Homeschool Curriculum

Many homeschool curriculums are available in packages to meet a wide variety of parental requirements or student needs from religious instruction to advanced academic studies. The most important part of every parent's decision to educate their child at home is a desire to have more influence over what information is being taught. A homeschool curriculum format allows a parent to provide an education in such a way as to maintain the family's cultural values. Children are less likely to be confused by the views of others who disagree with those values when they are provided a strong foundation at home. "And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children." (Isaiah 54:13)

Children can be cruel to one another by teasing those who are different from themselves. For instance, one family that is vegetarian found that others did not understand or accept their vegan lifestyle. Home schooling allowed them to avoid the negative comments by their children's peers therefore making it possible for the children to grow up in a positive environment. The homeschool curriculum that will appeal most to children and adults who are computer oriented will likely be online courses. Parents can investigate the "virtual classroom" before signing up to be sure it has what they want. Also, there are message boards online where people with similar experiences, such as military families, can exchange information. A third online service is a book fair that offers various publishers of home school instructional materials.

Some instructional material is geared toward self-teaching. For those students who are disciplined enough to handle it, this is a good route to take. Parents do not have to be quite so involved and instead, are overseers of the format. It will not take long to find out if this is a good fit for a student because the grades will inevitably show whether the desired progress is being made. Homeschool curriculums are available that will match public, private, and charter schools. Testing is also available that will determine whether a child is better suited for a private or charter school course environment. This decision will also determine what kind of college the student may be able to attend.

Just as in any other school, choices of instructional courses depend upon the desired outcome or goal. If simply receiving a high school diploma is the goal of providing home instruction, then advanced math, science or language courses won't be necessary. Sometimes one of the concerns that parents who are considering offering homeschool curriculum to their children may have, is the lack of socialization in a broader environment. However, most communities have organizations for families who have chosen homeschool curriculums for the education of their children. Parents can meet and discuss the various programs that each family uses while also providing a time of socialization for all their children. Another way this is addressed is that occasionally two or three sets of parents will teach together by having classes in one another's homes, thus allowing the children to learn alongside their friends.

Homeschool has garnered the reputation for being the alternative to traditional public or private schooling. But what is involved in this process and how do homeschools measure up? As it turns out, there are pros and cons to this alternative way of teaching and it may offer more benefits and options than one may think. "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." (Philipians 4:11)

This method of education can be found in every state all across the United States, conducted in homes, rented spaces or in school buildings that are state-funded and -regulated. Homeschools are offered to students of any age and in a couple of ways. They can be conducted online, through correspondence or in conjunction with a traditional public or private school; or parents and tutors can administer scheduled achievement tests. Most states require achievement tests for homeschool students.

The best direction to take is to become informed on state procedures and staying alert to news and updated policies regarding homeschools. There are a number of resources available, including magazines, events, support groups, state-sponsored websites and more. However, there are other things to consider when making this decision, perhaps the most important one is the relationship it has with college admissions.

The college admissions process is simpler than ever, helping students who attend homeschools gain admission and receive federal aid. The students must fulfill the same academic requirements and criteria for admission as those who attend a traditional school. Homeschool teachers and students should check the procedures and requirements for the college of choice and be aware of any changes or updates. The admissions guidelines may only become a small problem when accelerated learning comes into the picture.

One of the major advantages is the option and opportunity to learn and test out at a much more accelerated rate than their traditionally schooled counterparts. The seemingly disadvantage to this is that although the students are learning rapidly and can focus mainly on their academic achievements, they are not being socialized as well as they should.

Parents of children across the country have realized this problem and have come up with great ideas to combat it. They have begun to organize statewide and local proms, dinners and dances where parents and students of homeschool can come together to get to know each other, make friends and hopefully, stay in contact upon and after graduation.

The student can not receive a traditional high school diploma, but there are other options. A student may enroll full-time or part-time into a traditional school during senior year. Then the student may join clubs, play sports and participate in the graduation ceremony. The student also has the option to stay home and become part of an individual, local or state ceremony organized for home school students only. The student may also receive a standard GED. The great thing is that many colleges do not require a traditional diploma for admission.

Homeschool Resources

Homeschool resources are necessary for families that choose to educate their children at home and, fortunately, appropriate materials abound on the Internet to provide them with some of the best materials available today. From which curriculum to choose, to how to structure class days, a homeschool resource can offer loads of information and support to make homeschooling ventures everything a parent envisions. Helpful materials written especially for the homeschooler can assist parents in fulfilling God's directive found in Ephesians 6:4b, "...bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."

Quality material will answer many questions for the new home school parent. However, as parents begin to research homeschool resources, they may end up asking even more questions. For example, one homeschool resource may offer an excellent history curriculum, but how does a parent know if the activities are well-suited for a child's unique style of learning? Home educators may want to delay choosing a curriculum until a full understanding of the different learning styles are clearly understood in relation to each child.

After it is determined what type of curriculum should be used for each learner, research the many publishers to find the one that fits the preferred philosophy of education for the family. Many homeschool resources focus on one specific area such as the arts, math or foreign language. Others provide curriculum covering a full range of subjects for a specific grade level. For some subjects and grade levels, a quality textbook may be enough. For other subjects (especially the ones that aren't as popular among most children), a home educator may want to purchase an instructor's manual, a comprehensive subject kit, puzzles, games, and other complimentary materials available for those topics.

Designing a family's academic program depends largely on parental preferences. Even a bargain-priced homeschool resource will not be of much value if it is not used. Questions to answer when determining which formats to purchase are: How much time is available for preparing lesson plans? How much money is available each year for instructional material and how much interest do the children have in specialized subjects? These choices are part of what makes homeschooling so successful because no one-size-fits-all curricula are required. With all of the homeschool resources available, most families can generally find a successful formula.

In addition to providing curricula, some companies offer standardized testing and record-keeping services for homeschoolers. Another great homeschool resource for those who are seeking like-minded fellowship is an online chat room or message board. When it's close to midnight and a parent is wondering how to present a particular science lesson the next day, a kindred spirit may be found who can answer the most baffling questions. At the very least, perhaps camaraderie may be found with other parents who empathize about the challenges as well as the rewards of homeschooling.

Homeschool books are the foundation of any home learning center dedicated to providing students the very best of educational knowledge and tools that will prepare them for a productive lifetime. Parents and those involved in teaching children at home recognize the immense worth of books not only written by today's authors but by authors of a bygone era. Used homeschool books are where many parents and students find exciting and beneficial instruction alongside their newly purchased materials.

Instructional books can be found that address virtually every subject possible from English to Latin or math to bio-physics. The selection is limitless and any particular subject is never exhausted no matter how many homeschool books are found on the subject. The resources available explore subjects for homeschoolers on a varied reading difficulty level making it easy to choose what is appropriate for each age or grade level. Older, used homeschool books can provide a slightly different view of a current subject since they have been published earlier and reflect the influence of an earlier society.

These materials are used as complete textbooks for a single subject or can be provided as teaching aids used alongside a designated curriculum. Homeschool books can have Christian themes woven throughout and offer values teachings that are consistent with the convictions of each parent. Used homeschool books, especially those with some age, usually intrinsically reflect a more character conscious society which is highly appealing to some parents in their search for effective material.

Educational resource companies and many textbook companies offer a larger selection of products as part of an organized curriculum for homeschoolers. Some of the homeschool books offered are produced to be used in sequence from grade to grade as building blocks. This allows the student to have continuity in learning when adjusting to any company's style of teaching. Some resources are printed by denominational companies and cater particularly to those that wish to present an education from that point of view. Some are just generally evangelical and appeal to a broad sector of homeschooling advocates while others are generic in nature and do not reflect a religious theme at all.

New material can be found at many educational and curriculum websites complete with a search tool to more quickly find the book that is needed. Websites that offer exchanges and seller areas are a great place to look as well. Out of print and specialty book websites may also yield many great treasures, if the individual is patient in their search. The cost difference in new and used homeschool books can be dramatic, so parents must do their homework in finding the best prices. It may be possible to order materials online, or if preferred, parents may request a catalogue from most homeschool and educational websites to browse at their convenience. "My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of they mother." (Proverbs 1:10)

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