Styles of Home Education
~ Summary ~


  • Approaches learning in three stages (trivium): grammar, logic and rhetoric.

  • The model that was used by Aristotle, Plato, CS Lewis.

  • Children explore "Great Books" (classics) and masterpiece resources.

  • Focuses on depth of learning and understanding rather than breadth.

Project Based

  • PBL is inquiry-based learning or learning by doing and is led, directed and managed by the child's interests.

  • Exploration of real-world problems and challenges.

  • Children typically learn about topics or produce work that integrates multiple subjects and skill areas.

  • Learning is deep, complex and layered.

Natural Learning

  • Also known as "Unschooling", this approach to learning is simply a conscious decision that learning should take place in a natural manner without coercion.

  • Supportive home environment in which a child is safe to develop as they wish and at their own pace. 

  • Child led with access to a rich assortment of resources in the home and community.

Charlotte Mason

  • This approach is based on the philosophy that the child is a person and must be educated as a whole person, not just their mind.

  • Children must be respected and will learn best in real-life situations.

  • Utilises "Living Books", oral narrations and book summaries.

  • Nature and music studies are emphasised.

Unit Studies

  • Learning activities are tied to a theme. This can provide a hands-on approach that incorporates multiple subjects such as maths, science & language arts.

  • A topic is chosen by the parent, child or family consensus.

  • Popular with families who have multiple children in different ages or learning stages.


  • ​Borrowing from the different education styles , parents "mix and match" and put together their own approach and resources for their children's education.

  • Not committed to one particular 'school of thought' but tends to take a bit from each.

  • Often an exceptionally personalised approach for each individual child based on their strengths, learning styles, and interests.


  • This method of education that is personalised to each child's learning style, stage of development, and interests.

  • Emphasises kinaesthetic and sensory learning. 

  • Parents create a prepared environment that encourages students to explore and discover.

  • Discourages reward incentives for desired behaviours.


  • A philosophical approach to nurture a child's development by facilitating creative and self-directed learning.

  • Lots of arts, crafts, handwork, dance, drama and general creativity.

  • Focus is on experiential learning and opportunities for imaginative play.

  • Technology is generally not used until high school level.

Faith Based

  • An approach that stems from the philosophy that the child’s education should reflect, support, and extend from their religious beliefs.

  • Often many of the resources used come from a faith-based curriculum and learning environment.

  • The family's faith is the overarching influencer on educational foundations and imparting a world-view.

  • Parent led and structured by the parent or program.

Family Time

Different Approaches & Philosophies of Home Education

Home education involves parents and caregivers taking direct responsibility for the education of their child or children. Also known as homeschooling, it is a legal option embracing a wide variety of educational philosophies. People from a variety of backgrounds and educational levels are successfully home educating children of all ages.


One of the seven Objects of the HEA is to maintain a respect for the diversity of philosophies and methods used by home educators.

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The classical approach is a history-based, idea-oriented educational model that exposes students to the great minds of the past through literature, essays, philosophy, etc. It has been successfully used to e