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

While most people have a dominant learning style, most of us are a combination. This collection of resources explains several different learning styles, and offers links to assessments, curriculum choices, materials, and tools that will help you identify your child's learning style and then incorporate that knowledge into your homeschool day and planning. Learn the strategies to fully integrate understanding of learning styles into your homeschooling with these resources. 

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
Discover Your Children's Gifts
This comprehensive work on children's learning styles and creativity expression is a tremendous help to parents as they begin homeschooling. The authors discuss how God gifts children in different ways with different ways of learning and expression. This guide will help you identify your child's personality gifts and help them reach their full potential. 
Northside Unschoolers of Chicago
The Northside Unschoolers is a support group for homeschooling families that practice child-led learning.
Unschooling in the Midwest
This group is for unschoolers in the midwest to offer support to other life learning families and to organize activities.
Classical Conversations
Classical Conversations is a nationwide network of classical, Christian communities providing academic programs, events, and services to local home school communities, parents, and educators.
Will County Unschoolers
This is an inclusive homeschooling group for Will, DuPage, and surrounding counties in Illinois. They meet every Wednesday, alternating each week between the Joliet area and Aurora/Naperville area.
Saint Thomas Aquinas Academy
St. Thomas Aquinas Academy offers a Catholic classical liberal arts curriculum is an independent study program crafted for the home schooling family, for preschool to grade 12. This program gently prepares the child to learn from the Great Books and understand the great ideas essential to that same work of integrating faith with reason. A classical presentation of English and Latin grammar and the arts and sciences equips the student with the tools of learning; a cyclical study of the grand eras...
I Learn Better by Teaching Myself/Still Teaching Ourselves
Take a look at how a homeschooling mother learned to trust her children-and herself-to learn in new ways. Tag along on the journey from the elementary years through high school as this book explore the success and freedom of unstructured learning. These books are especially good for anyone wrestling with the question of "how much structure should there be in a homeschool?"
Unschooling in IL
Email list for Illinois families who are unschooling. This is for parents for have chosen the method of unschooling as the means to teach their children. Join the list of Illinois families who are unschooling.
Alpha Omega Academy
Alpha Omega Academy (AOA) is an accredited online academy for grades K-12, with thousands of students enrolled worldwide.
Chicago Homeschool Co-Op
Chicago Homeschool Co-Op is a network of homeschooling families in Chicago with at least one child under 6 years of age. Currently, they meet twice a week, once for a "field trip," and once at a member's studio space in the Logan Square neighborhood. In addition, members are encouraged to seek one another out outside of group get togethers.
Learn in Freedom
This site is about learning in freedom, taking responsibility for your own learning. It shows you how to use your own initiative in learning, so you can use schools and teachers just when they are helpful to you, and voluntarily chosen by you. There's a specific page on this site to show you how to get started in learning in freedom, and there are plenty of other pages on this site about other subjects.
Why the Future of Education is Unschooling
According to John Holt, unschooling allows children the freedom to learn in the world on their own terms. He saw no distinction between learning and living a meaningful life. Learning is a natural process and works best when integrated into the spaces and activities of everyday life. This article takes a look at some of John Holt's philosophy of education and explains why unschooling is often the very best choice of educational model. 
Off The Beaten Path
Off the Beaten Path is an inclusive support network of unschooling families based in Lake County, Illinois. OTBP’s mission is to provide a means for local unschoolers, and those wanting to learn more about interest-led learning, to connect and support one another.
Is it OK for Christians to Unschool?
It has been argued that since John Holt was not a Christian, Christians cannot be unschoolers. A Christian mother discusses her perspective on unschooling.
Illiana Homeschool Cooperative
This is a group of homeschooling families in northwest Indiana and northeast Illinois who are providing socialization and educational opportunities for their children.
Resources
Montessori: A Modern Approach
Montessori: A Modern Approach has been called the single best book for anyone -- educator, childcare professional, and especially parent -- seeking answers to the questions: What is the Montessori method? Are its revolutionary ideas about early childhood education relevant to today's world? And most important, especially for today's dual-career couples. Is a Montessori education right for my child?

Paula Polk Lillard writes both as a trained educators and as a concerned parent -- she has many years as a public school teacher, but it was her enthusiasm for the education her own child experienced in a Montessori school that led her to become a leading voice in the Montessori movement in this country.

Her book offers the clearest and most concise statement of the Montessori method of child development and education available today.
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

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

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.
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 themselves and to fully personalize their education. Covers the decision to leave school, as well as many of the learning opportunities available to teens. 
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.
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.
  • 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.
    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.
    Homeschooling Essentials: A Practical Guide to Getting Started

    If you're ready to begin homeschooling, then the experiences of others can offer valuable help and encouragement as you jump into this new adventure. This practical guide answers common questions, helps you navigate the legalities of homeschooling, talks about the practical side of homeschooling and different methods, offers resources and gives advice about high school. 

    Montessori Play And Learn : A Parent's Guide to Purposeful Play from Two to Six
    We all want the best possible starts in life for our children, and one of the best possible starts in life, educationally, is the "method" pioneered by Maria Montessori and taught successfully today throughout the world.

    Now, Lesley Britton, the leading Montessori practitioner in England for more than twenty years, will show parents how to bring Montessori home. If you would like to facilitate the development of your child's unique personality, make it possible for him to develop to his full intellectual capacity, and help him become socially and emotionally well adjusted, then this is the book for you.

    Montessori Play and Learn is packed with ideas, activities, and games that can fit into your normal routine and help supplement preschool learning for your child. For planning your home, introducing your child to the supermarket or the neighborhood, and helping him discover other people and cultures, this book provides valuable tips and insights that help parents and children grow and learn together.
    -- Create hundreds of learning opportunities from everyday life
    -- Learn dozens of games and activities to help prepare children for mathematics, reading, science, and writing
    -- Make your home environment as stimulating for your child as the best Montessori preschool.
    Montessori Life

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

    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. 
    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.
    Freedom and Beyond (Innovators in Education)
    John Holt looks at the role that schooling in society plays in education.
    Basic Montessori: Learning Activities for Under-Fives
    For the first time, Basic Montessori opens the celebrated philosophy and method to a more general public. David Gettman has devised a clear and modern explanation of Montessori's revolutionary ideas about early intellectual development, and provides a step-by-step guide to the Montessori learning activities most commonly used with under-fives. These include activities for introducing reading and writing, counting and decimal concepts, science, and geography, as well as activities that help develop the child's practical and sensorial skills.
    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.

    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.
    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
    Looking for Another State?
    Featured Resources

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