Monday, January 30, 2012

Types of Homeschooling: School at Home

I am going to start with the school at home method of homeschooling because it is usually where new homeschooling parents start. The plethora of boxed curriculum and highly scripted teachers manuals, mixed with the familiar setting of classroom style learning can make the leap into homeschool a bit less daunting.

Oh, those children? Actually they are all mine. We are a homeschooling family you know.

The school at home method is exactly as it sounds. It is a close replication of what you would see in a traditional school setting, except with fewer children (well most of the time, but you know how us homeschoolers love babies). A school at home set up will usually involve a set of boxed curriculum, (Abeka, Bob Jones or even books supplied by the public school system), a highly involved parent teacher who follows a highly scripted teacher manual. Students will usually, though not always, spend 5-6 hours a day completing school work. School work will include worksheets, rote drills, and other methods usually seen in a traditional school day. This type of schooling method will generally follow a traditional school schedule which starts in mid-August in the US and ends in late May early June with June through mid-August being summer vacation. All though the particulars may vary this pretty much sums up the school at home method of homeschooling.

Pros: Highly scripted texts and boxed curriculum can make it less daunting for a new homeschooling parent. The routine of this method can also be appealing. Boxed curriculums are all inclusive. You don't have to worry about piecing it together and the lesson plans are pretty much taken care of. All you need to do is gather supplies.

Cons: From my experience this method is teacher intensive and requires A LOT of parental participation. If you have an independent learner this could be frustrating. Boxed curriculums can be costly and since you are following a schedule set up by the publisher there is little room for deviation. The time required can also be overwhelming for the child. Be sure that if you are considering this method that you don't give your child busy work just for the sake of it. Burn out is a real concern with this method of homeschooling.

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Rachel E. said...

I started out this way, and while I still work this way a bit, I am trying hard to break free. I will agree it is extremely frustrating and the load is very heavy for a mom with five kids.

Keep it coming...

Christin @ Joyful Mothering said...

Amen! Great description here.

I think new home school moms find security in the boxed curriculum and a lot of structure. As they become more comfortable and learn their children's bents and learning styles, sometimes the environment will shift to better meet the needs. :)

Ellen said...

Box curriculums are hard to keep up with when you have more than o or 2 kids. We use a very eclectic style and it works great for us.

I'm your newest follower from A Season for All Things (and a fellow homeschooler)!

The Writing Garden said...

I think all homeschooling requires preparation & time. I think you can cut down on the prep time if you can find curriculums that work for your child & use DVD instruction. Even then you might want to watch the DVD too so you're in the know. But still it's less prep time.

kewkew said...

Hi I am a new follower, found you through your Twitter profile. I am currently homeschooling my young children 5, 3.5 and 1.5. We are still looking for our little niche. We have done "lesson time" for the last two years doing letter of the week. I am now in the process of seeing what will work for us.
Looking forward to your series.

Anna said...

Everyone has something that works for them. This definitely did not work for us. I found myself doing lesson plans longer than I was actually teaching!

It takes time to find what works for you and I am not knocking any method. What works for me may not work for you and vice versa. The beauty of homeschooling is being able to customize!