Wednesday, December 4, 2013

How to Choose the Best Homeschool Curriculum for Your Family

As you most likely already know, homeschooling is legal in all 50 states. Each state however has its own laws governing what is required of families that decide to homeschool. Some states, like Ohio, have many requirements and dictate which subjects must be part of the homeschool curriculum. Others, like Oklahoma and Mississippi do not make such demands. Ohio and Pennsylvania tend to have to most restrictive laws, like criminal background checks for households in PA that wish to educate at home. So how do you know how to get the best homeschool curriculum for your child? The laissez-faire states open up the choosing of the curriculum to the parent-teachers, while the stricter states still maintain some control of what is taught. They do so by either having subject requirements, annual standardized testing, or both. By forcing homeschooled children to pass state standardized testing, they force the homeschool curriculum to adhere, at least partially, to state dictated content. 

Anyone can Create the Best Homeschool Curriculum

Regardless of whether or not your state enforces some type of control over what you teach, with careful thought and research, it’s possible to put together the best homeschool curriculum that meets your personal philosophy and goals. There are many informational databases pointing parents to the newest or the best system, but it’s important to remember that you should find a series of learning tools that meet both your beliefs and your child’s learning style. The newest trendy homeschooling system may help some children, but does it fit into your core beliefs and play into your child’s strengths? Another important part of selecting proper books is to not put all of the weight of choice onto your own shoulders. The more considerate and thoughtful you are, the more you will end up second guessing yourself. There is nothing wrong with asking for advice from people that you respect intellectually. Your spouse or a brother or sister may offer a viewpoint that you did not previously consider. If you are a religious person, you may want to confide with your family’s priest, minister, or respective religious leader. It's always a good idea to take plenty of time and do a lot of research while putting together the best homeschool curriculum. You may also want to seek the advice of other parents with more experience than yourself. If you do not have any friends with home education experience, finding a support group could be useful. You can search for groups by state on this website. Another compilation of groups can be found here, but be aware that these groups are geared towards families of the Christian faith. If you have trouble finding a local group via the Internet, inquiring at your local community center could pay dividends. While building the best homeschool curriculum for your goals, no matter which homeschool supplies you choose, whether a shiny new complete series, or a used patchwork program, purchased books and supplements are only a portion of your education. Homemade materials can be equally effective, and make excellent supplemental aids. Another one of the wonderful advantages of teaching in an intimate setting is having the ability to alter and mold the teaching process to best suit your child. Your patience and creativity are just as important as the books you buy, so take your time and research all of your options when choosing a homeschool curriculum for your family.

No comments:

Post a Comment