Choosing the right homeschool curriculum can be an overwhelming task. There are some things that you should look for along your search.
The first thing that you should know is what the laws in your state are. These can be found on your state’s homeschool website. Finding your state’s homeschool website will point you to the curriculum that they recommend.
While this may be somewhat helpful, you may still be wondering what the difference between a homeschool curriculum and a homeschool method of instruction is. Simply put, curriculum is the material that is to be taught while the method is the approach that you use to teach the material. For instance, your homeschool curriculum may include learning about colors while your homeschool method is to use painting to learn about the various colors.
On most homeschool websites you will find homeschool curriculum but you will have to go to a commercial site or publication in order to find materials.
Unfortunately, there is not a standard location where curriculum can be found. Thus, you either have to ask someone or perform an informed search. If you decide to search for the material yourself, here are some words and phrases to use:
· “homeschool publications”
· “homeschool resources”
· “homeschool downloads”
· “homeschool standards”
· “homeschool frameworks”
· “homeschool model curriculum”
· “homeschool assessment”
You need to know and understand that a lot of sites think that they are providing good guidance by dividing their material into what they think teachers, parents and students may benefit from. As a homeschooling parent you are essentially a teacher and thus you want to look at the teacher’s section because this is where you will find curriculum and assessment material.
Of course, you can also find curriculum located at other places including in books and other publications or at online stores such as those that are ran by homeschoolers, teachers and commercial companies. Your state may even simplify things by telling you what curriculum meets their requirements. If not, then you can look for curriculum with a specific orientation such as secular or Christian. Of course, you can also choose to use different materials for each subject. Some of this can even be found at the major online bookstores simply by searching for the term “homeschool” and any other specific keyword that you may want to add such as preschool, science, assessment, etc.
Another thing that you can do is develop your own homeschool curriculum. This takes a lot of initiative though. The aforementioned searches can help you get started or they can simply serve as inspiration. Another place to look is at other states’ websites.