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How to choose the right homeschool curriculum from all the options

So many curriculum options?  How to choose?

So many curriculum options? How to choose? Free workshop.

How do I know what materials to use in homeschooling?  There are so many choices, it gets confusing!  Does it make any difference which curriculum I use?

Each homeschool publisher has a certain philosophy about education, and their materials will reflect their view about the best learning methods.  The instructional styles can be broadly stated in five categories with some overlap among them.  For many homeschoolers, the way information is presented will make a huge difference in how readily they can receive and comprehend the lesson.  Parents who understand their options and their children’s strengths will be more equipped to make wise curriculum choices.

  1. Traditional Textbooks:  Underlying philosophy:  Children at each age level have a certain body of knowledge to be learned to complete each grade.  The text is read and discussed, questions from the material are answered and tests are given to validate the acquisition of knowledge and passing the course.
     
  2. Worktexts:  These are textbooks broken down into several workbooks.  The material is typically the same, but the books themselves are more portable and less intimidating than a large volume.  Often the units are shorter with more questions to fill in as the student goes along.
     
  3. Unit Studies:  Underlying philosophy:  Learning best occurs when there is deeper involvement with a topic from multiple avenues in the brain. Several subjects are tied together in one theme so there is a more intense, holistic focus on a particular topic.  These may be pre-packaged or self-created, and may encompass  a whole year’s course or may be just a segment of the year on one small aspect of the program.  The implementation may include lots of hands-on activities or may be more literature-based.
     
  4. Classical/Literature-based:  Underlying philosophy: Materials and methods from earlier cultures enrich the understanding and application of time-tested principles for modern times.  Emphasis is on Greek, Roman, and Renaissance literature and the Socratic approach to instruction. (Dialog of ideas, challenge to develop logical thinking in Language Arts and Math and Science).  Often Greek or Latin are studied with emphasis on vocabulary, word roots and meanings, and undestanding of the cultures.
     
  5. Unschooling:  Underlying philosphy:  Children are created to learn, and, if given a nurturing environment, will seek out knowledge and information when they are ready for it.  Parents are available as guides in the process.  This is a less structured approach, and the heart of it is listening to the children’s comments and questions to hear their interests, and to be ready to respond with the knowledge they seek.  Often, there is a large experiential component-both in experimentation and in being atuned to life experiences.

Read more about practical applications of curriculum knowledge to meet your families needs and a free workshop on how to put it all together.

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