I love to help out new homeschoolers. That's one reason I volunteer with my state association as a County Rep. I really enjoy talking about the ins and outs of homeschooling. Inevitably one big question always comes up in conversation.
"I'm ready to homeschool, now what do I teach?"
This can be a rather daunting task. Public school teachers teach what their curriculum tells them to cover. The curriculum is decided by the powers of be there. Since I'm not a public school teacher (and I have never even played one on TV) I'm not sure exactly how it works at that level, but I do know that there are scopes and sequences that teachers must follow, lists of tasks that should be accomplished come the end of the school year, and many times they have little say in how that all happens.
On the flip side, homeschoolers sometimes have so many choices that it becomes a bit overwhelming.
The first thing I ask new homeschoolers to think about is this...."What does your child like?" Is your son really in to dinosaurs? What about your daughter, does she love princesses and fairies? Do you know how your child learns? Do they need to move around? Can they sit still for a bit? Do they like to touch and feel to figure out how things work?
Answers to those questions will begin to steer you the right way.
One more thing I always do for new homeschoolers...I point them to all the wonderful freebies out there. I think it's a great way to figure out what works and what doesn't for no more than the cost of ink and paper to print it all out. Add a library card to the mix and it's a great way to start.
Here's a list of just a few of my favorite sites - in fact - I just sent this list out to a new homeschooler tonight.
Free hands-on fun stuff to make (we did the brain hat - it was fun!)
I'm not 100% sure about this - I just started checking it out but it's all free - as far as I know:
This site has a lot of free stuff & you can buy a subscription if you want to see more.
This site is great. There are 100's of free "lapbooks" you can print out. You could seriously just use this site & learn all you needed - for free - with a library card.
Here is a link just to show WHAT a lapbook is...
And lastly - this is a blog completely full of FREE links across the internet for homeschooling resources. It would take a week or more to get through them all. There's a TON!!!
I always hesitate to share this, but it is a valid and helpful resource (and here's my disclaimer...) as long as it is used ONLY as a GUIDE. I always make sure that new homeschoolers never feel like lists of "what your child should learn" are taken as the gospel truth. That's a sure recipe for burnout! Use the lists as a guide. A nice free one on the internet is found HERE.
If you follows the interests of your children and make sure they are making continued progress, you really can't go wrong.