Monday, February 1, 2010

Ok, So I am Going to Homeschool Now What??

If you are a new homeschooler you probably  have thought this at one time or another. Or as you plug away through your year, you might be thinking this is not working, now what?

Often times as new homeschoolers, when we start we start with what we know about. If we have a friend using a certain curriculum or program, we try it. If it worked for them it will work for us, right? Not necessarily!

Once you have decide to homeschool, or once you realize that you need to change what you are doing, there are several resources you can use to help you design your own curriculum. What does that mean?

Basically you can either pay someone else to design your curriculum for you, this would be Abeka, Bob Jones, Rod and Staff, Sonlight, My Father's World, etc... these curriculum companies give you the opportunity to purchase all your curriculum in a box. Which is where the term boxed curriculum. Many, many families have great success with purchasing and using boxed curriculum.

However, sometimes the cost can be pretty hefty, especially if you have a large family. Or you may have some special learning needs in your family, and this may require you to design your own curriculum. So where do you start?

There are several resources that I have used to design our homeschool curriculum. The first book I would recommend would be; Home Learning Year by Year,
How to Design a Homeschool Curriculum from Preschool Through High School by Rebecca Rupp.
This book has been invaluable to me in the developing a curriculum for my homeschool.  You can either use it to design your curriculum, or you can use it to make sure what you have designed has not left major gaps.
Another great book is, What Your Child Needs to Know When, According to the State, According to the Bible, by Robin Sampson. In this book you will find not only great information aon biblical standards versus worldly ones, you will also find checklists with room for 5 children, to ensure your children are on track. This is good for grade K-8.

You might be saying, that those are great, but you really do not have the budget to spend on books right now. There are also a couple of great resources online that can help guide you on your homeschool journey.

One of those is World Book Encyclopedia Scope and Sequence. On this site you will find a typical course study from preschool all the way up to high school. It is not curriculum, but it will point you in the direction of where you need to go.

Another great website is Old Fashioned Education.
The creator of this website, created this curriculum for her children. She created it from Kindergarten -11th grade. She was a mother of 2 active boys with little to no budget for homeschooling. You can use her website to show you how to create lesson plans, or you can use the ones she created. You can follow exactly what she supplies or you can use it as a spring board or as supplement.
On Old Fashioned Education, you will find a full curriculum. Just about everything you need is there, for free. In the form of free resources on the internet (such as free e-books from the people of Answer in Genesis) , or books that have lost their copyright, so they are available for free. So these books are old.  We have utilized this website many times throughout our homeschooling.
There are many resources available on the site, to help you get started.

If you find your self homeschooling and really have no clue where to start, in addition, to the resources listed here, you can also peruse the big curriculum companies ( listed above) and see what they teach in what grade and that will help you choose how to construct your lessons.

My prayer is that one or more of these resources wil be a blessing to you and  your homeschool.

Happy Homeschooling!

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