One summer in high school for extra credit, I organized a fashion show by the senior class. Like a lot of high school teen girls in the ‘80s, studying about fashion trends was a topic I was eager to explore. However, the ‘80s fashion trends are now gone and I’m hoping that some of them like parachute pants and iron-on patches don’t return.
Unlike some of those fashion trends from my high school years, the homeschool word has seen five positive homeschool trends that just keep going and going.
1. Living Books
When I started homeschooling, I didn’t know the definition of living books. I had a lot of great books in my home, but I didn’t understand that living books could be the classics or not.
Books that capture the spirit of a topic and not just the facts and which are passionately written by an author that either has first-hand experience or knows how to weave facts into a story is usually a living book.
There are many definitions, but the point is that it is contrasted with a dry textbook, which is normally written by a group of writers that only give a few facts about a topic.
You can see why living books are trend keepers and have grown in popularity.
2. Hands-On Math
When I started homeschooling about 18 or 19 years ago, math was only hands-on in the early grades.
After that, it was assumed that your kids would begin with consumable workbooks and needed to leave the stage of concrete learning.
More and more math phobia prevailed and lingered long past those grades. We now know that we have to resist the myth that math is not for everybody. Developing an appreciation for math and understanding the way it works needs to be taught both visually and hands-on.
Workbooks are a valuable part of a math study because they have needed review, however, more importantly math sticks when a student can use hands-on manipulatives and visual math curriculum for a longer period of time.
Nowadays, there are many rigorous hands-on and visual math curriculum available through the older grades.
3. eBooks and eCurriculum
This third trend, which is ecurriculum, I’ve been slower to adjust to, but I’m glad I did.
When my family moved overseas to South America, everything we needed had to fit into two suitcases per person.
It was painful, but we scaled back to the very minimum of physical books. After the grueling experience of parting with physical books, I started replacing some of our curriculum with ebooks and products downloaded online.
Having the best of both physical products and ecurriculum is a trend that I don’t think will ever lose its appeal.
4. Live Homeschool Classes
My boys have been slower to adopt to the new trend of live homeschool classes.
However, after doing one or two, your teen may get hooked on them. For a middle or high school teen or an only child, live homeschool classes are an excellent option to add enrichment to subjects, obtain necessary credits for high school or just to make friends.
As long as you have a stable internet connection, your homeschooled child can interact with homeschooled students who live in other areas.
5. Homeschool Support Beyond a Local Group
Many years ago, unless you joined your local support group, you really couldn’t keep up to date with changes in the homeschool world. Too, many hard-working and caring homeschool leaders created newsletters and mailed them using the postal system because not everybody had internet. Some areas still do things this way. Sometimes I miss those days because the newsletters were filled with personal experiences and teaching tips.
However, now homeschool support comes in a variety of ways and homeschoolers can be connected globally more than ever before. The internet is a powerful way to keep us informed about homeschool issues.
Many homeschool blogs, podcasts, videos, google hangs out on air and Facebook groups make it possible to get support when you need it.
Local support groups continue to be one of the best options for field trips, but having information literally at your fingertips empowers homeschoolers to be knowledgeable about any problem they may encounter while homeschooling.
Unlike following fashion trends which can make you feel like you have to buy an endless amount of things you may not like, homeschool trends push homeschooling into the future while bringing principles from the past to the present.