Monday, August 14, 2017

Choices, Choices and More Choices - Picking Curriculum

I remember the first year we homeschooled. I was lost! I didn't have a clue about curriculum. Therefore, I merely purchased the same curriculum my son had used in his Christian School the previous year. This particular curriculum was very rigid. It took my son two hours to write one sentence. At this juncture, he had not been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome (High-Functioning Autism), ADHD, nor Dyscalculia and Dysgraphia (Learning Disabilities).

As we enter our ninth year of homeschooling, my view has changed and adapted as I have learned alongside my son. Now, our goal is for him to learn and grow at a pace that is comfortable for him. We are more relaxed. Our style has shifted to eclectic. I've learned to harness my son's strengths, to hone his interests and use them to guide us, and to find creative methods to work on the areas in which he struggles and make these tasks less daunting.

There are a myriad of choices when it comes to homeschool curriculum. It can be overwhelming, especially to newcomers. If you are a newcomer, I encourage you to join a homeschool group. These mommas are a wealth of information and experience. Utilize their knowledge. Ask them why they like the curriculum they use and what they don't like about that particular curriculum. Participate in online homeschool groups. Again, ask what these parents use for curriculum, what they like about it, and what they would change about it. Another excellent resource are reviews like those done by the Homeschool Review Crew. Furthermore, most curriculum providers offer samples of their product. View these samples. Work on them with your child and see how it fits with your homeschool style. Finally, attend a curriculum fair and browse the books, workbooks, and other supplies first hand.

As I mentioned earlier, we follow an eclectic style. We use curriculum that tailors to my son's interests and helps his knowledge about the subject grow. We incorporate living books, videos, online programs, texts, workbooks, audiobooks, worksheets, hands-on projects, and field trips. I also utilize free resources online from programs like Easy Peasy, Kids Discover, Ambleside, Lesson Pathways, and Khan Academy. We also utilize dice, card, and board games that help facilitate learning. The key is to foster an environment where learning happens.

Thank you for joining me today. Please come back tomorrow for What I Can't Homeschool Without - School Supplies. Furthermore, you can view other posts about curriculum on the Homeschool Review Crew.

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