Last Updated on September 9, 2022
Every homeschool parent has a different teaching style. Some are hands-on, while others prefer to be more hands-off. Some may even want to teach with a mix of styles depending on the lesson or child.
Figuring out what works best for you can help your child learn and enjoy homeschooling. In this article, we will explore 4 different teaching methods so that you can find one that suits both you and your child’s learning style!
Why is it important to know what type of teacher you are?
Understanding who you are as an educator will save you money, time, and your sanity (as well as your child’s!) It will make finding a curriculum that works for your family easier to do, AND you won’t waste time on activities neither of you enjoys doing. You will feel more confident in yourself and your ability; and the more confidence and joy you exhibit, the more likely your kids will respond positively to homeschooling.
Your parenting style will influence your teaching style.
A teaching method is simply a way of teaching that is unique to each individual. It is the combination of the methods, materials, and approaches that a teacher uses to promote student learning.
While there are many different teaching styles, most can be divided into four basic categories: authority, demonstrator, delegator, and facilitator. Each teaching style has its own strengths and weaknesses, and the best homeschool educators are often those who are able to adapt their teaching style to meet the needs of their children.
Similarly, parenting styles can also be divided into four categories: authoritarian, permissive, authoritative, and uninvolved.
Authoritarian parents are typically very strict and have high expectations for their children. Permissive parents are more lenient and tend to allow their children more freedom. Authoritative parents strike a balance between these two extremes, providing structure and guidance while also giving their children some room to grow. And uninvolved parents have no set boundaries and do not offer emotional support.
If you want to learn more about parenting styles, I recommend you check out I’m With Holly’s deep dive on the topic.
So how does this relate to finding your preferred teaching style or method? Simply put, it is likely that your parenting style will shape your teaching style.
For example, if you are an authoritarian parent, you may find that you prefer a more direct approach to teaching. On the other hand, if you are a permissive parent, you may be more inclined towards inquiry-based or student-centered learning.
The best teachers are those who are able to take their own personal strengths and weaknesses into account when choosing a teaching method. By understanding your parenting style, you can gain insight into the type of teacher you may want to become.
What are the 4 different teaching styles?
This approach is adult-centered, where the focus is on the information being presented. Sometimes it is a parent lecturing or children reading from a text. Kids play a passive role and are expected to absorb the information given. This method is great for folks that want an open-and-go curriculum without a lot of planning and effort on their part (I get it, homeschool parents are busy!)
You can use an open-and-go curriculum and cover a lot of information.
It may not be the most engaging method for your kids.
This model is similar to a coach, where the parent presents the information much like an authority but with multimedia presentations and activities.
The presentation of the information is much more interesting and interactive.
It may take more effort to plan those activities.
The parent is essentially a project manager who delegates tasks and then observes their children as they figure things out independently.
Your kids will learn vital skills that will help them in college and the workforce.
It really disrupts the idea of education and may take some time for parents to deschool themselves to fit into this role comfortably.
This method would appeal to those who lean towards unschooling. This teaching method encourages children to learn on their own and work through problems using critical thinking skills. Parents ask questions rather than give answers to encourage kids to look deeper into topics.
The misconception about homeschooling is that kids are left alone to do their thing, but the reality is that parents are actively involved in their children’s education. You will need to teach your children higher-level thinking skills by asking open-ended questions to encourage exploration and discovery.
A lack of a traditional educational framework means that they will be missing out on some information that mainstream kids are receiving at school.
The best of all worlds, where you tailor your teaching method to your child’s learning styles and your chosen curriculum’s needs.
You don’t have to fit yourself into a category and the hybrid method allows for flexibility within your homeschool.
You can run into the problem of doing too many things at once. It’s hard to switch gears from one style to the next, depending on your teaching topic.
How do I find my teaching style?
You really need to pause and think honestly about who you are and not who you’d like to be. Try not to get too glamoured by the pretty pictures on Instagram or the raving reviews on your favorite blog. What works for one person isn’t going to work for the next.
To help you figure out your teaching style, I created this short quiz to get you started.
Tips for getting started with a new teaching style
Test out the waters. Consider your first year of homeschooling to be your little science experiment as you figure out what is best for you and your family. One teaching style may appeal to you, but you may realize that it doesn’t fit your personality type.
I encourage you to use the scientific method to help you figure it out: 1. Observe your lessons, 2. Ask if the method you’re using is right for you, 3. Test it out, 4. Draw conclusions, 5. Refine your question, 6. Then do it again (seriously, you’ll probably iterate this process throughout your homeschool career.)
In this article, I highlighted the four main types of homeschool methods, so take some time to think about which type might suit you best!
Finding your teaching style doesn’t have to be a difficult task. It’s important to discover the best method that works for you as each one has its advantages and disadvantages.
If none seems like an option for you right now, consider trying out a hybrid method where two or more approaches are combined to get the most from both worlds. You’ll never know if this could be just what your family needs until you try it!
So did you take the quiz?!? I’m curious, what’s your teaching style?
Xuan Klevecka is a Southern California-based homeschool mom, wife, and sometimes purveyor of vintage goods. She’s an Enneagram 5w4, a lover of good food, and a former middle school history teacher. You’ll either find her looking at road maps and daydreaming about her family’s next epic adventure or perusing recipes and cooking up a feast for the brood.