Sunday, October 28, 2007

Choosing The Right Homeschooling Curriculum

A curriculum is not just a set of books, but a plan for achieving the goals that you and your children have established. There are many factors to consider when choosing a homeschooling curriculum. First of all, the parent must keep in mind that children progress as they get older. As they age, their interest, strength, and weaknesses vary and change. Logistics within the household can also change. The financial position and needs of the family may also vary widely during the years of homeschooling.

Another thing that must be kept in mind is that every child is different. Therefore, a curriculum that works for one child may not necessarily work for another. A curriculum may not even work for a child for every year. As difficult as it may seem, choosing the right curriculum is a must. There are many kinds of curriculum available out there.

Sometimes it is tempting to get something just because it is new or just because it looks promising even though we know that many things don't work. That's why a careful evaluation of the homeschool and of the children is needed before and after purchasing a curriculum. It is important to acquire as much information as possible about the available curricula before buying. Always keep your goals in mind as you purchase and after you've had a chance to use the new teaching tool.

Before anything else, ask yourself the real reason why you are homeschooling. Maybe it's to provide a more challenging academic environment for your child. Maybe you want to ensure that your religious or moral principles are passed on. Or maybe it's to offer your child a richer learning environment than a structured classroom education provides. The answers to these questions will also help you narrow down your choices. Before purchasing a curriculum you need to have proper knowledge of your teaching style, your child(ren)'s learning style(s), the teaching approach taken by each curriculum and of course your budget.

It is also important to consider the different learning and teaching styles. There are basically three types of learners: the visual learner, the auditory learner, and the tactile learner. Children process information through sight, sound, or touch. Determine which kind is your child to make your choice of curriculum easier. You will also discover that you tend to communicate information most comfortably in one of those three ways.

Below are some additional guidelines in choosing the right curriculum:

Many schools contain curricular materials and teacher training materials. Pay a visit to one of your local schools and browse through their materials to help in your purchase decision.

Look for curriculum retailers that cater to homeschoolers. Ask the members of your local support group if you could look through the materials that they use.

Search curriculum vendors on the web. Some provide information, such as a picture, the number of pages, and the price. A few provide an overview along with the table of contents.

Ask curriculum vendors for catalogs. These will give you pictures and prices but not much else.

Visit your local college or university bookstore near the beginning of the semester and have a look around.

Look through an encyclopedia under mathematics and science and their subtopics, to get an idea of the topics involved in math and science subjects.

James Monahan is the owner and Senior Editor of and writes expert articles about curriculum.

3 Approaches To Homeschooling Your Children

There are almost as many approaches to homeschooling as there are parents undertaking homeschooling but over the years several general approaches have appeared. Here we look at just three of these.

The first approach is known as School-At-Home. This is perhaps the most commonly seen form of homeschooling and is the approach that most parents will try first.

Because the majority of parents have no experience of schooling children at home they turn to the 'experts' to design a curriculum for them and to supply them with the necessary teaching materials. The affect of this tends to be to simply transfer teaching from the pubic school classroom into the home.

Although this is not a bad starting point, parents often find that this approach is very hard on them and they struggle to cope with the amount of work it entails. They also find that teaching in this manner is not as easy as they thought it would be and find themselves uncertain of how to move forward so that progress is slow and frustration sets in quite easily.

In addition, where parents have removed their children from the public school system to continue their education at home, they often find that the teaching materials used in the School-At-Home approach are essentially the same as those which may have contributed to their child's lack of support in public school.

The second approach is known as Unit Studies. The principle here is to focus attention on the natural interests of the children and to build your teaching around these.

From our very earliest years we have a tendency to show an interest in certain things and to express our dislike of, or boredom with, others. We might for example express an interest in mathematics and science and boredom with literature and poetry. Similarly, we might demonstrate a love of nature and of being outdoors and a dislike of organized games and sport.

Unit Studies allows parents to take advantage of a child's interests and to structure a curriculum centered on these and which also incorporates these into subjects which are of less interest, but which are nonetheless necessary to ensure a rounded education.

The third approach is that of Classical Homeschooling. This is similar in many ways to the School-At-Home approach but makes use of superior teaching materials and is grounded in the classical methods first developed during the Middle Ages in the monasteries of the day. This is not to say however that this method today is centered on religion.

Classical Homeschooling aims to teach children to think, and ultimately to learn, for themselves and contains a great deal of what most parents will probably remembers as very dull rote learning. Nowadays techniques have been developed to remove much of the boredom from rote memorization and this is also helped considerably by allowing a child to learn in an ordered fashion.

Whatever approach you adopt you will almost certainly find yourself struggling a bit at first. However, with a little bit of trial and error you will be surprised how quickly you will find a method which suits both yourself and your child. provides information, advice and articles on all aspects of parenting and homeschooling covering everything from homeschooling vs public schools to homeschooling law.

Homeschooling – A Real Benefit

There are so many problems with our schools today that it can be a difficult choice to put your child on that bus each morning and send them away to an institution where it is likely little or no learning will take place throughout the day. Consider homeschooling your child. There are so many wonderful advantages.

One of the best things about homeschooling your child is the fact that you get to control what your children learn and when they learn it. There are so many worthless things being taught in our schools today. There are things your children shouldn't be learning. There are certainly age appropriate things that school districts tend to think are appropriate at increasingly, and alarmingly, earlier ages. The ability to control this is a real plus to homeschooling. Another advantage to homeschooling is that you can show your children that learning is a fun, exciting process that they should continue for the remainder of their lives. The schools of today simply cannot meet this need for most children. You can also build a great relationship with your child through homeschooling that simply would not be possible if you continued to send them away from you each day. Moreover, no matter what your child's strengths and weaknesses, you can give your child the personal attention they need in every subject area. If your child struggles with a particular subject, you can help them to understand the material better. If your child has an area he or she is great in, you can help them to further their knowledge. Finally, homeschooling allows you to protect your children from all of the negative things outside of your home. No longer will they have to be afraid of bullies at school. They will not have to see drug deals in front of their lockers. You will be able to keep them safe from many of the negative influences our school systems breed.

Consider homeschooling your child and you won't regret your decision.

If you need more information visit to learn about Home Schooling and a High School Diploma or if you prefer phone 1-800-736-GRAD (4723) or email

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