Howdy! Welcome to Day 5 of the homeschooling style series. Next up in the series – the traditional school at home approach.
Now, let’s dive right in so you can find out if traditional homeschooling is right for you!
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The traditional school at home method is pretty much what the name implies, a traditional school style practiced at home.
Well, What Is School At Home?
Um…. exactly what it sounds like. The traditional school at home method is pretty much what the name implies, a traditional school style practiced at home. 😉
A traditional school teacher makes out her lesson plans and has every day planned by the hour. That is what homeschooling the traditional way will look like at home too. Except, unlike the actual school teacher, you can purchase all your lesson plans, teaching supplies, and children’s books in a nice prepackaged kit. Or you can sign them up to complete it all online!
Being a traditional school at home you will typically:
- follow your local public or private school calendar
- measure your child’s progress with tests (maybe even participating in standardized testing)
- have “class in session” for 5 – 7 hours per day
- teach the traditional school subjects
- take on the same role as the traditional school teacher (teaching lessons and grading)
Imagine Traditional School At Home
Doesn’t the picture above look super cute? When you think of homeschooling, do you imagine a dedicated school room with the perfect children’s desks, teacher’s working area, organized school bins, and the most adorable school and teacher supplies?
Honestly, that thought is delightful. So many retail stores play on my emotions with the cute and functional furniture displays or the lovely and perfectly organized office supplies.
Then you have the boxed curriculum companies that offer to do it all for you. And I can imagine unpackaging all of my “classroom” curricula for the first time and oohing and ahhing. Then taking the perfect Instagram picture. Doesn’t that sound perfect?!
But is that really what traditional school at home is?
What Would Really Attract You To Traditional School At Home?
Aside from the cute little desks and the perfect supplies to complete the perfect classroom, why would you chose traditional homeschooling?
Depending on you or your children’s personalities, traditional school at home may be the perfect fit for your family. Even though this homeschooling style gets a bad rap for its high rate of burnout, it does have advantages.
If you are looking for a curriculum that offers the following perks, traditional may be the way to go.
- Structured – You know the educational plan, know how to implement the plan, and know how you will measure the results of the plan’s activities.
- Measurable Progress – Just like in traditional school: testing is used to track and measure progress, worksheets are completed to document work, and lesson plans are perfect for state curriculum documentation. Overall providing a “paper” trail and assigned grades for your child’s progress.
- Familiar – Familiarity with the traditional school methods keeps you in your comfort zone.
- Easily Transitioned – If homeschool is temporary, staying with the traditional school method will keep you from “rocking the boat” too much and allow an easier transition back into school.
- Minimal Planning – By purchasing an all in one box curriculum, signing up for an online curriculum, or following your public or private school curriculum, you can skip the planning subjects and schedules stage and move on to implementing the curricula.
- Online School Availability – Similar traditional school curriculums are readily available to complete in the comfort of your home. This can solve some of the issues you have with your child attending school: bullying, violence, schedule flexibility, etc.
So, What Could Drive You Crazy With This Method?
Did those perks sound too good to be true? No, they are true but the traditional school at home method comes with a set of disadvantages too. As I am sure you have noticed from the discussion of Unschooling, Unit Studies, Classical, and Charlotte Mason, no style is perfect…traditional school at home being no exception.
Let me go ahead and say what you will see on everyone else’s discussion of traditional school at home, it reports the highest burnout rate for both child and parent. I can totally see why.
Unless you are coming from a traditional teacher’s position, can you honestly imagine spending 5-7 hours in your home classroom teaching your children? If I am being honest, I thought school was boring enough the first go around…I personally cannot imagine teaching out of those boring textbooks all over again.
But can I imagine, signing my daughter up when she is a high school student for an online course curriculum and just oversee her progress….yes I can. But would my daughter want to sit in front of a computer for hours completing the typical subject work? And would she get burned out? I don’t know.
So, What Are The Other Disadvantages?
- Structure – Yes, this is on both the perks and disadvantage list. Why? The structured schedule does not allow much flexibility and can, therefore, cause you to easily fall behind. The amount of work to complete within the preset curriculums is typically quite large. Playing catch up for a single day missed can cause anxiety and overwhelm for everyone.
- Cost – Just like with most convenience items, there is a price to pay for having your curriculum prepared for you. Expect to pay a nice bit of cash for a boxed curriculum.
- Time – The time for completing the school work is typically higher. In addition, if you are administering the curricula, time will need to be spent on oversight and grading. So the time that was saved on planning is now spent on grading.
Where You Can Find Traditional School At Home Resources
There are so many All In One programs available. Curriculums range from physical books to online courses.
Even though you have chosen to school your kids at home, your state or local district probably offers an online public school. To find a local online school in your area, simply type in your zip code in the K12 school finder. These programs will truly be your more traditional curriculums, just an online version.
If you are not looking for a program through your state, there are a variety of companies that specialize in all in one curriculum where you will serve as the teacher, they just provide the lesson plans and resources.
Since we are eclectic homeschoolers, I don’t have any experience with the All In One curriculums. So rather than direct you to a variety of homeschool boxed curriculums that I have not used, I suggest that you check out Cathy Duffy’s All In One Programs review site. Cathy Duffy’s is well known in the homeschool community for her quality and detailed reviews.
I love her book and trust her opinion (along with many other homeschool moms). This trusted source will give you a great start and help eliminate the overwhelm of options.
It Does Work For Some. How About You?
Just because the traditional school at home is not a good fit for us right now, does not mean it is not for you.
The traditional school at home method is used by many new homeschooling families until they can get their feet wet and really get a grasp on how things work best in their home.
Some homeschool families use this method because it simply meets their need for structure or scheduling flexibility.
Do you think the traditional school at home method is right for you? If so, why? I would love to hear from you in the comments below!
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