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Learning About Your Teaching Materials for Homeschooling

After you obtain the teaching materials for a subject's curriculum, you need to spend some time with those materials to get familiar with them. Specifically, examine the materials to answer the following questions:

  • How is the material designed to be delivered? Is it broken out into daily lessons or larger chunks?
  • How long is each session expected to take?
  • What kind of work is the child expected to do?
  • Do I have all supplemental materials that I need, such as the teacher's guide or student workbooks? If not, you will need to get them before the school year starts.
  • How do supplemental materials, such as a teacher's guide or answer key fit in?
  • What kind of other materials will I need to use the materials? For example, are special kinds of paper needed? Do I need special writing instruments or other tools, such as rulers, compasses, and so on? Make sure you identify and obtain any materials like this before you start teaching.
  • Does the material really match my expectations of it? Occasionally, especially if you haven't been able to examine materials directly, you will end up with materials that aren't what you expected. Don't hesitate to return such materials and replace them with materials that do match your needs. You should never use materials just because you have them.
  • Do the materials I obtained really cover the subject or will I need to supplement the materials with materials from different sources?
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Reproduced from Absolute Beginner's Guide to Homeschooling, by Brad Miser, by permission of Pearson Education. Copyright © 2005 by Que Publishing. Please visit http://www.informit.com/store/product.aspx?isbn=0789732777 to order your own copy.


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