Homeschooling Methods and Curriculum Choices
The different homeschooling methods commonly used are closely tied to the homeschool curriculum choices you will find. There are many different approaches to any type of education, and homeschooling is no different. Various methods have developed over the years, and you will find plenty of opinions about which is the best.
This is another area where the best for a self-proclaimed expert is not necessarily the best for your family. Read about the different methodologies, then choose whichever approach seems to be a good fit for you and your children. Again, you can take parts of a number of approaches and combine them to create your own style of homeschooling. This is just one more example of how homeschooling is the ideal means for customizing the educational experience of your children.
Your choices for curriculum may seem unmanageable in the beginning, but if you learn a little about the general categories first, you will be able to narrow your options down to a more manageable list.
Many people feel almost paralyzed by the wide variety of choices available. It may help you to know in advance that there will indeed be countless choices, but you really don’t have to examine each and every one. Examine an overview of each method, and focus your further research in that area. And always remember that no choice is written in stone. If you find something doesn’t quite work as you expected you can always try something different.
Here is a list of some of the more commonly used methods of homeschooling you will come across:
For more detailed information, rather than repeating what others have already done so well, I will refer you to another website which has a comprehensive listing of the different methods of homeschooling, including descriptions and additional links:
When it comes time to choose a curriculum to follow, there are varying levels of decision making involved. By curriculum I am referring to the plan for which subjects to cover and which textbooks to use. The curriculum used by the various homeschooling methods usually fall into one of these categories:
Full Packaged Curriculum: One of the easiest ways to get started with homeschooling is to choose a full packaged curriculum. With these programs, you receive complete lesson plans, textbooks, assignments and tests, and answer keys. Quite often the service includes third-party grading of your child’s work. This is helpful if your state requires detailed reporting, or to ease the minds of any family members who are concerned about a complete education, or even just to help make your days run a little smoother. Please refer to this essay/article for a description of Homeschooling With a Packaged Curriculum
Guided curriculum with flexible choices for books: This option involves using a service to assist you in choosing appropriate subjects to cover and in determining a scope and sequence for each subject. Some of these companies also provide the option for review of the students’ work and the issuance of report cards. They will usually work with you to create a plan that best fits the needs of your child, and will usually allow substitution of text books while still providing a report card or other documentation of work completed. This choice is good for ensuring that you are covering everything you need to cover, and for some amount of record keeping while still being flexible regarding choices that work best for you.
Eclectic, do-it-yourself: This curriculum option involves choosing for yourself each of the subjects to cover, and which text books to use for them, without necessarily enrolling with a recording or grading service. The “eclectic” part of this refers to the fact that most such homeschooling families will pick and choose what they like from a variety of curriculum choices, and put together a truly custom home school plan. Most homeschooling families find themselves doing this after they have a few years of experience under their belts.
Take a little time to get an overview of each homeschooling method, and decide how much structure you feel you need in order to accomplish your homeschool goals. Once you’ve spent a bit of time educating your children you will have a good feel for what works for you.