Homeschool Methods 101: Exploring the Classical Homeschool Method

Welcome to the world of classical homeschooling – where your children will be challenged and inspired to reach their full potential. This educational approach combines traditional values with modern learning techniques. You’ll learn how to tap into the power of this time-honored method to create an environment where your child can flourish. Prepare to be wowed by the unique mix of old and new. Find out why this classical homeschool method is becoming increasingly popular among homeschool parents.

What Is The Classical Homeschool Method

The classical homeschool method is a method of teaching that combines a rigorous academic program with an emphasis on the development of reading, writing, thinking, and speaking skills. This approach takes its cues from the educational philosophies and techniques developed by the great thinkers of ancient Greece and Rome.

In this homeschooling method, students are taught in a way that emphasizes the development of reasoning skills. Students learn through close analysis of literature, rhetoric, and history. Instruction is designed to help students reach their full potential by engaging in thoughtful dialogue with their peers, parents, and co-op teachers.

Classical homeschooling puts emphasis on introducing children to broad topics—such as current events, philosophy, or history. This allows them to develop critical thinking skills through self-reflection and research. Students are encouraged to ask questions while they learn and make statements based on research and evidence. Through this approach to education, students gain skills in logic and debate while becoming lifelong seekers of knowledge beyond what is taught in textbooks or classrooms.


Benefits Of The Classical Homeschool Method

Classical homeschooling has become an increasingly popular choice for many parents looking to provide their children with a quality education. Classical homeschooling provides an atmosphere that is tailored to their own family values and beliefs. The classical method views education as something which should provide a balanced, diverse, and complete education. The goal is to strive towards training students to become self-directed learners with emotional, intellectual, physical, and spiritual development.

Classical homeschooling offers a wide range of benefits over different methods. Some of these include:

  • Freedom to choose curriculum and specialized learning opportunities that meet the child’s individual needs and interests.
  • Placement in an environment where students are able to absorb material that is provided in a classical, age/grade-appropriate manner
  • Increased parental involvement in teaching and guiding the student’s learning process.
  • Use of established principles of instruction such as the Grammar/Logic/Rhetoric (GLR) approach. Combine it with practical, hands-on experiences as part of the learning process.
  • Exploration of potential through open discussion of a wide range of topics including history, culture, literature, science, etc. This helps the student gain a greater understanding of these topics as well as develop critical thinking skills.

Classical homeschooling also provides the opportunity for children to learn more than just the basics. They also get to grow intellectually by fostering creativity and encouraging thoughtful exploration of various topics.

Core Principles Of The Classical Homeschool Method

The classical homeschool method is an approach to education rooted in the classical tradition of the Trivium. The Trivium consists of three stages: grammar, logic, and rhetoric. This approach seeks to nurture young minds with an understanding of language, philosophy, and rhetoric through engaging material. The choice of materials challenges students to think critically by asking questions, analyzing data, and concretely articulating their understanding. Some core principles within this educational model include:

Emphasizing A Love For Learning

Classical homeschooling focuses on inspiring curiosity within children. It equips them with tools & habits to cultivate their own lifelong passion for learning.

Cultivating Wisdom Through Language 

Language is at the root of all knowledge. This is why Classical homeschooling focuses on mastering language skills such as writing and reading comprehension from an early age. This helps students comprehend more complex topics & express themselves in a meaningful way as they progress in their studies.

Engaging Analytical Skills 

Knowledge is integrated into all aspects of classical education. This helps lay the foundation for children to make meaningful observations about surrounding events. Later, they use critical skills like logic & reasoning. Often they come up with practical solutions that impact society in a positive way.

Encouraging Public Speaking 

It’s important that children learn how to effectively communicate their ideas verbally so they can present coherent arguments when advocating for what they believe in later in life. This pillar of classical education emphasizes making public speaking engagements part of each student’s regular routine. Examples would be:

  • sharing about a historical event or famous person (link to famous people blog post),
  • expressing their opinion during a discussion or virtual co-op meeting, or
  • presenting a project to a live audience.

Building Strong Character 

Classical education doesn’t just prepare children academically. It also equips them with values such as honesty, integrity, and generosity that help them become more responsible citizens. This component helps create individuals capable of contributing positively towards social betterment. It also demonstrates their moral excellence even beyond society’s expected standards if needed.

Types Of Classical Homeschooling

Classical homeschooling is an educational approach that incorporates:

  • the use of ancient wisdom,
  • developing critical thinking skills, and,
  • for Christian homeschoolers, a study of God’s Word

in order to create a thorough learning environment. It is based on the classical model of education developed by Aristotle and Plato. The method is designed to assist students in meeting their particular objectives by facilitating rigorous, yet enjoyable, learning among children. When exploring different forms of the classical homeschool method, there are several methods that families can choose from.

The Trivium

The first type of classical approach is known as the Trivium method. This involves studying grammar, logic, and rhetoric at their corresponding ages. The Trivium has three stages:

  • The Grammar stage for ages 5–12
  • The Logic stage (or dialectic stage) for ages 12–14; and
  • The Rhetoric stage for ages 14–18.

During each stage, specific material is studied. For instance, in the Grammar stage, mental practice involves memorizing facts, learning correct spelling and pronunciation, reading comprehension skills, etc. In the Rhetoric stage, students focus on more philosophically challenging principles like forming ideas through discussion or debate.

Project Based Learning

The second type of classical homeschool method is called system-based learning or project-based learning (PBL). This form breaks down long-term projects into achievable chunks to help students understand goals better through project-based activities. The emphasis here lies on understanding concepts rather than just memorizing facts or quickly completing tasks. Students may work through a unit together. However, they can be assigned individual sections within a project depending on their age level or ability set. This allows them to understand whole concepts at once rather than simply dissecting information into smaller parts.

Core Knowledge Learning

Another form of classical homeschool instruction is called Core Knowledge which encompasses memorization but focuses mainly on the analysis and understanding of great ideas – both ancient and modern – within many disciplines such as art history and literature studies as well as sciences like physics or geology. Core Knowledge usually progresses according to grade level during its eight-year implementation plan whereby each year adds another layer onto existing knowledge so that students end up with an overview at graduation time with mastery over specific topics within each subject area they cover throughout their studies.

How To Implement The Classical Homeschool Method

Understanding The Philosophy

Implementing the classical homeschooling method requires that you first have a clear understanding of the philosophy on which it is based. Classical homeschooling emphasizes learning about culture and history, as well as mastering complex ideas and language through studying great works of literature, music, art, and thought. It also involves developing fundamental skills such as thinking logically and structuring one’s thoughts.

At the heart of classical homeschooling is the process of hypothesizing, investigating, correlating ideas, and then forming arguments. To begin, decide on a few core books to serve as your foundation for teaching. These should be classic works that are generally recognized to be key texts in their field such as Homer’s Iliad or The Prince by Machiavelli. Also, choose some secondary texts to provide background information on these topics to help students explore further.

Choose Core Texts

Once you have chosen your core texts, work in reverse from when you want each topic to be concluded by establishing a timeline for completion that includes daily study sessions or weekly units for each topic. Homeschool Planet is the perfect tool to help you easily set up your daily schedule for each subject being studied.

Incorporate Learning Techniques

These sessions incorporate reading aloud from primary sources as well as asking questions about what has been read to foster deeper understanding amongst students. Next, incorporate memorization techniques using songs or rhymes for key dates or persons discussed in order to solidify understanding before moving on to additional content within the topic studied during that session or unit. And finally, create opportunities for creative expression through drawing or writing-related activities which will enhance the learning experience further still.

The key idea with classical homeschooling is that learning should not be a passive exercise but rather an active participation by both student and teacher throughout the entire process leading up to having formed an opinion on different claimed truths related to whichever topics were studied during that particular session/unit.

Classical Method Homeschool Resources At Homeschool Planet

Homeschool Planet is delighted to offer the following homeschool lesson plans and curriculum resources that align well with the Classical homeschooling method.

Resources For Classical Homeschooling

Classical homeschooling is an educational approach that is based on the seven liberal arts. It can be used in a variety of ways, ranging from part-time instruction to full-time schooling. Classical homeschoolers are often passionate about the philosophy and advantages of their chosen method, citing everything from a better understanding of literature to improved test-taking skills and greater creativity in children.

When making the switch to classical homeschooling, it’s important to have access to resources that are compatible with this unique approach. Fortunately, there are a couple of great sources available – both online and offline – that can provide you with everything you need for your classical homeschooling journey.

Print Resources

The key print resource for classical homeschoolers is textbooks specifically designed for this particular purpose. While these textbooks provide a comprehensive study guide for each subject studied, they often contain an emphasis on refined literary techniques or philosophies such as Stoicism or Platonism. Supplemental materials such as teacher’s guides and activity books may also be available depending on the publisher or author of the text(s). 

As you gather around the kitchen table or dive into the exciting subject areas, your kids may find that the best parts of the classical homeschool method are getting to study historical events, and critically thinking using nature study experiments or even using short lessons for a unit study to prepare for a presentation. Excellent examples of Classical homeschool resources for older children are:

These resources are available in our Lesson Plan Marketplace so you can easily integrate these classical lesson plans into your Homeschool Planet online planner!

Online Resources 

The internet has proved to be an invaluable resource for classical homeschoolers. From large online communities offering advice and support to websites offering curated collections of teaching materials, there are several resources available that can help you establish a successful program in your home. Websites like Memoria Press and Classical Academic Press, Veritas Press, Compass Classroom, and…. offer a variety of grade-level appropriate lesson plans, reading lists of great books for all ages, including young children, and activities developed specifically with classical home educators in mind. Some offer a complete curriculum, while others focus on a specific subject like fine arts, or ancient Rome. Podcasts such as The Classical Education Podcast provide fresh insights into topics like philosophy and Latin grammar while YouTube channels like Latinity provide fun educational videos covering ancient languages, classic literature, and more!

Online Homeschool School

Recently, online homeschool communities have popped up providing virtual campuses. This is a great way for older students to give the homeschool teacher a bit of a break and bring the variety of learning with real-life situations to enhance this popular homeschooling style.

Solutions To Classical Homeschooling Challenges

The classical homeschool approach can pose a challenge for many parents, as it requires a deep understanding of the curriculum materials and methods. Luckily there are co-op groups that have the responsibility to teach small groups of children(generally 8-10 students) in the classic or Socratic style. Additionally, parents who are new to homeschooling should be aware of the amount of parental involvement required for successful classical homeschooling. It is important for parents to be prepared to spend time teaching concepts and planning creative projects. The beauty of the classical homeschool method is that you get to enjoy learning things together.

Another challenge may be finding the appropriate resources and tools needed to help achieve successful classical homeschooling. While parents may have difficulty understanding how to effectively teach difficult concepts such as geometry and Latin grammar, there are excellent homeschool curriculum resources and groups ready to help you succeed. Some may think that equipping the home with suitable scientific equipment may also prove challenging, as well as expensive, but there are online resources and live co-op lab sessions available in many communities. check out your local classical homeschool group on social media to find a group near you.

Finally, don’t worry about the social challenges that some may think the classical homeschooling method presents. As classical homeschooling necessitates that children learn independently and rely more on their own knowledge than on structured tests and exams, they learn to discuss with peers as well as adults what they are learning. Some parents have found success by joining local classical homeschool groups or attending homeschool fairs. These are perfect places to let your middle school and high school students show off what they are learning in a way that allows other homeschool families to share in the process.

Tips For Making The Classical Homeschool Method Work For You

  • Ensure you understand the state or country requirements for homeschooling. HSLDA has detailed information.
  • Enjoy the stage your kids are in (grammar, logic/dialectic, or rhetoric) and teach to that part of the trivium while ensuring your curriculum choices cover the ‘Core 4’ – Math, Language Arts, Social Studies & Science for the grade/age of your student.
  • Use a planner. Homeschool Planet offers an excellent digital planner that allows you to receive a copy of your plans via email or even print.
  • Establish a routine.  You and your kids will appreciate knowing what to expect.  It may change due to appointments or outside activities, but routine helps everyone stay on track.
  • Join local and online homeschooling groups.  Field trips & coop meetings will encourage everyone to dig deeper and ask questions about what they are learning.
  • Understand your student’s learning styles so you can choose the appropriate classical method curriculum and activities to ensure a quality learning experience.  
  • Understand your teaching style. You may find that teaching using the classical method works brilliantly for your family, but it is important that both the parent and the student are able to work together and enjoy the process of learning.
  • Set a manageable pace of learning.  Some subjects may be able to be finished in less time than expected, while others may need to allow for more time to accomplish the assignments. Each student is different.
  • Large families often begin their day with everyone together and then work with the youngest first, while older kids begin working independently.  Giving older students dedicated time during the day can happen during nap/quiet time for the others.
  • Remember everyone has ‘off days’ or sick days. Not every day will be perfect. The beauty of homeschooling is you can choose when and how learning takes place and tailor it to your family’s unique needs, passions, and skills.
  • Enjoy the process and the fact that if something is not working you can change it.  Ask your kids for feedback. Analyze trouble spots. Ask for suggestions from other trusted homeschoolers where needed. 

Wrapping Up The Classical Homeschool Method

Homeschooling offers an alternative means of providing quality education to children in the comfort and security of the home. The classical homeschool method promotes the development of critical thinking skills, and rigorous academic training, and encourages self-discipline and motivation in students. As with all methods of homeschooling, families have to be prepared to make a commitment of time and energy to ensure their child’s success.

Classical homeschool programs are particularly valuable for those who are seeking to provide an education that focuses on a deeper understanding of the liberal arts and sciences. It has been shown to be successful in preparing students for college-level work, while at the same time providing parents with flexibility when it comes to helping their children reach their educational goals by tailoring instruction specifically for each student’s needs. Additionally, classical homeschooling allows parents to teach from a values-based approach that provides moral guidance as part of this style’s proven teaching methodology.