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Homeschool Curriculum For Beginners

Updated: 1 day ago

How To Make The Choice.


Finding What Fits.

Looking for the right homeschool curriculum can be an exhausting, never-ending search. Like the quest for that perfect pair of denim, selecting the the perfect curriculum for your family can be just as elusive.


With such a wide array of choices, what is the best approach to finding the best match?


How do I know if the cost will be worth it?


Will my child(ren) utilize the curriculum and thrive from it?

I Had Questions!

A Lot Of Them.


Beginning our homeschool journey I was overwhelmed by the curriculum options. Having a kindergartener and a first grader at the time, did I even need to purchase a whole curriculum package? I spent precious time researching which curriculum would suit us best, and now hope to save you valuable time by helping to guide you more efficiently to making your choice.


So let's get to navigating the curriculum road.

 

Know Your Audience


Good advice, and not just for public speaking. I had at the time, a kindergardener and a first grader. Looking at the curriculum options, I was first, astonished at the prices. Upon second look, I wasn't noticing much content that couldn't be gathered from using free worksheet sites and app games. I was certainly not being cheap with my children's education, but being that we were privately homeschooling and our budget came out of pocket, being more critical with where the money was spent was important to me. I knew if I were to purchase these expensive curriculum options, paired with my style of teaching, they would not be used. Instead, I opted for building my own curriculum and worksheets along with supplementing additional free worksheets that reinforced the topics we were covering each week. This method may sound more time consuming to plan, and having a compiled package may be appealing to you. I thought it is important to note however, that even now, going into our third year of homeschool, I have yet to purchase a set curriculum and my children's education is thriving.


"But how do you know what to cover?"

It's a frequent question I get and a question I had as I began formulating my own curriculum. Being lower elementary level, I was confident that I would be capable of teaching them, but I wasn't going to be overly confident in believing I knew every topic to go over. I just needed a guide, a reference, so I used the state's common core standards for each subject so that I knew what was taught at each grade level. This served as a guide for me, not a checklist for them, so that I was prepared for what came next. As I quickly found out, my children were absorbing information and mastering topics rapidly. Having a reference as to what to cover next or introduce, greatly assisted in my planning, and in turn helped to move them forward when they were ready to do so.


Know Your Style


What I discovered is that the type of curriculum isn't dependent on which one is "best", it is more so determined by how I was going to teach the curriculum.


If your teaching method is more structured where you would like a schedule or guide, you may find the option of a workbook program curriculum, like Lifepac, is a good fit. If you plan to coordinate your own learning activities, games, and crafts along with your learning, you may focus more on a taught or supported curriculum like that of mine, jwlearningadventures.com, where you are provided with a weekly thematic unit, filled with a flexible daily lesson plan, and all the instructions on how to create engaging learning activities to pair with the core learning material. There are some online guided curriculum options such as Time4Learning and Education.com that track the progress of your child's learning, but I found these options to be useful more as supplemental curriculum, or used in tandem with one of the previously mentioned teaching methods.


Tailored Fit


What matters most is how your child is performing in the curriculum and this may take some trial and error at first to find what system works best. Altering the curriculum to fit your child's individual learning style is a tremendous advantage to homeschool. Pulling from multiple resources is beneficial too, as one aspect of a particular curriculum may be working while other pieces may need to be supplemented from another source.


As we progress in our learning together, our curriculum type may change, but being that they are still at the elementary level, my primary goal is to make learning as fun and engaging as possible, to encourage and cultivate their love of learning.

As long as their love of learning thrives, I know the curriculum will be there to fit.


 

Find Complete Daily Lesson Plans To Build Your Curriculum Here.

and

For A FREE Mini Unit Lesson Plan Visit Here.






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