Not unlike many homeschoolers I come in contact with, when I started homeschooling I used a traditional school at home approach. I was raised in the public school system, and with my youngest in first grade there were many onlookers that had concerns and expectations surrounding my decision to homeschool. So the more I could make our homeschool look like (and align with) the traditional public school system, the less I felt scrutinized.
That is not to imply school at home is bad or negative in any way. It is a widely used and much loved method of homeschooling! What I am saying is that you often find families starting out homeschooling this way, and then with time and experience it ebbs and flows to look like something all their own.
More often than not I find homeschool families define their homeschool method as eclectic. This is because we start picking and choosing from all the homeschool methods to find a combination that works for our family.
What exactly is the School at Home Homeschool Method?
A traditional, or school at home approach, is essentially trying to replicate the learning experience of a public school classroom at home. You may use specific workspaces such as desks, along with textbooks and workbooks, as well as graded assignments. Your days will most likely be planned out with structured study times and trying to match up to the same curriculum outlines set out by the government education system.
Pros and Cons of the School at Home Method
- It’s most likely familiar for you because it follows a similar format of the common experience in school.
- Since their is a set schedule, it makes preparation, planning, and use easy.
- If you are buying a grade specific boxed curriculum you get everything all in one with a collective schedule and plan. Making it so you can open and go!
- It’s easy to know your child is meeting all their grade expectations.
- If you change your mind about homeschooling or you suddenly need to put your children into public school, you can feel pretty confident they are at grade level with their public school peers.
- Has the highest rate of burnout for both parents and kids because the high workload and stringent schedule.
- Boxed curriculum can be very expensive.
- Using textbooks all the time can become monotonous.
- There is often a lot of busy work which can lead to stress and frustration due to the workload.
- Lacks flexibility for interests or schedules since there are deadlines and a specific schedule.
Resources for the School at Home Method
All in One / Boxed Curriculum
The most common and easiest way to implement the school at home method in your homeschool is via an all in one boxed curriculum. While there are tons of them out there, I have listed some of the more popular ones.
Mix and Match Curriculum Options
Another option is to mix and match curriculum. Using this method allows you to still use curriculum, but you can pick and choose what it right for your child.
You may choose an English curriculum that is a grade lower than other things because your child struggles with reading/writing. Or you may love a certain math program so you pair that with a popular science program. The possibilities are endless when you choose to mix and match curriculum.
To find top notch curriculum in all the major subjects, check out our Ultimate Guides Series:
- The Very Best Options for Homeschool Math (2021)
- The Ultimate Guide to History Curriculum for Homeschool
- The Ultimate Guide to Homeschool Science
- The Ultimate Guide to Homeschool Language Arts Curriculum
HERE’S SOME HELP FOR CHOOSING CURRICULUM
Sometimes choosing homeschool curriculum is the basic, overwhelming task facing families each academic year. This Ultimate Guide to Choosing Homeschool Curriculum comes alongside you, offering many resources.
This homeschool advice is gathered from our archives here at Curriculum Choice, from the wisdom of our team of review authors and from fellow homeschoolers around the web.
HOMESCHOOL METHODS SERIES
Be sure to bookmark or Pin this What do Homeschool Methods Look Like in Real Life Series? and check back each month as we add another method!