Homeschooling Without Textbooks: How We Make It Work


Homeschooling Without Textbooks: How We Make It Work ~
Written by Jessica Waldock of The Waldock Way

I think homeschooling without textbooks sounds amazing. Teaching without textbooks isn’t just possible, it’s how we homeschool and we love it! 

If you’re interested in following an interest-led homeschooling approach, you’ll definitely want to keep reading to see how we make this work in our homeschool.

I’ve got tons of resources to help you get started and show you how it works for us. Plus, I’ll share how we keep track of progress and homeschooling records while following our child’s interests, passions, and natural curiosity.

Homeschooling Without Textbooks Really Works

You can homeschool math, language arts, science, and even history without following a textbook. 

When we first began our homeschooling journey, choosing curriculum felt overwhelming. There’s so much to choose from and that made it difficult to make a decision. While looking for homeschool curriculum, I realized that what’s perfect for one homeschool family did not meet our unique homeschool.

Thankfully, I realized it’s possible to homeschool without a fancy boxed curriculum.

Gameschooling, field trips, strewing, and morning baskets are all fun methods you can use in your homeschool to cultivate a love of learning and build a strong connection without the workbooks.


Gameschooling is all about using games in an intentional way in your homeschool lessons and culture. Once you begin to explore incorporating games into your learning, you’ll see the amazing benefits of gameschooling.

Get my Guide to Gameschooling for tips on how you can use games to teach anything. Practicing math skills, grammar skills, and even learning about art history with games is a lot of fun! Plus, it’s a great way to increase retention.

Strewing in Your Homeschool

Strewing is the act of exposing our kids to opportunities for learning by inviting them to engage with a variety of items and resources. Strewing is about placing carefully chosen items in the path of your child for them to discover, explore, and spark their interests and passions.

To practice strewing, you’ll place things around your home that encourage your children to interact with and learn from them.

Typically people choose items like blocks, magnets, rocks, and seashells to strew. Strewing is perfect for encouraging independent learning, imagination, and curiosity in your homeschooler.

Learn Everything You Need To Know To Get Started Strewing In Your Homeschool with my guide to strewing! 

Using Technology for Learning

We love integrating technology into our homeschool lessons. Technology can provide many educational benefits worth exploring in a homeschool setting. Integrating screens can be an engaging multisensory learning experience for the whole family.

Check out How We Use Screens In Our Homeschool and why you shouldn’t be afraid to embrace podcasts, documentaries, and learning apps with your kiddo this year.

Keeping Track Of Progress In Our Homeschool Without Using Textbooks

Finding a way to keep track of your progress when you’re not following a traditional linear method of homeschooling can be a bit challenging at first. If you’re not following the checklist in the book, how will you be able to track your progress? I like using flexible homeschool planners to help me get the job done.

Book logs, game logs, and tracking our time outside are some of the ways I keep track of our progress throughout the homeschool year. When you’re not using textbooks, you need your system to be flexible too.

My homeschool planners help keep me organized and make it easy to track our progress as interest-led homeschoolers. They’re adaptable because life is messy and sometimes homeschooling gets messy too.

In my Homeschool Planners you’ll get lots of different options for record keeping that are customizable for your unique homeschool. Plus, you’ll get the resource logs I use to track books we’re reading, field trips, and games we play. I’ve also included my goals checklist page.

Having goals to check off as we meet them is much more flexible for interest-led homeschooling. I’m not tied to a particular lesson or activity, instead I can check off that we met the goal for our records and then write any of the ways we worked on that goal in my flexible planning pages.

Jump outside the box and pursue real-world learning through games, great books, and lots of adventure with my Guide to Homeschooling Without a Curriculum,which includes easy to implement ideas for homeschooling every subject without using curriculum.

If you’re looking for a change in your homeschool, I hope this helps you homeschooling without textbooks, too!


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