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Homeschooling Teaching Styles: Traditional School at Home Method

written by: Leah Witmond•edited by: Amanda Grove•updated: 2/8/2013

Many homeschool families may start with a traditional, or school at home, teaching method. This article takes a look this methodology and provides the pros and cons of this home education style.

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    Traditional School at Home

    The Traditional or School at Home method of is exactly what the term suggests: school at home, and often people who are not familiar with home education will think of this approach as the only one when they first hear about educating children in the homeschool environment.

    In fact, many new homeschool families start their career as educators this way, simply because that’s what they have been programmed to think of when they hear the word education. But probably relatively few families will continue to follow the Traditional or School at Home formula throughout their entire existence as home educators.

    There are, however, homeschooling families that really thrive on the routine and the traditional teaching style, and stick with it until their last child has earned his high school diploma and is off to college or finds himself a job.

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    A School at Home family will typically employ a schoolish attitude towards learning, work with daily and weekly schedules, use books and teaching methods that are the same as those used in schools, or similar educational materials and resources.

    They are likely to stick to pre-set educational and developmental goals for their children, grade “homework" and papers, have “school" during ordinary school hours, and their children have school holidays just like their school-attending peers in their area.

    School may be done at the kitchen table, or even in a separate room of the house set up as a classroom.

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    The Pros on Cons

    Advantages of the Traditional School at Home Method:

    • Its highly structured approach to learning gives new and uncertain home educators a solid framework to rely on.
    • Ideal for families that thrive on a highly structured routine.
    • May work really well for children with special needs in, for example, the autistic spectrum.

    Disadvantages of the School at Home Method:

    • Its highly structured approach may not fit your family’s lifestyle or needs.
    • This traditional method is very time consuming, and may put a high strain on the home educating parent because of all the paperwork involved.
    • Children may loose their natural enthusiasm for learning because the textbooks are not interesting enough and there are too many drills involved, and frequent struggles to make the children do their lessons may be the sad result.
    • May be financially challenging because of all the textbooks and other educational materials that need to be bought.
    • May result in purchasiing second hand curricula to avoid high costs, which may not be wise, as those materials may be outdated.