Want to Homeschool Your Kids? 4 Resources for Crafting a Curriculum
By Anica Oaks
Whether you’ve known you wanted to homeschool your kids since they were born, or made the decision recently after something happened at school, the start of this journey can be a bit overwhelming.
You may not know where to start. Curriculum, in particular, can feel like a challenge. But it doesn’t have to be. Here are four easy resources for crafting a curriculum for your kids.
Local Homeschool Groups
State laws vary, and this means you must know how they affect how much time you need to spend on schooling, what subjects you must teach, and even whether or not you need to register with your local school district or if you can use an umbrella school. This makes local homeschool groups a great resource. The parents will be familiar with your state’s laws and know what’s required of you. This means that whatever they recommend, you can be relatively certain that it will meet the requirements of your state.
Another added benefit of asking your local groups is that many times, there will be a parent or two willing to loan you their materials so you can give it a trial run and see if it works for you and your child. This saves you money and time. Sometimes, they’ll even sell you their old materials if it works for you, so you don’t have to try to find it online and wait for it to ship.
Look for Enrichment Resource Lists
Many online curriculums, umbrella schools, and virtual schools offer resource lists and homeschool curriculum on their websites. These resource lists can often be a treasure trove of possibilities to help you cover subjects ranging from art to music, foreign language to math or even science. Because they’re put together and vetted by a source with a vested interest in successful homeschoolers, you can trust that these resources are not only valid, but worth the time.
Many times, these lists are made up of resources that are all found online, and often, they’re free or offer a free trial to allow you to test the service out. Again, this saves you time and money, if it turns out a particular resource doesn’t work for you.
Social Media Homeschool Groups
Community groups, like those found on Facebook, can also be a great resource. While these groups often have members that are from all over the country, or even the world, they’re also filled with homeschooling parents that range the whole spectrum, from newbies to veterans. You can rely on the fact that, regardless of their experience level, these parents won’t recommend something to you if they don’t truly believe it’s great.
These parents are usually able to give you a direct link to the exact product they’re referring to, cutting down on confusion and doubt for you. Sometimes, they can also offer you a discount code that will save you a little money.
Use Curriculum Reviews
Talking to other parents, locally and online, is great, and using resource lists that are updated regularly can be helpful, but sometimes you need something a little different. Sometimes looking at straight reviews is the best way to find what you’re looking for.
Use online curriculum reviews to find information such as publisher, price, grade range, learning style and reviews from people who’ve used it. These reviews are often very straightforward, with facts and figures, making it easier to compare curricula and determine which one is best for you.
Creating, or choosing, the right curriculum for your child isn’t a simple process. But with the right combination of resources, some patience, and a little trial and error, you can do it. And if it doesn’t work, you can always use your resources again to tweak it.