Choosing a Homeschool Curriculum

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Homeschool Curriculum
Did You Know You Can Get Textbooks at Your Library?

Should you homeschool? If you are a first time home school parent you will undoubtedly have lots of questions. Take a deep breath and take it one step at a time. Read this helpful link with thoughts to consider in making your decision to home school or not. Issues to consider…

Once you have made your decision should you decide to home school there are some first steps that you will need to take.

1. Find a support group. There are support groups located all over Arizona and you will want to plan to visit several before you find the group that is just right for you. Check out a list of Arizona home school groups at Homeschool .com 

2. Choose how you will teach. There are online resources available as well as standard curriculum. I personally have found that in the interest of keeping cost low it is great to purchase used teachers manuals from Amazon and then supplement these materials with free printable worksheets.

3. Get a Home school Affidavit. The home school affidavit is required in the state of Arizona to home school legally. You need to take your child’s birth certificate to the county and register your home school student.

You may also want to read about Choosing a Homeschool Curriculum.

It is easy to get overwhelmed when choosing a home school curriculum. Making it very important to ‘just stick to the facts.’

What are the ages of your children? 

There are two routes you can take with elementary age children.  You can either order a traditional curriculum that is all inclusive such as #Abeka or #Apologia; or you can purchase a guide book such as “What your child needs to know in (insert grade here)” and download worksheets and printable ideas from the Internet.  Should you choose this route you can find lots of helpful links to the right of this blog post.  If your children are older then you may need to consider a more formal curriculum. 

What is your faith?

Most curriculum teaches from a perspective.  You will need to consider your perspective when choosing a curriculum.  #Apologia is my favorite curriculum for teaching science from a Creation perspective. I teach from a curriculum that only considers intelligent design however I want my children to be educated on the evolutionary perspective because I believe it will strengthen their knowledge about creation.  So, I supplement this book with lessons from Jonathan Park about evolution from a creationist perspective.

How will you teach?

Some home school parents are very creative and want the freedom to think up all kinds of crafts and science projects but more often than not we need a set lesson plan.  There are even curriculum’s that do the teaching for you through video conferencing (see #Abeka).

A word on online education.

Many home school families are beginning to use online charter schools.  These schools will send you a computer and free supplies as well as providing the services of a teacher.  These schools are working well for lots of families and they may be a good fit for you.  The important thing to remember with online education is that you are enrolling your child in a school that is part of the public school system and therefore you could be muddying the waters a bit.  If you use an online school you need to consider the fact that you are giving the public school system access to your private home. 

Homeschooling in a Small Space

When our family first downsized from a house to an apartment I was very concerned about how I would home school our small children, but it worked out great. Here are a few tips:
1. Stay organized. I found that if I organized the kids worksheets and lesson plans in folders at the beginning of each week they were easy to keep track of. I have one large basket (kept out of reach) where I store the folders along with my teachers manuals.

2. Give them time to burn off that extra energy. When you live in a small space they kids don’t get out as much, so we have recess. I plan a recess time; usually mid morning works best for my children. 

3. Know your kids. My daughter works best in the afternoon and evening; my son is most alert in the morning. So, I work with my son in the morning, he is younger and in the afternoon (after recess) he goes down for a nap and my daughter can get some serious work done.
4. Frequent the library. Many times there is not much room for storage when you downsize; make use of the library for books, DVDs and software.
You may also want to consider making Mobile School Baskets.
No matter what size home you have Anchors, Routines and Stations can help organize your day.

More resources for schooling online….

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