Substantive Education

June 19, 2009

The Schooling Method

Filed under: Education,Homeschooling — kbagdanov @ 4:17 pm

I’m continuing to post information on the different methods of home education that are available.  Here is the Schooling method, sometimes referred to as the Traditional approach.  If you missed the others you can check out, The Unschooling Method...and The Charlotte Mason Method.  Hope the information is helpful.  Once we get through all of the methods then we will discuss how to choose a curriculum that fits your child.

This is probably the most common method of homeschooling and it is just what the name implies, doing school at home. In this instance there is not a radical shift to homeschooling, basically what happens in the classroom at school is recreated in the home. Standard textbooks are used and parents basically follow the same scope and sequence that the public schools follow. Standardized tests are frequently used to evaluate how students are doing. Generally, to gain the most from homeschooling a paradigm shift is needed, a complete re-thinking of what works for you, your comfort level, and what works for your child and their learning style. Most of the homeschooling methods assume you are making a paradigm shift and are embracing a completely different model of education. The schooling at home method does not require this paradigm shift. The location has changed from school to home, but the logistics of that education have remained the same. This is also probably one of the most comfortable paths for parents to take. More than likely the parents were educated in this manner so it is familiar. While all homeschooling parents feel unsure of themselves as they start, using this method takes out the guesswork and leaves parents feeling like they have a firm framework to work within. Lessons are laid out, tests evaluate progress, and parents do not have to worry about gaps in education. The advantages to this method are many. For parents who need to pull a child out of the school system for a time… an illness, travel, to catch up.. with this method they can easily put the child back into school and know they will be on track. Another advantage is that there are generally fewer objections from family and friends when they see that the child is doing, roughly, what would be done in the classroom. While the curriculum may be the same as what is used in schools, the amount of time it takes to use the curriculum is generally a lot less. There is no need to wait for others in the class to finish assignments and there is no arguing with the fact that one on one tutoring is more efficient than a one to thirty ratio. Probably the two most popular publishers of homeschooling textbooks are Abeka and Bob Jones. Both have been in the business of supplying textbooks to private schools for years and have established a reputation for being academically rigorous, unabashedly Christian, and accommodating of homeschooling parents. Both have developed video programs to supplement their textbooks so that parents can have live classroom teachers involved. In the early grades this method will require a fair amount of parental involvement (as do most methods) as children are learning to read, and do basic math. As children get older parents can assign the needed work and children will be able to work through large portions of it unassisted, needing parental guidance only for grading of tests and explaining of difficult concepts. The disadvantages of this method are also many. This is a great method if you have the typical good ‘student’. If your child is a visual learner who likes workbooks and the feeling of success they get by doing well on a test, they will do fine with this approach. However, if you have a child who is an auditory or kinetic learner they will experience a lot of boredom and frustration with this method. If your child has ADD or ADHD this method can be unnecessarily difficult for them. By choosing this method families also forego much of the freedom that is available to homeschoolers to pursue education in more creative, wholistic ways. Children who do not test well may come to feel inadequate or stupid using this method when in reality they are just being educated in a style which is a poor fit for them. Another frustration with this method is that the teacher’s manuals are written for the classroom teacher and the bulk of it is how to set up the lessons for a large number of students, how to manage the class etc. As a homeschool parent you have to wade through this information to get to what you need.

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