Home Schooling Programs
When you look at home schooling programs, it's easy to get confused. This article will give you some basic steps you can take when you are looking at curriculum and resources to use for homeschooling. My comments are at the end.
Homeschool Program - How to Decide What's Right For Your Child by Don Rodriguez
You have decided to home school your child or children. No doubt, a lot of study, meditation, and consultations went into making this critical decision for your child's education. Unfortunately, your work is not done. Your next biggest decision is which homeschool program you will select for your child's education. Following are some important factors you need to consider in making a decision.
The first is which curriculum base you are most interested in using for your child. There are various curriculum sources: Montessori, religion based, classical, unit studies, Waldorf, to name a few. In conjunction with this consideration should be whether you will want a secular or religious-based education for your child. There are various choices within each category.
Next is whether you should acquire your textbooks from a school supplies store or sign up for a school and acquire your textbooks from that school. The first you make all the decisions as to which textbooks you will use and then order them. The latter offers certain textbook tracks and modules and you decide which one you will employ. However, the school will provide you with many more services and resources other than textbooks and thus there are compelling reasons for deciding in favor of a school from which to obtain your textbooks.
Finally, you want to give some thought to the ages of your children and the type of textbooks which are most appropriate for them at their particular age. Keep in mind that younger children learn differently than older children and so you might explore activities based textbooks for younger children and more critical thinking oriented for older children.
Once you have worked through the above concerns, you are now ready to consider the specific courses you will offer. That is a much easier task if you have done the above satisfactorily. No doubt, your state will require you to teach a core group of courses which ought to receive top priority. Only after making sure the basics are covered should you add other courses.
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My Comments: This author makes some good points about home schooling programs. Before you start looking at any curriculum, you need to be sure you know what method you will be using for homeschooling. What is your style of teaching? What type of method fits your personality and your child's?
If you are someone who likes to come up with ideas for your day as you go along, then Abeka will probably not fit your family. If you need structure to your day, then you will probably want to follow some type of schedule and have a plan of what you want to accomplish.
Once you have looked at the styles of homeschooling and learning styles of children, you are ready to look at home schooling programs. There are secular and Christian curriculums.
If you are living out your Christian faith, you don't necessarily need to teach your children with only Christian materials. A Spectrum or Math U See Math book will do just as well as an Abeka Math book. The main subjects you will need to be careful of Christian beliefs would be in the areas of Science and History. There are good home schooling programs that are very well done and yet are not necessarily considered Christian.
I caution you not to pick a home schooling program just because it is Christian. I encourage you to choose a program that will fit in with what is a good fit for your family. Some good Christian Science and History programs include Apologia, Answers in Genesis, Story of the World, Mystery of History, and History of US. There are others out there. Those are just the ones that we have used and liked.
There are many places to get new and used books and curriculum. You can shop around for the best price online. The author above makes it sound like you have to have textbooks for homeschooling, but I have to disagree on that point. You can easily homeschool without textbooks and still give your children a quality education.
When purchasing books, I encourage people to start with the homeschool subjects Reading, Writing and Math first. Once they get those picked out, then they can think about Bible, History, Science, and the rest. Your state homeschool laws will give you a place to start when choosing subjects. Just take it one step at a time and you will be able to keep from getting too overwhelmed at first.
Remember, you know your children best and love them more than anyone else. With prayerful consideration, you can choose a home schooling program and course of study that will fit your needs and give your children a quality education.
Here are some of my favorite homeschool resources if you want to look over my shoulder and see what a veteran homeschool mom likes.
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