Home School Curriculum

Home schooling has come a long way. From the early days when parents merely passed on what knowledge they had, perhaps sometimes supplemented by instruction from an itinerant tutor, it is now an acceptable alternative to institutionalized education and is a legal alternative for parents in all fifty states.

While home school allows parents to decide, within certain prescribed parameters, what and how they will teach their children, it is always advisable to work with a recognized home school curriculum. There are many home school curricula available; all with different approaches and philosophies to education and the teaching and learning process. What every home school curriculum has in common is that is works towards ensuring that at the end of the home schooling process, a child has achieved a sufficient level of knowledge and developed the cognitive skills to enable him or her to function successfully in the outside world. Among the popular home school curricula parents can choose from are (in alphabetical order):

Charlotte Mason
Classical
Computer based / Online
Eclectic
Literature based
Montessori
Relaxed
Text and work book
Thomas Jefferson
Unit study
Unschooling
Virtual
Waldorf

The best way to understand the different types of curricula and the advantages and drawbacks of each is to study them all in detail. Extensive data is available on the internet. Once you have understood the various options available, consider your life goals for your child and which home study curriculum fits that requirement. Each curriculum will have its own objectives so it is important to find one that is right for your child’s future.

Balance this by considering your child’s learning style. The great advantage of home schooling is that child may learn in a way that suits him or her best. Forcing a home school curriculum on a child who is not suited to that way of learning defeats the whole purpose of home schooling. If it is possible, attend a few home schooling fairs that will give you an opportunity to interact with the companies offering the various curricula to understand more and also ask questions.

Having shortlisted two or three, check your state’s home school laws and regulations to see which of the options best meets these requirements. What you have left are home school curricula to choose from that are both legal and suitable for your child.

While working with the chosen home school curriculum is important, you do not have to be bound to following the procedure to the smallest detail. You can modify the curriculum to meet your child specific needs. If your child is more of a “practical” learner, focus more or practical work than on “classroom” work. What is important is the level on knowledge the child acquires at what stage of his or her education, not so much as to how it was learned.

Keep searching the internet and magazines / catalogs for new materials and programs that you can consider using.

Remember that you do not have to purchase all the material from the same company. An Eclectic Home Schooling Curriculum allows you to buy curricula for different subjects from different suppliers.