home Cirriculum A Homeschoolers Glossary: Textbook-Workbook

A Homeschoolers Glossary: Textbook-Workbook

For non-homeschoolers and new homeschoolers, the language used by many homeschoolers borders on foreign. For this reason, I have written this glossary of 100 words a homeschooler should know.


Textbooks are bound books normally used in public or traditional education settings. A textbook will typically contain a years worth of lessons, and can be re-used by another student as they are not to be written in. Some textbooks have answer keys in the back. Homeschoolers may or may not use textbooks.

Thematic Unit

Thematic Unit is another word for Unit study. It means that lessons are centered around one basic theme through which a student can learn math, science, history, and language arts.

Trade Books

Trade books are educational books available for purchase by the general public. Many homeschoolers choose trade books over textbooks, which are often dumbed down and filled with errors. You can find many trade books online and in bookstores in the educational books section.

Traditional Schooling

The term traditional schooling refers to the fact that traditionally (in the last 200 years anyway), children are educated together in an institutionalized fashion. The term is inclusive of public, private, or parochial schools.


A transcript is a record of the courses students have taken and the grades they were awarded. Some homeschoolers use accreditation services to get transcripts made for their children. Others write their own reports. Some homeschools forgo the transcript altogether and instead create a homeschool portfolio. When applying to a college, the transcript is often used as the first page of a homeschool portfolio.

Umbrella School

Umbrella schools oversee homeschooling families and guide them in their education. Umbrella schools are most prevalent in states that require a homeschooler to belong to a school of some sort or to qualify as a private school.

Unit Study

A unit study is a lesson that teaches multiple subjects at once. It is also referred to as a thematic unit. There are numerous unit study ideas and guides to be found on the internet.


Basically, unschooling refers to child led learning where a student would study only what interests them at the time. There are many ways of approaching unschooling, some giving the children more power of their education than others do.

Visual Learner

A visual learner is a student who learns best by looking at or reading the material to be learned. Visual learning is one of several learning styles.


A workbook is a type of consumable curriculum item. Unlike textbooks, workbooks are written in by the student making them unusable for another student.

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