Five Flavors of Homeschooling

My first session at Teach Them Diligently Nashville 2016 was The Five Flavors of Homeschooling with Sonya Shafer.

This was my first time hearing Sonya Shafer, although I am very familiar with her and the Charlotte Mason Method she uses.  I highly recommend hearing this session if you are a new homeschooler and are not quite sure where to start.  I went because I wanted to see exactly where I fall on the teaching spectrum.  My teaching methods have definitely changed over the years.

**Homeschooling does not have to look like school at home**

Flavors of Homeschool:

  1. Traditional
  2. Classical
  3. Charlotte Mason
  4. Unit Studies
  5. Unschooling

TRADITIONAL: *This is the flavor most people are familiar with*

Traditional includes textbooks and workbooks, read and answer questions and test on the information. Examples of Traditional curriculum companies would be:

A Beka Book, Accelerated Christian Eductaion, Alpha Omega, BJU Press to name a few.

CLASSICAL: *Based on the trivium* (The Trivum is (Grammar, memorizing stage), (Dialetic, logic thinking), (Rheotoric, presenting what they have learned). Examples of Classical curriculum companies would be:

Classical Conversations, Memoria Press, Tapestry of Grace, The Mystery of History, Institute for Excellence in Writing.

CHARLOTTE MASON: Instead of textbooks and workbooks you use “living books” You do narration, and you focus on ideas (not just the facts). Examples of Charlotte Mason curriculum companies would be:

My Father’s World, Queen Homeschool Supplies, Simply Charlotte Mason.

UNIT STUDIES: In Unit Studies there is a common theme.  Say you are studying Joseph from the Bible, For History you would study Ancient Egypt, Math you would learn about cubic measurements of the pyramid.  You would also do a lot of hands-on projects.

Examples of Unit Study curriculum and resources:

Five in a Row, Prairie Primer, KONOS, Amanda Bennett Unit Studies

UNSCHOOLING: There is not a set curriculum-Let the kids set the learning and then go and research.  Think: Delight Directed Learning

**I took her test at the session** My result was:

6 points for Charlotte Mason Method, 3 points for Unschooling and 2 points for Unit Studies


  1. Get it to go type curriculum (not customized, but convenient)
  2. Put together ready-made components
  3. Make it all from scratch


  1. Read the labels
  2. Will this curriculum be a good fit for me in this season of life
  3. Will it help it meet my goal.
  4. What are my states legal requirements
  5. Personal Standards

**Remember, curriculum is not your master**

**Teach the child, not the curriculum**

**Feed your child’s natural hunger for knowledge**



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