Choosing a Curriculum for Home Educating Your Child

Why are you homeschooling? What is your motivation? Do you have a homeschooling philosophy (i.e. are you doing a standard school approach, a classical education, child-centered learning, etc.) - don't worry if you don't have a philosophy yet - you will develop one!

 

What type of books are you interested in using? (public school traditional textbooks vs. those by a Christian publisher vs. unit studies, etc.) Are you interested in workbooks for your child?

 

Do you need lesson plans already made? Can you make your own lesson plans? Do you want teacher's editions? Answer keys?

Are there any subjects you feel a particular need to focus on? Is your child ahead or behind in any areas? Do you need to concentrate on basics or add in electives? Are there any areas in which you need extra support?

 

Think about your goals for your child. What do you want them to accomplish this year? Your curriculum should reflect what you hope to accomplish (for example, if one of your goals is to have your child do more independent writing, you probably won't want to use too many fill in the blank type workbooks!)

 

Consider learning styles: How does your child learn best? Do they like to read? Do they like to write? Does your child learn best by hearing things read to them? Do they need to move to learn - learn by doing? Counselors at North Alabama Friends School will be happy to assist you in picking curriculum for your child that will suit them as an individual.

 

Plan to spend most of your homeschool money on the basic 4 subjects:

  • Math (Many choices here are from traditional school type texts, A Beka, Bob Jones, Saxon Math, Singapore math, Math-U-See, Teaching Textbooks, Chalkdust Math, computer games, drill sheets, etc.)
  • Science (Traditional text, Christian text, units, experiments, hands-on equipment) and Health (should be covered at some point in elementary school and again in high school).
  • Language Arts (This means English, i.e. spelling, grammar, reading - phonics for the beginners, reading comprehension, study of literature for older students, handwriting, composition, vocabulary, library skills.) This may all be accomplished with one program or by combining many individual components.
  • Social Studies (history, geography, civics, economics) May use a traditional text, unit studies, literature-based programs, workbooks, or research-based studies.

After you've covered those areas consider electives:

Art (and art history), music, keyboarding, foreign language, logic, P.E., etc. the sky is the limit with electives and homeschool!

In addition to textbooks, consider other resources like the library, videos, the internet, computer games, people who might work with your child, classes etc.

 

Some Curriculum Options

Complete Traditional Curricula

  • Bob Jones University Press - Christian textbooks, very thorough, college prep. 
  • A Beka - Christian textbooks, thorough, math moves quickly through elementary school. 
  • Calvert - Very thorough, full curriculum program, excellent teachers materials, quality public/private school texts and materials

Literature Based Curricula (covers history and language arts, sometimes science, art, and more) through "real" books: biographies, historical fiction, etc.

Hands-on or Unit Study Curricula

  • Moving Beyond the Page covers all subjects through literature-based units. Includes a lot of hands-on activities as well as workbooks.

 

Math

  • Saxon Math - quality math, placement test available online, phonics materials - very thorough plus materials to teach older children/adults to read.  
  • Singapore Math
  • Teaching Textbooks
  • Life of Fred teaches primary through college math in story form. Elementary math may be best used as a fun supplement to another program. The upper levels are rigorous enough to stand alone. Life of Fred also offers language arts, statistics, and other courses.

 

Science

  • Apologia Science offers high quality science books written specifically for homeschoolers. Apologia also publishes excellent writing, Bible, and government courses

 

Foreign Language:

Helpful Websites

http://donnayoung.org/ This site has lots of printable forms, drill sheets, science sheets, organizers� look around the site and see what she has.

http://homeschoolclassifieds.com/ is a great site for buying and selling used curriculum

http://www.rainbowresource.com/index.php Giant catalog that contains all things having to do with homeschooling.

http://www.Christianbook.com Lots of homeschool books.

http://www.hometrainingtools.com They sell everything for science, especially lab supplies.

http://www.veritaspress.com Everything you need for a classical education; great books for just reading/learning history.

http://www.vegsource.com/homeschool/ Great place to purchase used curriculum at low prices. Buyer beware. Also a great place to sell curriculum you are finished with.

http://www.thebackpack.com/ Used textbooks and teacher�s editions. May be more expensive than others.

http://www.Academicbookservices.com Used/new textbook locater; good place to find teacher�s editions. May be cheaper than some other sites. Start here.

http://www.alibris.com Used books of all kinds from everywhere. Great resource to find teacher's editions.

CONTACT US: 

Barbara Rice, Educational Director

(256) 650-0366

 3322 S. Memorial Pkwy #232, Huntsville, AL 35801