of the belief that children learn through imitation and play. The curriculum is as broad as time will allow, and balances academics subjects with artistic and practical activities. Waldorf schools also do not focus on competition with others; grades and competitive sports are de-emphasized, for example. The philosophy of this school seems to not only embrace lifelong learning, but also to embrace the sense that all this learning is done for oneself.

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Charlotte Mason’s Original Homeschooling Series
by Charlotte Mason
This series contains the original six volumes of Charlotte Mason's book, a rich resource for educators - both teachers in schools and teachers in home-schools.

A Charlotte Mason Companion
Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning

by Karen Andreola
This is a beautifully written and thorough introduction to the Charlotte Mason philosophy. What makes Karen Andreola's book so magnificent is that she not only tells you what to do and how to do it, she tells you WHY!!!

The Teenage Liberation Handbook
How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education
by Grace Llewellyn
For everyone who has ever gone to school or is interested in the current national debate over educational reforms, but it is especially relevant for teenagers and the parents or caregivers of teens.

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