Holistic Hands-On Homeschooling: The Guiding Principles

Let’s talk about what holistic hands-on homeschooling is and what principles guide this approach to education!

Here you’ll find notes from Episode 36 of the Art of Homeschooling Podcast where I share my 10 guiding principles of holistic hands-on education. 

I created this list for the first page of my planning binder during the early days of my homeschooling journey.

I encourage you to consider this idea as a jumping off point.  A place to start as you identify your own principles and values, and reflect on what’s most important to you and why. 

A written list of principles or values like this can help you chart your homeschooling journey, from day to day and year to year.

May this inspire you to write your own guiding principles.

I’ve come back to these principles throughout my homeschooling journey and I hope you will, too. 

What is Holistic Homeschooling?

First, let’s talk about what holistic homeschooling is exactly.

So here’s my take on it:

  • A holistic approach to education looks at the whole child first – mind, body, & spirit- before setting any specific learning goals.
  • It expands beyond academics and skills goals to also include the development of social and emotional skills, physical growth and well-being, and connections with each other and the divine (however you might define that).
  • Holistic education guides our children to get to know themselves, discover their gifts, and have the confidence to go out and share those gifts with the world.
  • It’s goal is truly to create a love of learning so that our children can engage with the world and become lifelong learners in the process.

The idea that raising little humans is about more than teaching them isolated skills is a beautiful notion to me.

Three Methods of Holistic Hands-On Education 

All three of these methods encourage experiential learning that helps to engage children while honoring the whole child:

  • Waldorf
  • Montessori
  • Charlotte Mason

Check out the article I wrote comparing these three methods – you’ll find it at the bottom of this page..

And now, the list!

10 Guiding Principles of Holistic Hands-On Homeschooling

  1. See the whole child: body, mind, and spirit  or heart, head, and hands.
  2. Honor the developmental stages of childhood & work toward preserving childhood rather than focusing on academics too soon.
  3. Spend time in nature, honoring and observing its beauty.
  4. Present lessons in a natural way using stories as a teaching element.
  5. Create opportunities for artistic expression (drawing, painting, movement, music).
  6. Find balance between movement, artistic expression, and mental effort.
  7. Bring the experience before the explanation.
  8. Create a caring, supportive relationship and a prayerfulness over the child(ren).
  9. Engage in inner work yourself to explore your own thinking, feeling, and actions.
  10. Inspire each of us to help make the world a better place.

There you have it. The 10 guiding principles of holistic homeschooling. Whatever method or approach you use, these principles create a foundation of values that can help you as you make decisions in your homeschool, plan your lessons, and parent your children.

If you write your own list or adopt this one, it’s a great thing to hang up on a bulletin board, post on the fridge, or keep handy in your planning binder. 

So that on those crazy days (and there will be some!), you can be reminded of why you’re on this homeschooling path and stay in touch with your values.

The principles of holistic homeschooling help us remember how nurturing it is for us to see our children as whole beings on a journey to becoming their true selves.

Oh and don’t forget, you’re on a journey too! So these guiding principles can help us as moms, as parents, to nurture ourselves and our own growth as well.

The way to the head is through the heart and the hands.

Okay, homeschooling friend, I hope you’ll make a list of guiding principles for your holistic homeschool. 

Because when you start with your values, you ground your homeschooling in what’s most important to you and your family.

So you can remember your why on those crazy days and celebrate the goodness on days when everything flows along smoothly.

Wishing you all the best on your homeschooling journey. Thanks for including me as a small part of it!?

An Additional Resource

Comparing Homeschooling Methods: Charlotte Mason, Montessori, and Waldorf

 Rate & Review the Podcast

If the Art of Homeschooling Podcast has inspired you, I’d LOVE it if you could rate and review the Art of Homeschooling Podcast on your favorite podcast player! Reviews can be left on Apple Podcasts (iTunes), Podcast Addict, or Stitcher.

Or simply pop on over to lovethepodcast.com/artofhomeschooling and choose where you want to leave your review.

And if you want to show your appreciation for the Art of Homeschooling Podcast, you can buy me a coffee!

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The title of Episode 36 of the Art of Homeschooling Podcast is Holistic Hands-on Homeschooling: The Guiding Principles. A child creates a string figure with rainbow string. A lesson book, pencils, and candle are spread on a table. A child creates a mandala with colored sand on a sidewalk in the sun.




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