The traditional or school-at-home method is a popular homeschool choice due to its familiarity and ease of use. Prepackaged curricula often use textbooks and workbooks with lessons, study schedules, assignments and tests all laid out for the parent teacher to follow. Some programs offer more support with online video classes and teachers who mark assignments and assign grades. Some families follow a traditional school-at-home style, but gather their own homeschool materials. A typical school-at-home day is very much like a traditional school day with a full schedule which often includes: worksheets; tests; textbook assignments; classroom type lectures; a language program; and, occasional science experiments.

STRENGTHS

  • new homeschoolers feel secure with a program that is thoroughly laid out
  • a homeschool that is run much like a traditional school day is familiar and can be more comfortable for some families
  • typically aligned with federal and provincial school standards
  • a good method for families that plan to homeschool for the short-term due to illness or other life circumstances
  • teachers’ manuals, answer keys, test books, and other teaching aids are usually available
  • since subjects are distinct, alternative curriculum can be used for some subjects while retaining a predictable structure
  • there are many prepackaged, grade-by-grade, ready-to-use curricula available giving homeschoolers a wide selection to choose from

POINTS TO CONSIDER

  • boxed curricula are often designed around the larger classroom model
  • prepackaged curricula is not always cost effective
  • opportunities to explore personal interests are limited
  • traditional curricula can be very time consuming for the parent teacher, especially when multiple siblings are being homeschooled
  • this method has a high burnout rate because of the time, energy and cost associated with trying to replicate a traditional school at home
  • many prepackaged curricula are typically designed for US homeschoolers

RESOURCES

  • Abeka; Bob Jones University Press; Modern Curriculum Press; Scott Foresman; McDougal Little; Houghton Mifflin; Alpha Omega LIFEPAC Curriculum; School of Tomorrow PACE curriculum; Rod and Staff; ACE; Sonlight
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