Traditional Method: Homeschool Philosophy Spotlight Series


Traditional (textbook) Or School At Home Method

When we began our homeschool journey, I felt clueless and overwhelmed. I wanted to make sure the education I provided was comprehensive and conducive to my kids’ needs, so we could be as efficient and cover as much ground as possible. I’ve since adopted a much more eclectic homeschool method, but this traditional, textbook style felt like it was well tested and that even I could implement it, despite my lack of experience. If this rings any bells then keep reading!

The traditional or school-at-home homeschooler teaches much like a teacher in the school system would. Parents teach from traditional textbooks similar to what they use in a regular classroom. Some parents borrow the actual books from the school. This method is very appealing to new homeschoolers in that it helps build confidence as they become more comfortable. Because it lays all the lessons out and there is a scope and sequence to follow, they don’t worry about missing skills. Many traditional homeschoolers opt for a complete curriculum package, which can be pricey, but it’s a trade off when everything is thought out and planned for you.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, using the school system’s books is cheaper, however, you risk them not having enough leftover for your child, not getting the books to you until after the school year begins, or having to turn them in before you are finished. This is something to take into consideration. If you plan to put your child back into the school system at some point, this may be the best route. He will be on the same track as his peers and be able to jump right back in.

A Gentler Transition From Public Schooling

Traditional home education is (compared to other home education methods) the closest parents get to replicating the school environment in their home. Many parents who use this method try to create a school-at-home environment with desks and chairs in which homeschoolers sit until their homework is completed. Most homeschoolers take an average of two to three hours to complete their homework, but a traditional curriculum may take a little longer due to in-built busywork.

A drawback to this method is it binds students to a set curriculum and they may not have time to explore other interests. They can also get bored quickly. While textbook style learning can ease the transition from school to home when you’re just starting out, as you gain more experience, you might consider branching out to other approaches if your child isn’t thriving. As we see from our spotlight series, there are SO many options for you to choose from!

Switch It Up With Block Scheduling

One variation to this is block scheduling: working on one subject each day rather than switching between several subjects every day. This has works well for kids who may have trouble transitioning. When my youngest was just starting we implemented this kind of schedule and went from 7-8 hours a day to 3-4 hours a day. She still got as much done each week, but in half the time. It made our days much smoother!

There are tons of options available for traditional/textbook curriculum. We’ve used and loved Apologia, BJU, Abeka, Alpha Omega Press, just to name a few!

Lots Of Options

These are just a few of the many traditional schooling options out there! There are several  methods or styles of homeschooling and figuring out which one works for your family can take some trial and error, but the journey is so worth it! And the time with your kids is priceless!

Unsure where to start? Take our Homeschool Philosophy Quiz to get an idea what style suits you best.

Check out the other methods in our Homeschool Philosophy Spotlight Series.

Unschooling Method

Online Method

Charlotte Mason Method

Classical Method

Eclectic Method

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