Choosing the right curriculum for your family means first determining your family’s homeschooling style.  Some families are strictly one style, while others prefer a blend of styles.  Within the leadership of the Book Shack, we cover nearly every style imaginable…so if you ever have questions, just ask, and one of us will be glad to assist you!

Your family might try out one style and find that it’s not for you.  It may take a few years to settle down into the right fit for your family, and that’s completely normal.  When contacting the Book Shack for assistance, however, it helps us to help you if you know your family’s preferred style.  

So….what’s your style?


This approach utilizes three stages of learning : grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric.  These stages match up with elementary, middle, and secondary school.  This is a rigorous approach to schooling, but produces results.  Examples of this style include Story of the World, Classical Conversations, and Memoria Press.

Charlotte Mason

This approach involves ‘living learning.  It revolves around reading aloud together as a family, and following child interests.  Nature walks, art museums, and living books are all a part of this approach.  Examples of this style include My Father’s World, Ambleside, and Tapestry of Grace.

Unit Studies

This approach takes all of the subjects and smashes them together in an in-depth study of a topic.  For example, a unit study of Rome might include reading and writing about Rome, studying the history of Roman emperors, calculating timelines and marketplace purchases, creating artwork and projects from Ancient Roman times, and studying water (from the aqueducts built during this era).  Examples of unit studies include Sonlight, Learning Adventures, and Amanda Bennett.


Similar to unschooling, this is a child-centered approach that focuses on nature, arts, crafts, music, and movement.  Technology is not a big part of this curriculum.  One example of Waldorf curriculum is Oak Meadow.


Definitely for the Type B family, this is a child-centered approach to schooling.  There are no formal lessons, or even formal curriculum, but the children follow their interests and learn from life experiences.  Schedules are not utilized, and there is much flexibility and freedom.  This does not mean that they don’t read, write, and do math, but that they follow their interests.  Math might be adding up the tab at the restaurant, or figuring the tax.


This is just a fancy way of saying ‘a combination of styles.’  If you tell us that your family is eclectic, please tell us which styles you prefer, and which ones you do not want to use.

Stay-at-Home School

This is the one that we don’t really consider homeschooling, because it’s more like public school at home.  This is your Epic or K12 family, who uses tax dollars and receives their curriculum from the state.  This is the only style not utilized by a member of the Book Shack leadership.

Charlotte Mason Method19th century educator
·       living books
·       nature journal
·       music, art, poetry
·       great literature (vs. “twaddle”)
Ambleside Online
Five in a Row
Classical3 stages of learning: 
·       grammar
·       logic
·       rhetoric
Focuses on teaching kids how to learn
Well-Trained Mind
Story of the World
Classical Conversations
My Father’s World
Veritas Press
Memoria Press
Textbooks·       School at home
·       Common to use this style in the first few years of homeschooling to build confidence
Bob Jones
Alpha Omega
Liberty Online Academy
Calvert School
Unit Studies·       Hands-on
·       Literature-based
·       Geared towards Charlotte Mason method
·       Encompasses multiple subjects through one topic·       Multi-grades together
Five in a Row
My Father’s World
Tapestry of Grace
Learning Adventures
UnschoolingJohn Holt
·       Child-led learning
·       No formal curricula
·       Daily life learning

WaldorfEurope late 19th – early 20th centuries
·       Holistic liberal arts
·       Subjects are not separated from each other
·       Textbooks only in older grades
·       Early education is focused on experiences & activities (like Moore formula)
Oak Meadow