Which Type of Homeschool Family are You?  Article & Podcast Episode.

Which type of homeschool family are you? Before we get started, let me introduce myself. My name is Jackie and I’m the host of the HomeSchool ThinkTank Parenting Podcast. Before you read much further, I want to give you a little warning.

Generalized Types of Homeschool Families

If you bristle at any of the different types of homeschooling parents that I describe below, it’s probably because you see a bit of your family in the description. I want to say, “I understand.” At one point or another in more than a decade of homeschooling my own children, I have been every single one of the moms that I am describing.

Clearly, these descriptions are over-generalized. And yes, I chose to use Mom names because for the most part, it is usually the mom who is in charge of home education. However, I fully recognize that there are many dads, grandparents, and other family members and friends who may help with homeschooling your children.

Four Types of Homeschooling Families

In general, there are four types of homeschool families. Which type sounds the most like your homeschool family?

  1. The School-At-Home Family. This family tries to emulate the public school system in their home. They may even try to time-block subjects in a way that is similar to the traditional school model.
  2. The Relaxed Homeschool Family. This family uses a combination of curriculum & interest-based learning approaches to homeschool their kids. They are more concerned with having a daily rhythm for education & life, than a schedule that is time or subject specific.
  3. Natural Learning Family. This family approaches education from a more natural perspective that emulates how people learn outside of the public school system. A homeschooled child in this family generally only uses curriculum if he or she wants to.
  4. The Disheveled Family. Oh no! This family want to homeschool, but doesn’t know what to do or where to start! There’s not much rhyme or reason to the day and life might feel a bit chaotic. If this is you, there’s hope! Keep reading.

Which Type Of Homeschool Parent Do You Relate With?

We’ve coined some fun names for the mom of each type of homeschool family.

  1. Perfect Patty: The School-at-Home Family.
  2. Relaxed Rhonda: The Relaxed Homeschool Family.
  3. Natural Nancy: The Natural Learning Family.
  4. Disheveled Darlene: The Disheveled Family

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Perfect Patty: A School-At-Home Family

If you’re new to homeschooling, it’s likely that you’re following a school-at home model like Perfect Patty. For many families, this is the fast track to burning out and sending their kids back to school. Yep, Perfect Patty might just poop out and throw in the towel!

Relaxed Rhonda: A Relaxed Homeschooling Family

Relaxed Rhonda is a bit more chill than Perfect Patty. While Perfect Patty’s kids may excel two grades beyond grade level – they could also be crying over curriculum that they are struggling to keep up with.

Relaxed Rhonda understands that it’s alright to deviate from the curriculum while her child wraps his or her mind around a new concept. She also recognizes that it’s okay to adjust the lessons to fit her children’s needs.

Overall, Relaxed Rhonda’s kids are following many of their own interests. In addition, Relaxed Rhonda’s children might be a bit happier than Perfect Patty’s kids since their mom isn’t stressing out over curriculum. Instead she’s focused on progress more than perfection.

Natural Nancy: A Natural Homeschooling Family

Natural Nancy isn’t at all concerned about curriculum. Instead, her kids learn in a more natual way. They spend time outdoors, playing games, getting together with friends, and scoop up plenty of books at their local library. Anytime their local museum gets a new exhibit, Natural Nancy is sure to take her kids to see what it’s about. Natural Nancy is all about helping her children develop an innate love of learning through experiences.

Disheveled Darlene: A Disheveled Homeschooling Family

Disheveled Darlene is a bit of a disaster. If this is your family, take a deep breath, there is hope.

If your days are one big blur of chaos, then you need to create a plan.

You’ll want to start by creating a daily rhythm or routine. This isn’t necessarily based on exact times, but on sleep and wake patterns, eating patterns, learning routines, and so forth.

Start improving your routine by listening to this podcast episode about creating a daily homeschool schedule.

Is What You’re Doing Working?

Now, pause a moment and consider if what you are doing is working for your family.

  • Are your kids learning and progressing? Are they continuing to advance not only in areas mandated by the public education system, but in other areas that you feel are important as well.
  • Is your family happy, healthy, well-rested, and enjoying one another’s company.

Nothing is ever perfect, but does it feel like your style of homeschooling is working overall?

If what you are doing is working, then keep doing what you are already doing.

On the other hand, if you feel like there’s room for improvement, then step back and reflect not only on what you’re doing, but why you are doing it.

As a homeschooling parent, it’s important to know your why and to create your own homeschooling philosophy.

You can solve a lot of your own challenges by falling back to your why and your personal philosophy of homeschooling.

Keep The Big Picture In Mind

There’s a saying that goes something like this…

“Most people overestimate what they can do in a day, but underestimate what they can do in a lifetime.”

-Bill Gates

While it seems that many people have said something similar to this quote, the sentiment is largely attributed to Bill Gates.

Regardless of who said this, the same sentiment could be applied to homeschooling.

“Most parents overestimate what their families can accomplish in a day, but underestimate what they can accomplish through their children’s school years.”

Regardless of the type of homeschool family that you relate with, this is just a reminder to always keep the big picture in mind.

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