You’ve decided to homeschool (if you are still pondering, check out our last homeschooling post). Now what? What type of books should you use? What resources are out there to help you? It is easy to be overwhelmed; there are a million and one resources out there, and a quick google cannot answer all of your questions. As a former homeschooled student and current homeschooling educator, I am going to help you find a jumping-off point. Here are some basics about important resources for new homeschoolers.
First, get familiar with your state’s laws about homeschooling. Homeschooling is legal in all fifty states, but each state has different educational requirements for you and your children. It’s important to give your kids the best education you can, and a great start is to make sure you are aligned with the guidelines of the state where you live. Some states also provide some curriculum (books and lesson materials) and resources for homeschool families! (We love free resources!)
Now it’s time to look into types of curriculum and homeschool styles. There are so many options across the board for types of homeschool situations. I will give you a basic rundown of the main curriculum-based homeschooling types.
Box Curriculum - Some people prefer to use a ‘box curriculum,’ which is a one-brand pack of all core subjects for one grade. This does take the least amount of planning, however, in my opinion, education is not one-size-fits-all. The way this program explains math may be fine for your student or educational style, but their reading or science could potentially just not click. If you consider a box curriculum, make sure you and your children respond well to it in all subjects.
- Eclectic Curriculum - Most veteran homeschoolers tend to use a blend of curriculums from different companies and at different levels (that are age-appropriate). Blending different types of curriculum also opens the door to in-person or virtual tutoring, or doing classes with other homeschoolers (called ‘co-ops’). This one gets my special seal of approval because of its versatility and blend of structure and flexibility.
To give you a sample of the types of box or eclectic curriculum out there, I am including this helpful resource of many secular (non-religious, because there are plenty of resources for all different religions, but I have a word limit) curriculum options. I even studied from some of these when I was in grade school, but they have been updated many times since then.
Whether you lean box or eclectic, it is crucial to have support. As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child. And in my opinion, it takes even more support to thoroughly educate one! The best piece of advice I can give you is to find community support. School teachers are mentored, work in cohorts, and pool their resources. That is what creates the most successful education systems. So why can’t you as a home educator do the same? When I was homeschooled, we belonged to a homeschool support group that provided us with invaluable experiences to find other homeschoolers, educational opportunities, and mentorship. There are dozens of Facebook groups, blogs, and in-person groups out there. Take some to look for one in your area. Not to mention tutoring, which is an invaluable resource for whenever you are struggling to teach a concept to your child. After many tears and fights, my mom got me a tutor to help with fractions, and it changed my life (and confidence when it came to math).
So what are you waiting for? Jump into finding a community group, peruse some curriculums, and enjoy it! This is a gift of time with your child to explore and learn!
And if you want to save your student from many tears and fights over fractions, contact us at A-List to help!