Intro to Project-based homeschooling

NEW! Join me on Patreon where I can give you daily support in your homeschool.  Learn about project-based homeschooling techniques that complements any kind of curriculum or style of home education. I’ll be writing more posts from my current perspective after having homeschooled for over ten years, and I will be monitoring my messages on a daily basis. You can share your kids’ projects, successes, and we can work through the tough spots together. Get more behind-the-scenes information about my homeschool and how we have dealt with the naysayers and hard times. Click here to learn more. Thank you!

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Project-based homeschooling (PBH) is inspired by the Reggio Emilia Approach. It is a method in which parents become mentors to their children in order to help the child direct and manage his/her own learning. Children may undertake long-term projects (or short-term) and will be given the time and tools that allow them to spend a meaningful amount of time and energy on it. It can be used in conjunction with any curriculum or style of homeschooling, from classical to unschooling.

Are we pure project-based homeschoolers? Well, no. (Though I’m not sure there is such a thing.) I was attracted to PBH because I found it to be an extension of what I was already doing. The book, Project-based Homeschooling: Mentoring Self-Directed Learners by Lori Pickert, helped me work through some issues I was having. It helped me see where I could draw that line between my children’s work and the work I gave them. That is, I could give my children complete freedom to pursue whatever they wanted while also giving them work that I felt was important. 

So, if it’s not already obvious, we are not unschoolers. I do follow the interests of my children, and this is what we put most of our energy on during our homeschooling days. But there are many subjects and ideas I want to teach my children. Things they might not come to on their own. Sometimes introducing them to new subjects and ideas spurs an interest! Sometimes not. Either way is okay, but I’m glad I’ve covered what I think is important.

If you want to know more about getting started with PBH, please read, What is Project-based Homeschooling? Briefly, the most important aspects of PBH is 1) observing your child, 2) creating the right environment, 3) going with their ideas first, and 4) letting them make mistakes.

Also, the following are introductory posts for learning more about PBH, and there are some good interviews with Lori Pickert about how to start with young children.

You can find links to my boys’ individual projects and how we support each one on Our Projects page.

Book Review: Project-based Homeschooling: Mentoring Self-Directed Learners

Interview with Lori Pickert: Getting Started with Project-based homeschooling for Younger Children, Part 1

Interview with Lori Pickert: Getting Started with Project-based homeschooling for Younger Children, Part 2

Interview with Lori Pickert: Getting Started with Project-based homeschooling for Younger Children, Part 3 – This post had a Question and Answer with Lori Pickert in the comments area. Check out the good questions that were asked.

Embracing the Chaos, Part 2: Creating a Welcoming Environment for Homeschooling

The Power of Time and Materials

How do you balance supporting your child’s interests while also achieving the academic goals you believe they need?

Making Time for Project-based Homeschooling

I hope you’ll follow along with us on this journey!  Thank you! Don’t hesitate to e-mail me with your questions: shellipabis (at) gmail (dot) com.

If these posts help you, you won’t want to miss this:

11 thoughts on “Intro to Project-based homeschooling

  1. Your summary of PBH is aces for me, as I was making things a little more “big hairy deal” than need be. I love your balanced approach, and your personal experiences and links you’re sharing are super helpful. Thank you!


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