There are many different kinds of homeschoolers.
There are many different kinds of educational materials.
Since state laws do not dictate the kinds of materials that are used in home education programs, families are afforded the freedom to choose the classroom resources they like.
Curriculum decisions are usually based on recommendations from friends, the teaching model being followed, individual learning styles of the children, convenience, price point, and more.
Is there a place for workbooks in the homeschool? Absolutely.
Though not everyone thinks so.
For a variety of reasons, it appears that workbooks have earned a “bad rap” from some homeschoolers over the years. This is due, at least in part, to the similarity between what workbooks offer and what homeschoolers think must be going on in the public school classrooms. Short of duplicating what children are doing “in school”, workbooks overall seem to look too much like school books, therefore some prefer not to use workbooks for homeschooling.
The thought of children chugging out dozens upon dozens of workbook pages (what some may call, “busy work”) daily at the kitchen table is very unappealing to some people.
To add to their bad reputation, workbooks can be found in any number of larger retail stores, pharmacies, and membership-type clubs, often at deeply discounted prices. This widespread availability and lower price point seem to add to the stigma of using the lowly workbook in the home school classroom.
Why should this be?
While a stack of workbooks may not be your preferred method of schooling, there is a place for a workbook in the homeschooling world.
For example, schooling in the car on a busy day of errands may warrant the use of a workbook. Nothing wrong with that.
Comprehensive workbooks (that cover many subject areas) are great for review and practice.
Single subject workbooks, if chosen carefully, may be used to cover a subject not presently being addressed any other way in the curriculum.
Long summer days at the beach or the campsite is another excellent place to take a workbook.
Workbooks are also great to have around for those times when parents need to keep school moving along while they are busy doing something else (e.g., a telephone call, caring for a younger child, etc.).
Plus, despite what parents may think about workbooks, it is important to note that many children actually enjoy completing these colorful pages. Let’s face it, they can be an awful lot of fun!
There are many perfectly acceptable workbook products for home use. In addition to the dime-store versions found around town, the Internet vendors and most larger book stores offer higher-end versions.
Though basing an entire homeschooling curriculum on workbooks may not always be advised, occasional use of these convenient products definitely has its place.
Parents needn’t be embarrassed about having a stack of homeschooling workbooks at the ready for every child in the household.