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What is Traditional Homeschooling? 

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Are you new to homeschooling and looking for information about different homeschooling styles? This article will answer the question “What is Traditional Homeschooling?” and also guide you to other homeschooling styles and methods. This will allow you to choose a style that is right for your family!

a mother and her two children looking down at a school book with the words "What is Traditional Homeschooling?"
What is Traditional Homeschooling

Traditional homeschooling is a form of education where homeschool parents or guardians take on the role of the primary teacher for their children. This method of schooling has been around for centuries and has become increasingly popular in recent years. Traditional homeschooling involves a homeschool curriculum using textbooks, workbooks, and other traditional educational materials to teach children.

One of the main benefits of traditional homeschooling is the ability to customize the curriculum to meet the individual needs of each child. Parents can choose materials that align with their child’s learning style and interests, and they can also adjust the pace of learning to accommodate their child’s strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, the traditional homeschooling method allows for more one-on-one instruction, which can lead to a deeper understanding of the material.

While traditional homeschooling can be a rewarding experience for both parents and children, it also requires a significant amount of time and effort throughout the school day. Parents must be willing to research and choose appropriate materials, plan lessons, and provide ongoing support for their children. However, for families who are committed to this educational approach, traditional homeschooling can provide a high-quality education and a unique bonding experience between parent and child.

Defining Traditional Homeschooling

Core Characteristics

Traditional homeschooling is a method of educating children in which parents take full responsibility for their children’s education and have a school-at-home approach. This approach involves teaching children at home (as apposed to public school or private school), using a curriculum that is designed to provide a comprehensive education in all subjects. The core characteristics of traditional homeschooling include:

  • Parental involvement: Parents are fully responsible for their children’s education, including choosing the curriculum, lesson plans, teaching the lessons, and assessing their progress.
  • Individualized instruction: Each child’s education is tailored to their unique needs, interests, and learning style.
  • Emphasis on basic skills: Traditional homeschoolers focus on teaching children the fundamental skills of reading, writing, and arithmetic, as well as other core subjects such as history, science, and literature. The traditional approach also typically follows the same school year time frame and grade level approach. 
  • Flexible scheduling: Homeschooling allows for a flexible schedule, which can be adjusted to accommodate the needs of both the parent and the child.

History and Evolution

Traditional homeschooling has a long history, dating back to the earliest days of human civilization. For centuries, parents have taught their children at home, passing on knowledge and skills from one generation to the next. However, the modern homeschooling movement as we know it today began in the 1970s, when John Holt began to challenge the traditional approach to education.

Since then, homeschooling has grown in popularity, with an estimated 3.7 million homeschool students in the United States alone. While there are many different approaches to homeschooling, the traditional method remains one of the most popular. This approach emphasizes the importance of parental involvement, individualized instruction, and a focus on fundamental skills.

Overall, traditional homeschooling offers a unique and effective approach to education, allowing parents to take an active role in their children’s learning and providing children with a personalized education that meets their individual needs and interests.

Setting Up a Traditional Homeschool

When new homeschoolers are setting up a traditional homeschool, there are several important factors to consider. These include creating a structured environment and choosing the right curriculum.

Creating a Structured Environment

Creating a structured environment is essential for a successful traditional schooling. This may involve setting a daily schedule and sticking to it, as well as creating a dedicated study space free from distractions. A planner can also be helpful in keeping track of assignments and deadlines.

mother with two children looking over a book. a second picture on the bottom of a stack of books with the top one open with words on top "Are you looking for a list of Traditional Homeschool Curriculum?"
Are you looking for a list of Traditional Homeschool Curriculum

Choosing the Right Curriculum

Choosing the right curriculum is a crucial step in setting up a traditional homeschool. It is important to consider the learning style and needs of the student, as well as any state or local regulations regarding homeschooling. There are many different traditional curriculum options available, including textbooks, online courses, and specialized programs for subjects such as math and science.

Some homeschool curriculum companies that fall under the Traditional Homeschooling Method would include: A Reason For, Abeka Academy, BJU Press, Christian Liberty Press, Easy Grammar Systems, Explode the Code, Hooked On Phonics, Learning Without Tears, Masterbooks, Math Mammoth, Memoria Press, Rod and Staff, Saxon, Singapore Math, Story of the World, and Wordly Wise. **Please note that some of these also fall under another homeschooling style and are not strictly Traditional. For example, Masterbooks can be considered Traditional and Charlotte Mason.**

Overall, setting up a traditional homeschool requires careful planning and consideration of a variety of factors. By creating a structured environment and choosing the right curriculum, parents can provide their children with a quality education from the comfort of their own home.

Daily Homeschooling Life

When it comes to traditional homeschooling, the daily routine is a crucial aspect. The homeschool day can be tailored to fit the needs of both the student and the parent. Here are some factors to consider when creating a daily homeschool schedule.

Sample Schedules

A typical homeschool day can range from 2 to 6 hours, depending on the age of the student and the curriculum being used. Younger children require less time while older children will require fuller days with a traditional homeschooling method. Here is an example of a daily schedule for a middle school student:

8:00 AMMath
9:00 AMLanguage Arts
10:00 AMScience
11:00 AMHistory
12:00 PMLunch
1:00 PMElective (Art, Music, etc.)
2:00 PMPhysical Education
3:00 PMWrap-up and Review

Incorporating Breaks and Recess

It’s important to incorporate breaks and recess into the homeschool day to ensure that the student stays engaged and focused. A 10-15 minute break every hour can help prevent burnout and increase productivity. A longer break for recess can also be beneficial for physical activity and socialization.

Balancing Flexibility and Structure

One of the benefits of traditional homeschooling is the flexibility it offers. However, it’s important to balance flexibility with structure to ensure that the student stays on track with their set curriculum and meets academic goals. A daily routine can provide structure while still allowing for flexibility in terms of curriculum and activities.

Overall, the daily routine in traditional homeschooling can be tailored to fit the needs of both the student and the parent. By incorporating breaks and balancing flexibility with structure, the homeschool day can be both productive and enjoyable.

Instruction and Assessment

Teaching Methods

In traditional homeschooling, parents or guardians take on the role of the primary teacher. They have the flexibility to choose the homeschooling methods that work best for their child’s learning style and interests. Some common teaching methods include lectures, discussions, hands-on activities, and reading assignments. Parents can also incorporate different methods such as technology, for example educational videos and online resources, into their lessons.

Evaluating Student Progress

Assessing a student’s progress is an important aspect of traditional homeschooling. Parents can use a variety of methods to evaluate their child’s understanding of the material, such as quizzes, tests, and assignments. They can also observe their child’s progress through informal assessments, such as discussions and projects.

Preparing for Standardized Tests

Standardized tests are often used to measure a student’s academic achievement and compare their performance to their peers. Homeschooled students may be required to take these tests, depending on their state’s laws and regulations. To prepare for standardized tests, parents can use practice tests and review materials to help their child become familiar with the test format and content. They can also work with their child to develop test-taking strategies, such as time management and process of elimination.

In traditional homeschooling, instruction and assessment are tailored to the individual needs and learning styles of each student. Parents have the flexibility to choose the teaching methods and assessment strategies that work best for their child, while also preparing them for standardized tests if necessary.

Comparing Homeschooling Styles

Traditional vs. Unschooling

Traditional homeschooling is a teaching method that follows a structured curriculum and adheres to a set schedule. The parent or teacher is responsible for planning and executing lessons, grading assignments, and evaluating progress. Traditional homeschooling typically involves textbooks, workbooks, lectures, and tests.

On the other hand, unschooling is a homeschooling style that emphasizes child-led learning rather than a structured curriculum. The child is free to pursue their interests, and the parent or teacher acts as a facilitator rather than a director. Unschooling involves hands-on learning, field trips, and real-world experiences.

Classical, Charlotte Mason, Eclectic and Montessori

Classical education is a style that focuses on the study of classical literature, history, and languages. The classical approach is based on the Trivium, a three-part curriculum that includes the grammar stage, the logic stage, and the rhetoric stage. Classical homeschooling emphasizes memorization, critical thinking, and communication skills.

Charlotte Mason homeschooling is a style that emphasizes living books, nature study, and narration. It is based on the belief that children should be exposed to a wide variety of ideas and experiences. Charlotte Mason homeschooling emphasizes the development of good habits, character, and a love of learning.

Eclectic homeschooling is piecing together your own curriculum to meet the needs of your child. This is where most homeschooling families fall. They choose the living books from Charlotte mason, while emphasizing hands-on learning from Montessori style homeschooling. Adding in some memorization skills from the classical education while reading aloud all the fun books that expand a child’s vocabulary.

Montessori homeschooling is a style that emphasizes hands-on learning and self-directed exploration. It is based on the belief that children learn best by doing. Montessori homeschooling emphasizes the development of independence, concentration, and self-discipline.

You may be interested in all of our Homeschooling Styles posts!

Choosing a Homeschooling Style

Choosing a homeschooling method is a personal decision that depends on the needs and preferences of the family. Some families prefer a structured curriculum, while others prefer a more child-led approach. It is important to research and evaluate different homeschooling styles before making a decision.

Factors to consider when choosing a homeschooling style include the child’s learning style, interests, and strengths, as well as the parent’s teaching style and preferences. It is also important to consider the time and resources available for homeschooling.

In conclusion, there are many different homeschooling styles to choose from, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. It is important to choose a homeschooling style that meets the needs and preferences of the family, and to be flexible and adaptable as the child grows and changes.

Challenges and Solutions

Preventing Burnout

One of the biggest challenges faced by homeschooling families is preventing burnout. Homeschooling parents often feel overwhelmed by the amount of work involved in teaching their children, managing the household, and possibly working outside the home. This can lead to burnout, which can negatively impact the entire family.

To prevent burnout, homeschooling parents should take breaks when needed and prioritize self-care. This can include taking time for hobbies, exercise, or simply relaxing. Additionally, parents can delegate tasks to other family members or hire outside help when necessary.

Socialization and Extracurricular Activities

A perceived challenge faced by homeschooling families is providing opportunities for socialization and extracurricular activities. Some people thing that homeschooled children may miss out on the socialization that occurs in traditional schools, as well as the chance to participate in sports teams and other extracurricular activities.

The truth is that homeschooling families typically spend more time socializing with other homeschool families due to flexibility in their schedules! Homeschoolers can join homeschooling groups or co-ops, which provide opportunities for socialization and group activities. Additionally, many communities offer sports teams and other extracurricular activities that are not a part of the school system.

My family has participated in extracurricular activities such as soccer, swimming, dance, taekwando, nature co-ops, and so much more! Don’t feel like you’re stuck because you don’t have school activities to be a part of! When I was homeschooled, I ran track, played soccer and basketball. There is no limit to what you can do, but you may need to search outside of your immediate town to find what you are looking to participate in.

Adapting to Changing Needs

As children grow and develop, their educational needs may change. Homeschooling parents must be able to adapt to these changing needs, which can be a challenge.

To address this challenge, homeschooling parents should regularly assess their children’s educational needs and adjust their approach as necessary. This may involve changing curriculum, seeking outside resources, or working with a tutor or mentor.

Overall, while homeschooling comes with its own unique challenges, there are solutions available to address them. By prioritizing self-care, seeking out community with other homeschooled families and extracurricular opportunities, and adapting to changing needs, homeschooling families can successfully navigate these challenges and provide a high-quality education for their children.

Legal Requirements and Record Keeping

Understanding State Regulations

Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states of the United States, but the specific regulations and requirements vary from state to state. It is important for homeschooling parents to research and understand the laws and regulations in their state to ensure compliance. Some states require parents to submit a notice of intent to homeschool, while others may require annual testing or evaluations. Some states also have specific curriculum requirements that must be met.

Maintaining Academic Records

Maintaining accurate and detailed records is an important aspect of homeschooling. These records can be used to demonstrate compliance with state regulations and to provide evidence of academic progress. Homeschooling parents should keep records of attendance, grades, curriculum used, and any assessments or evaluations. It is also important to keep track of any extracurricular activities or volunteer work, as these can be valuable additions to a student’s academic portfolio. Here is an example from The Oglesby Ohana on how she record keeps for homeschooling!

Homeschooling parents should also be aware of any legal requirements for record keeping in their state. Some states may require specific types of records to be kept or may have specific retention periods for records. It is important to stay up-to-date on any changes to state regulations and to maintain accurate records to ensure compliance.

Benefits of Traditional Homeschooling

Traditional homeschooling offers several advantages over other forms of education. Firstly, homeschooling allows for more flexibility in terms of scheduling. This means that parents and students can work together to create a schedule that works best for them. Additionally, traditional homeschooling allows for more individualized attention, which can be beneficial for students who require more one-on-one instruction.

Another advantage of traditional homeschooling is that it allows for a more personalized curriculum. Parents can choose to focus on specific subjects or topics that align with their child’s interests or future goals. This can help to keep students engaged and motivated throughout their education.

Furthermore, traditional homeschooling provides a unique opportunity for parents to instill their own values and beliefs into their child’s education. This can help to create a strong sense of family values and a deeper understanding of the world around them.

Potential Drawbacks

While traditional homeschooling can offer many benefits, there are also potential drawbacks to consider. One thing to consider is the potential for academic achievement tests. Homeschooled students may be required to take standardized tests to gauge their academic progress, which can be stressful for both the student and parent.

Also, traditional homeschooling can be challenging for parents who are not equipped to handle the educational demands of their child’s education. This can lead to burnout and frustration, which can ultimately impact the quality of education provided. Take the time you need to learn how your child learns before you start so that you have an easier transition into teaching them.

Overall, traditional homeschooling offers many advantages and considerations. Parents should carefully weigh the pros and cons before deciding if it is the right choice for their family.

Transitioning to College

One of the most common concerns for parents who homeschool their children is how well they will be prepared for college. However, studies have shown that homeschooled students tend to perform just as well as, if not better than, their traditionally-schooled peers in college. This is likely due to the individualized and customizable nature of homeschooling, which allows students to focus on their strengths and interests while also learning how to “learn” instead of being told what to memorize for a test and then forget about it.

Additionally, many colleges and universities have recognized the benefits of homeschooling and actively seek out homeschooled students for their unique perspectives and diverse backgrounds. In fact, some colleges even have specific admissions requirements and scholarships for homeschooled students.

Long-Term Outcomes

Beyond college, homeschooled students have been shown to excel in a variety of areas. According to the National Home Education Research Institute, homeschooled students tend to score higher on standardized tests, have higher rates of college graduation, and are more politically and civically engaged than their traditionally-schooled peers.

Furthermore, homeschooling allows families to prioritize values and beliefs that may not be emphasized in traditional schools, such as religious or cultural education. This can lead to a strong sense of identity and purpose in homeschooled students, which can serve them well in their future endeavors.

Overall, while there may be some initial concerns about transitioning to college and long-term outcomes for homeschooled students, the evidence suggests that homeschooling can be a highly effective and rewarding educational option for multiple children.

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  1. Thanks for helping me understand more about traditional homeschooling! This article was very helpful. I just signed up for your email. I look forward to reading more from you!

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