The traditional approach is based on the idea of school at home with textbooks, timetables and assessments.
This approach may work well for families that:
want their children to study in a similar scope and sequence as their school-going peers,
value classroom-style teaching,
opt for homeschooling on a trial basis,
want their children to learn through and do well on standardised tests,
have clear idea about the content they want their child to learn and the textbooks match their goals,
prefer formal and structured learning experience.
The curriculum in the traditional approach usually consists of complete materials for teaching all subjects of a particular grade. It may include teacher’s guide books, lessons, worksheets, tests and other activities.
Often, families new to homeschooling initially opt for this approach, as it offers the secure feeling of carrying on something they are familiar with – the traditional school-type of learning. It also gives the parents the safety of being able to re-admit children to school easily, if such need would arise.
The beauty of applying the traditional approach in home education is that it does not have to be rigid. Homeschooling parents can adjust the traditional approach to the needs of their families. Many parents supplement textbooks and workbooks with lots of other resources and experiences tuned to the interests of their children. For example, in one family, children may be getting plenty of practical, outdoor experiences. In another family, they may be dedicating their time to Quran memorization.
Likewise, families can develop their own curriculum by selecting course books from various curriculums, or making lesson plans themselves. Thus, they may be using Oxford course books for English, Singapore curriculum for math, EAST books for pre-primary level, New Century Education for Science or AFAQ for Islamically-integrated textbooks. Upon visiting local bookstores, inquire about the curriculum guides – you will discover a wealth of material to choose from.
And last but not least, homeschooling allows parents to sift the information in the course books and supplement it with the Islamic perspective, where necessary.
Although the traditional approach may look like the ideal route for transition from school to home education, we encourage parents not to stop there. By investigating other homeschooling approaches and meeting other homeschooling families you can discover new ways of learning and cash on the benefits of learning at home.