I'm outing myself as a huge fan of textbooks who has been homeschooling with A Beka math and language arts workbooks for the past 4 years. Here's why we love homeschool textbooks:
- My kids are part of the rare group of children who actually like completing workbook pages. Perhaps it's genetic. I also enjoyed using workbooks as a child. For my children, fun doesn't come from fancy projects and activities. Fun is the feeling of accomplishment they get from learning something new, and having their afternoons free to pursue projects on their own.
- No lesson planning! I love not having to plan or prepare lessons. Every morning, I simply open up the teacher's manual, skim the day's lesson and start talking. I don't have to scour the internet to find exciting, creative ways to present new concepts. The work has been done for me. The teacher's guide tells me exactly what to teach and what to say.
- Textbooks help us remain consistent. We have a fairly relaxed schedule, and workbooks provide us with the consistency we need. If we skip a few days here and there, I know exactly where we left off and where we should begin again. Our school time follows a predictable routine so my children know what to expect. In our home, parent/child conflicts about schoolwork are extremely rare.
- Textbooks make us more efficient. As our family grows, it is becoming essential for my older children to work independently at times. I love being able to start my oldest on an assignment that he can finish on his own while I work with a younger sibling. I still find plenty of time to interact with and disciple him, and we still have many opportunities to create great memories. Our special memories just happen to revolve around activities other than school.
- No projects! I am not a peppy, get your hands dirty, let's do an activity kinda gal. Honestly, I have an anxiety attack at the mere thought of running from store to store for supplies that will end up as a mess on my kitchen floor. Although we don't do crafts and projects as part of our official school time, my children find ways to express what they're learning through play, and they plan their own activities. That's creativity!
And now for the disclaimer: My love of homeschooling with textbooks doesn't mean that you should use them or that they will work well in your home. I wrote this post mainly to encourage you to keep an open mind - a program that's a disaster in one home may be a perfect fit in yours, and a program that works great for your best friend may be entirely wrong for you.
I'm currently working on an e-book about choosing homeschool curriculum for which I've interviewed experts in various home school philosophies. It has been amazing to hear individuals like Catherine Levison, Sandra Dodd and Sarita Holzmann share the benefits of their chosen home school method. In working with these experts, I've learned that there's not one right way to home school.
The right way to homeschool is the way that works best for you - even if that involves textbooks!