Homeschooling or homeschool (also called home education or home learning) is the education of children at home, typically by parents but sometimes by tutors, rather than in other formal settings of public or private school. Although prior to the introduction of compulsory school attendance laws, most childhood education occurred within the family or community, homeschooling inthe modern sense is an alternative in developed countries to private schools outside the home or educational institutions operated by civil governments.
Homeschooling is a legal option for parents in some countries to provide their children with a learning environment as an alternative to public or private schools outside the home. Parents cite numerous reasons as motivations to homeschool,including better academic test results, poor public school environment, religious reasons, improved character/morality development, the expense of private education, and objections to what is taught locally in public school. It may be a factor in the choice of parenting style. Homeschooling is also an alternative for families living in isolated rural locations or living temporarily abroad.
MethodologyHomeschools use a wide variety of methods and materials. There are different paradigms, or educational philosophies, that families adopt including unit studies, Classical education (including Trivium, Quadrivium), Charlotte Mason education, Montessori method, Theory of multiple intelligences, Unschooling, Radical Unschooling, Waldorf education, School-at-home, A Thomas Jefferson Education, andmany others. Some of these approaches, particularly unit studies, Montessori, and Waldorf, are also available in private or public school settings.
It is not uncommon for the student to experience more than one approach as the family discovers what works best for them. Many families do choose an eclectic (mixed) approach. For sources of curricula and books, "Homeschooling in the United States:2003" found that 78 percent utilized "a public library"; 77 percent used "a homeschooling catalog, publisher, or individual specialist"; 68 percent used "retail bookstore or other store"; 60 percent used "an education publisher that was not affiliated with homeschooling." "Approximately half" used curriculum or books from "a homeschooling organization", 37 percent from a "church, synagogue orother religious institution" and 23 percent from "their local public school or district." 41 percent in 2003 utilized some sort of distance learning, approximately 20 percent by "television, video or radio"; 19 percent via "Internet, e-mail, or the World Wide Web"; and 15 percent taking a "correspondence course by mail designed specifically for homeschoolers."
Individual governmental units, e. g.states and local districts, vary in official curriculum and attendance requirements.
The unit study approach incorporates several subjects, such as art, history, math, science, geography and other curriculum subjects, around the context of one topical theme, like water, animals, American slavery, or ancient Rome.[unreliable source?] For example, a unit study of Native Americanscould combine age-appropriate lessons in: social studies, how different tribes lived prior to colonization vs. today; art, making Native American clothing; history (of Native Americans in the U.S.); reading from a special reading list; and the science of plants used by Native Americans.
Unit studies are particularly helpful for teaching multiple grade levels simultaneously, asthe topic can easily be adjusted (i.e. from an 8th grader detailing and labeling a spider's anatomy to an elementary student drawing a picture of a spider on its web). As it is generally the case that in a given "homeschool" very few students are spread out among the grade levels, the unit study approach is an attractive option.
Unit study advocates assert that children retain...