Written by: Kendall A. | Umm Iman
There are many types of home education and the term “homeschooling” can refer to many variations of educating your children at home. Below are a few definitions:
- Traditional Homeschooling: This is where a parent has chosen to follow the curriculum of the local school district or another curriculum program (or series), but the parent is the teacher of these materials. This is probably the most common image that comes to mind when people think of the term “homeschooling.” In this model, the child would receive a similar experience to that of being in a school setting with regard to the curriculum, except that the learning would take place at home.
- Online Homeschooling: In this model, a child receives their learning from an online source, such as an online public school or some other program that teaches core subjects or specialty subjects, like: Quran, Arabic, or Islamic Studies. The parent does not do any teaching here, but instead facilitates the learning and attendance.
- Cooperative Homeschooling: This practice allows different parents to teach the subjects that they feel comfortable with. It is similar to a school like experience, in that the child is taking subjects from a variety of teachers with unique styles, as well as with other children.
- Unschooling: This is a methodology where the child’s interests are placed at the forefront of curriculum development. The parent may have some general guidelines: like math, language, science, and cultural studies, and may look to standards for a general idea of what skills to touch upon; however, the content of these subjects is more in the child’s hands. There is a pendulum on which this method swings, with some unschoolers not having any curriculum and truly allowing the children to decide when they feel ready to do something like reading or writing and others families who take the approach outlined at the beginning of this definition.
Just like schools are built on different philosophies (examples include: African-Centered, Montessori, Waldorf, Reggio-Emilia, Charlotte Mason, Project-Based, Hands-On, Traditional, Play-Based, etc.), so to are home education experiences. As you consider what you want your child’s educational experience to look like, it will be important for you to gain some clarity around the answer for that, so that you can make intentional choices in achieving that goal, in sha Allah!