Tuesday, July 31, 2012

{Crew Hop} Homeschool Curriculum


For a number of years I worked with my state's organization as a regional representative for new homeschoolers. I've hosted yearly workshops for the last six or seven years designed to support new and seasoned home educators. 

The biggest question I am asked time after time..."What about curriculum?" 

When "veteran" homeschoolers began educating their children at home years ago, they had very few choices. It was either purchase materials from some of the bigger supplies of curriculum for private Christian schools or write your own. Thankfully many decided to write their own and we are benefiting from that today.

Today's homeschoolers face a different challenge in picking out curriculum....there are too many choices!

The first thing to consider is what I discussed yesterday about determining your homeschooling method. Figure out what works best for you and begin eliminating curriculum that doesn't fit. For example, if textbooks are not what works best for you or your child, than you can cross those off your list of curriculum to look at. However, if reading aloud is a favorite activity for everyone, then begin looking more closely at providers who teach through literature. 

I also always tell people that you will buy curriculum that does not work for you or your child. You may also  buy curriculum and think that it doesn't work and change your mind. This, however, seems to only occur after you have sold it to someone else!

Those are my basic tips for picking out curriculum and I will share that even after 10 years of teaching, I still change my mind a lot about what we use. I'm still refining what we'll be using in the fall, but for now, here are some of my top picks for curriculum for the 2012-2013 school year...
  • History - Simply Charlotte Mason: Early Modern Times & Epistles - this is a curriculum that combines history, geography & Bible and gives a study guide/reading lists for grades K-12. This will allow me to use this for all my boys at once. It also contains a daily schedule for all 180 lessons. 
  • Science - Apologia Elementary Series: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day - I'll mostly likely be using this only with my youngest son. I love this entire series of books and we'll probably finish this in half a year. I'm not sure yet what we'll do for the second half. My two older boys will most likely be using Apologia's General Science series. 
  • Language Arts - All the boys will be using Learning Language Arts Through Literature this year. This may prove challenging as they're all at different levels, but the older boys will be able to do most of it independently. 
  • Foreign Language - We reviewed Visual  Latin last fall. We are going to continue with this program as our foreign language this year. 
I'm still working on finalizing the rest of our studies. I almost have math figured out for the two older boys. They will all continue with piano lessons (fine arts) and we typically do outside art classes throughout the year as they come up. We also attend various plays. I'm also considering buying a level of Harmony Fine Arts to use with them. This is a music and art appreciation course in the style of Charlotte Mason. I have her fourth grade study and it's fantastic. I'm not sure if we'll continue with that or if we'll buy a new one.

As you can see, even seasoned homeschoolers change up what they are using and have a hard time figuring out what to use. There are so many great curriculum providers out there that it's sometimes hard to narrow them down. Just remember the tips I shared above and remember that you will buy something that doesn't work. Not if you buy, trust me at some point you simply will buy something that doesn't work. Realize it and move on. Home educating is more about instilling a love of learning than anything else.

Hop on over to the other Schoolhouse Crew blog to read more about Homeschool Curriculum.

1 comment:

  1. If you are interested in connecting with other Apologia users, I'd love for you to check out the Apologia link up that I host here:




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