5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Homeschool Curriculum

The hardest part of homeschooling isn’t deciding to homeschool. It’s deciding how to home school.

A quick search of “homeschool curriculum” will swiftly lead you to realize that hundreds of options exist. How does a person choose from the myriad of well-developed texts?

What is homeschooling? 

A progressive trend sweeping the nation and the globe is homeschooling, in which parents educate their kids at home as opposed to enrolling them in a typical public or private school. Many diverse factors influence why families decide to homeschool their children, including discontent with the educational options offered, divergent religious or educational views, and the conviction that kids are not developing as they should in the typical school setting.

Many homeschool families use less formal and personalized methods of learning that are not necessarily found in schools, usually led by a parent, tutor, or an online teacher. The range includes more open, free forms like unschooling, which is a form of homeschooling that dispenses with lessons and curricula, as well as highly structured forms based on conventional school classes.

Keep reading to learn five ways you can find the best curriculum for your student.

1. Know Your Child

Basic homeschool tips begin with you knowing your student. The best teachers teach students, not subjects.

Old-school methods of teaching focused on learning styles. However, newer research is revealing whole-brain learning, where all parts of the brain work together. Do not limit your child to being just auditory or visual learning.

Instead, keep your child’s strengths in mind. You know your child best. Observe them as they play and learn at home, and then begin researching which curriculum will work best for your child.

2. Know Yourself

As you put together your homeschool schedule, consider your own strengths and weaknesses. Look at your current schedule and your new schedule.

For example, are you a morning person? Then put your schedule together so you can prep in the morning before your students are up. If you’re an evening person, then plan on burning the midnight oil.

Consider your personal strengths too as you look at how you plan on teaching your kids. If you’re not good with technology, for example, don’t plan on using all online curriculum.

3. Don’t Reinvent the Wheel

When you first start homeschooling, you will begin to wonder exactly how to know what to teach your child. Do your research, and then pick a curriculum. Hundreds of people have done the work for you, so you just have to pick a curriculum or a hybrid of curriculums that best suit your child’s needs.

Your homeschool courses do not all have to come from one place. If you like the language arts from one curriculum and the math from another, then combine what you want to create the perfect curriculum for your student.

4. Freelance Your Homeschool Curriculum

If you have a child with special interests, you may not be able to find the specific curriculum geared towards your child’s passions. In this case, don’t be afraid to do a little freelancing.

For example, if your child has a passion for aeronautics, see if he or she can take flying lessons at a local airport. One of the benefits of homeschooling is the flexible schedule it offers. You can offer homeschool activities that a child cannot receive with a traditional brick-and-mortar school education.

5. Don’t Forget the Fine Arts

As you begin to plan out your homeschool curriculum, focus on creating balance. In a traditional school, your child will receive a well-rounded education that includes academics, athletics, and fine arts.

Look into formal fine arts training like dancing at places like San Elijo Dance and Music Company. You can find information at sanelijodance.com. Fine arts training like dance classes will also stimulate a child’s brain and help them learn more efficiently.

Requirements for homeschooling your children

Parents can homeschool their children practically anywhere in the nation without a formal education. When their child reaches school age, parents of young children who have never attended a formal classroom can start a home education program. 

They will then begin to follow the regulations set forth by their state. Homeschooling regulations in the United States differ from state to state. Some states have minimal or no requirements, while others need periodic portfolio reviews or standardized tests.

How to begin homeschooling/education

In homeschooling, it’s important to take baby steps and learn as you go. And here are your initial few action actions to get you started:

  1. Establish a schedule.
  2. Choose your preferred teaching style.
  3. Discover the finest learning methods for your pupils.
  4. Discover the prerequisites for homeschooling in your area.
  5. Pick a good curriculum. 

Parents who choose to homeschool their children after enrolling them in school must follow a somewhat different procedure. Prior to leaving, they must submit a letter of withdrawal to the head of the school or the regional superintendent.

The intent of the parents to withdraw their child from school and start homeschooling should be stated in the letter. Parents continue to adhere to the rules established by their district after receiving the notification.

The best approach to learn more about local requirements and discover what activities, classes, and events are offered nearby is to connect with local homeschoolers.

Creating a Homeschool Schedule: Pro Tips

    1. Establish a routine- As stated by the U.S. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, routines aid young children in developing relationships, a sense of identity, and self-assurance. As these kids grow, having structure and routine in their life enables them to become more independent and more adaptable to change. Children who have routines feel secure, at ease, and ready to learn. Creating a schedule for your children may also aid in their ability to concentrate.
    2. Have a good communication– Every morning, discuss with your child what they will do that day. This is an excellent chance to answer any questions they may have and make sure they have everything they need to do the day’s homeschooling assignments. Set aside some time at the end of each day to review your homeschooling activities. Also, a little encouragement goes a long way because some kids may feel a little lonely when homeschooling.
    3. Create a suitable homeschooling space for your child- Give your child a dedicated area to work in. Make sure it is a secure area with enough lighting, ventilation, peace & quiet, and access to the resources your child may require. Try to keep distractions like their toys, phones, video games, television, etc. out of the place.
    4. Create a rewards program- Although setting goals is beneficial, the prize is what gets kids the most thrilled. Putting up a chart with varied rewards based on the complexity of various chores will help you manage your children homeschool learning throughout the day and keep them on track.
    5. Take periodic breaks- As children become older, their attention spans lengthen; therefore, a younger child could require a little break every ten to fifteen minutes. Set aside specific periods for lessons and promote frequent breaks that include the chance for some physical activity to keep the heart rate up. Encourage them to go outside so they may play, run, and walk off some energy.
    6. Promote interactions- Homeschooling may seem frightening and isolated to some kids. If you decide to homeschool your child, keep in mind that they won’t have the everyday interaction that they would have in a traditional classroom. Homeschool students can participate in a nearly unlimited number of activities that will provide them with the social interaction they need.
    7. Establish goals- You can keep your homeschoolers motivated and prepare them for life by helping them develop objectives. Objectives can be divided into categories, such as those for school, sports, saving, music, etc., making the exercise a little more fun.
    8. Include a variety of learning approaches- Kids have different learning styles. Using the various hearing, seeing, and doing learning methods leads to a well-rounded education and enhances memory. 
    9. Remain organized- Keeping a daily planner with goals to accomplish before the conclusion of each session is the best way to stay on track. To help you stay focused, make a list of everything you need to complete, including household tasks and schoolwork. Furthermore, try to keep your school environment tidy.
    10. Join a group for homeschoolers- Join a co-op or other group of nearby homeschoolers to encourage one another. You can have a conversation with other parents and share ideas and personal experiences with each other.

Benefits of homeschooling

    1. Learning can occur outside of the classroom with homeschooling- Parents now have considerably more freedom to work outside, take their kids on field excursions, vacation, and teach outside of the traditional classroom. They are less constrained by finance or transportation constraints than a larger class may be. 
    2. Individualizing the education is possible with homeschooling- With homeschooling, you can adapt the curriculum to your child’s interests and chosen learning style. You can devote more time to or concentrate on subjects or topics that your child is really eager to study.
    3. Home education offers flexibility- Homeschool parents are free to design their children’s educational experience because they simultaneously serve as the instructor, principal, and superintendent. In order to best serve their family’s needs, they can choose the curriculum and design a unique school timetable.
    4. You can choose your own pace for homeschooling- Students who are homeschooled can progress at their own rate. If they are constantly doing well in their studies, you are free to slow down or let them move ahead, sometimes even into the next school level.

Enjoy the Ride

Homeschooling is a journey in which you make many decisions on where to go along the way. Enjoy the ride as you choose and then develop a homeschool curriculum that works well for your students and your family.