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
Knowing your child's learning style can help you teach him or her in the best way possible. Explore these diverse ways of learning and get tips on the best way to help your child grasp and learn new material.
Charlotte Mason
Charlotte Mason's philosophy and model of teaching can be used with great success in the home. Explore this method and find ways to incorporate this teaching and learning style into your homeschool.
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
Northern Virginia Catholic Charlotte Mason - NoVaCCM
A group for families in the Northern Virgina area interested in Catholic Charlotte Mason home education. The group will share ideas online and hopefully plan monthly get togethers.
Charlotte Mason in VA
This is a group for families living in Virginia who are using the Charlotte Mason Method and homeschooling.
Waldorf World
This website has a great listing of resources and suppliers of Waldorf compatible toys, games, and books.
Central VA Unschoolers
This group is for Unschoolers in Central Virginia to receive support, share ideas, and chat.
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.
CharlotteMasonNOVA
A place for the members of the Charlotte Mason Study Group of Northern Virginia to keep in contact.
Handbook of Nature Study
A matchless handbook for decades, this classic work has been the natural history bible for countless teachers and others who seek information about their environment. Written originally for those elementary school teachers who knew little of common plants and animals, and even less about the earth beneath their feet and the skies overhead, this book is for the most part as valid and helpful today as it was when first written in 1911―and revised in the spirit of its authors by a group of naturali...
Blue Ridge Family Unschoolers Network (FUN)
Blue Ridge FUN is an inclusive support group of homeschooling families. All homeschoolers are welcome, without bias to style of homeschooling, choice of curriculum, or personal beliefs. Blue Ridge FUN members live and learn in a large geographical area of Virginia including the following cities and counties: Amherst, Bedford, Botetourt, Lynchburg, Campbell, Floyd, Franklin, Henry, Patrick, Roanoke, Rockbridge, and Salem.
Nova Unschoolers
NovaUnschoolers is an inclusive list for homeschoolers in the northern Virginia area to chat, find support and meet others, and those who are looking for information about homeschooling.
Appalachian Regional Cooperative
Appalachian Regional Cooperative is an inclusive group of homeschoolers in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Beware the Curriculum Mentality
One of the most important duties of parents is to help their children to discover and pursue new interests, retaining the love of learning that is almost universal in young children and almost universally extinct in conventionally educated adults. Standardised curricula, and the stultifying educational hoops that schoolchildren have to jump through, sabotage this aim. This can cause trouble for parents who have to satisfy other people ... that they are educating their children properly. Under pr...
CM Families of the South
The purpose of this loop is to encourage homeschooling families living in the Southern states who are trying to incorporate the philosophy of Charlotte Mason in their homes in their efforts to raise their children with an enthusiasm for learning.
TriCities Family Unschooling Network
TriCities Family Unschooling Network welcomes unschoolers, unschool-learning, and unschool-curious in the Tri-Cities area of East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.
Woodbridge-Springfield Homeschool Group
Woodbridge/Springfield Homeschool Group is an inclusive list for homeschoolers in the northern Virginia area to chat, find support and meet others, and those who are looking for information about homeschooling. This is an inclusive list and is made up of unschoolers, eclectic, and relaxed homeschoolers. This is a regional offshoot of the NovaUnschoolers Group.
Ashburn-Sterling Homeschoolers
Ashburn-Sterling Homeschoolers is an inclusive, relaxed homeschooling support group for those living and hsing in or near Ashburn or Sterling. They have a monthly support group meeting and a weekly park day. This group is affiliated with NovaUnschoolers.
Resources
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".
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.
Freedom and Beyond (Innovators in Education)
John Holt looks at the role that schooling in society plays in education.
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.
Homeschooling: The Teen Years : Your Complete Guide to Successfully Homeschooling the 13- to 18- Year-Old (Prima Home Learning Library)
The teen years are when many homeschooling parents start to question or abandon their efforts. It's a precarious time, with challenging academics, pressing social issues, and the prospect of college looming. Parents can now breathe easy: this guide calms the teen-time jitters and even offers hope to those just turning to homeschooling now that their child is about to enter high school. With brief "how we did it" testimonies from other parents sprinkled throughout the book, author Cafi Cohen offers sage advice with the turn of every page. A columnist for Home Education Magazine and Homeschooling Today, two of the most respected periodicals on the subject, Cohen has also homeschooled her two children into college. To comfort doubters, she begins with 10 reasons for homeschooling your teenager (work experience, limited peer pressure, and family togetherness, among them). She goes on to devote long chapters to traditional subjects such as math and history, and even gets to those you might not have considered, like driver education. Her suggestions for parents new to homeschooling: decompress slowly, study only one subject a month at first, and read at least one book on learning styles. This approach will save much time and reduce those trial-and-error episodes.

The guide is neatly packaged and easy to read in the same style of its sister publications, Homeschooling: The Early Years and Homeschooling: The Middle Years. A large collection of lists and quick tips offer everything from the top 10 books for teens and the most popular math programs to money-saver suggestions such as joining a local college's foreign-language club and asking for discarded equipment from local schools. The last chapter contains two college application essays written by teenage homeschoolers. It also provides reassuring information about diplomas. Many universities follow Harvard's policy of not requiring a diploma, but if you or your homeschooling support group do issue one, your teenager can answer "yes" to the diploma question on most job applications--a fact sure to illicit a collective sigh of relief from thousands of parents who homeschool their teens. --Jodi Mailander Farrell

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
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.
  • 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.

    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.
    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.
    Montessori Life

    Designed to provoke thought, professional growth and provide a forum for discussion of major issues & ideas in education.
    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.
    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.

    The Absorbent Mind
    In response to the crisis in American education, more than five thousand public and private schools across the nation have adopted the timeless Montessori Method of teaching, of which this book is the cornerstone. Written by the women whose name is synonymous worldwide with child development theory, The Absorbent Mind takes its title from the phrase that the inspired Italian doctor coined to characterize the child's most crucial developmental stage: the first six years.

    A new foreword by John Chattin-McNichols, Ph.D., President of the American Montessori Society, places this classic book in a contemporary context, offering an intelligent discussion of current thinking in child education.
    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

    Children at Play : Using Waldorf Principles to Foster Childhood Development
    Children at Play is an insightful exploration into the world of children's play and its tremendous significance in the shaping of each child's humanity. A mother and proponent of Rudolf Steiner's Waldorf system of education, author Heidi Britz-Crecelius offers practical suggestions and an up-to-date list of resources for today's families.
    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.
    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. 
    Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book Of Homeschooling
    The classic work on teaching children at home, updated for today's new laws, new lifestyles, and a new generation of homeschooling parents. Today more than one and a half million children are being taught at home by their own parents. In this expanded edition of the book that helped launch the whole movement, Pat Farenga has distilled John Holt's timeless understanding of the ways children come to understand the world and added up-to-the-moment practical advice. Rather than proposing that parents turn their homes into miniature schools, Holt and Farenga demonstrate how ordinary parents can help children grow as social, active learners. Chapters on living with children, "serious play," children and work, and learning difficulties will be of interest to all parents, whether homeschooling or not, as well as to teachers. This new edition is supplemented with legal advice as well as a guide to cooperating with schools and facing the common objections to homeschooling. Teach Your Own not only has all the vital information necessary to be the definitive reference for parents teaching their own children, it also conveys John Holt's wise and passionate belief in every child's ability to learn from the world that has made his wonderful books into enduring classics.
    Featured Resources

    As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this site.

    America's Spectacular National Parks
    The concept of the national park is an American contribution to world civilization, and it remains a defining characteristic of our country. From the rocky shore of Maine's Acadia to the barren crater and lush rain forest of Hawaii's Haleakala, Ameri...
    The Story of the World
    This book series by Susan Wise Bauer is another that is best enjoyed as a read aloud rather than seen as a history textbook. It is full of engaging stories, mixing facts and historical legends. The companion study guides offer questions, narration ex...
    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...
    Total Language Plus
    Total Language Plus is an innovative curriculum focused on teaching thinking and communication skills using literature as a base. The authors believe an integrated system is more efficient than a fragmented approach, discovery style learning is the m...
    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 themsel...