Eclectic: A parent compiled curriculum that stems from a variety of sources.

Guided Eclectic: A parent compiled curriculum that stems from a variety of sources but following a precise professional guide (like Hirsch).

School-At-Home: This is a boxed curriculum often with a teacher available through the telephone or e-mail.

Traditional: Pretty much the same as you’d find in any good school, but administered by a loving teacher who can customize the curriculum precisely to each child. This approach utilizes graded textbooks or workbooks and follows a scope and sequence that covers each subject in 180 daily increments over a span of 12 years.

Classical: A parent led curriculum where the subjects are taught in the classical manner. This curriculum traditionally features music, art and Latin in addition to the standard subjects. History has a world focus…and discussions are the preferred method of learning. Lectures are avoided. Students are encouraged to use books.

In this approach, children are taught the tools of learning collectively known as The Trivium, which has three parts:

The first is the Grammar Stage, which covers early elementary ages and focuses on reading, writing, and spelling; the study of Latin; and developing observation, listening and memorization skills.

The second is the Dialectic Stage (approximately middle school age), when the child begins to demonstrate independent or abstract thought. The child’s tendency to argue is molded and shaped by teaching logical discussion, debate, and how to draw correct conclusions and support them with facts. The student reads essays, arguments and criticisms instead of literature. History study leans toward interpreting events

The final stage, the Rhetoric Stage (usually by age 15), seeks to produce a student who can use language, both written and spoken, eloquently and persuasively.

Unschooling with Structure: The curriculum is predominately child-led and the idea is that you learn life through living it. Heavy emphasis on hands-on activities, cultural experiences and child interest. Schoolbooks are used sparingly and only in the basics.

Unschooling for the Purist: No schoolbooks, although other books are strongly encouraged. Very child-led. Users of this approach are very much into non-traditional educational experiences. This approach relies heavily on educational television, cultural activities and libraries. A great approach for the active, self-motivated learner.

Unit Studies Approach: This approach integrates all school subjects together into one theme or topic.

Living Books Approach: This is based on the writings of Charlotte Mason. Her approach to academics was to teach basic reading, writing, and math skills, then expose children to the best sources of knowledge for all other subjects. This meant giving children experiences like nature walks, observing and collecting wildlife; visiting art museums; and reading real books with "living ideas". She called such books "living books" because they made the subject "come alive" unlike textbooks that tend to be dry and dull and assume the reader cannot think for him/herself.