Choosing Curriculum and Other Learning Materials
During your exploration period you had a chance to discover your child's likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses. You now know what topics she is interested in and have a pretty good idea how she learns best. You also know what your goals are for the semester and which homeschooling style best suits your family. Now you are ready to put together your curriculum.
The curriculum you purchase or make will in large part be determined by the homeschooling style you choose. If you choose to start out with the school-at-home approach, you will probably want to purchase a complete curriculum for your child's grade level. Be sure to fit the curriculum to the child, not the child to the curriculum. You don't have to finish every book or workbook. Anything that makes you or your children cry is just not worth it. There are so many wonderful programs available that it is not necessary to stay with something that doesn't work for you. Be prepared to make mistakes. Every homeschooler does.
If you want to try the Charlotte Mason, classical, Waldorf, Montessori, unit studies, or Moore Formula methods, you simply contact their representatives and order your supplies from them. If you choose to use an unschooling or relaxed homeschooling approach, then you will read through the various catalogues and order the materials that help you accomplish your goals. And remember that curriculum isn't made up only of books-field trips, Web sites, kits, art supplies, college classes, community projects, piano lessons, and private lessons can also make up your curriculum.
Homeschooling can cost as much or as little as your budget allows. In general, buying materials individually costs less than buying complete programs. Homeschooling conferences and curriculum fairs often include areas where homeschoolers can sell or trade used curriculum materials. And don't forget the Internet as a source for inexpensive online classes and free lesson plans.
Your homeschooling needs will change. What worked one year may not necessarily work the next. Your family's needs and interests will change, so buy just those materials that meet your present needs. And be sure to mold the curriculum to the child, not the child to the curriculum.
|Excerpted from: Homeschooling for Success: How Parents can Create a Superior Education for Their Child by Rebecca Kochenderfer and Elizabeth Kanna|