Table of Contents Hide
- Homeschooling Teaching Methods and Philosophies
- Choosing a Homeschool Curriculum
- Creating a Homeschool Schedule
- Homeschooling Support Resources
- Finding Local Resources
- Common Homeschooling Questions
Homeschooling has become an increasingly popular option for many families looking to take a more hands-on approach to their children’s education. Homeschooling Resources and Curriculum Options is fast becoming a growing industry because with homeschooling, parents have the freedom and flexibility to customize their child’s learning experience, while still ensuring they meet state educational standards.
However, for parents new to homeschooling, knowing where to start and what curriculum to choose can be overwhelming. That’s why we’ve created this comprehensive guide on the best homeschooling resources, covering everything from different teaching methods and philosophies to curriculum options, online classes, support groups and more.
Homeschooling Teaching Methods and Philosophies
When getting started with homeschooling, it’s important to determine what teaching philosophy best aligns with your educational goals and values. Here are some of the most popular homeschooling approaches:
1. Traditional Approach
The traditional approach closely mimics a classic school setting at home. Lessons are structured around a set curriculum and schedule. This method emphasizes textbook-based learning, practice and review. It’s a good fit for families who want to recreate the traditional classroom.
2. Charlotte Mason Approach
This literature-based approach focuses on cultivating a child’s natural curiosity through hands-on learning. Lessons integrate history, science, math and language arts into themes. It utilizes high-quality literature and minimizes textbooks.
3. Classical Education
The classical method follows the trivium model – grammar, logic and rhetoric. Lessons focus on critical thinking skills, persuasive writing and debate. Students study history chronologically from ancient to modern times. Latin, logic and philosophy are also key components.
Also known as interest-led learning, unschooling allows children to determine their own educational paths based on their interests and curiosity. There is no defined curriculum – instead, real-world experiences are the learning vehicle.
5. Eclectic Approach
As the name suggests, this is a blended approach that combines multiple homeschooling philosophies and curriculums. It allows families to customize the educational approach based on each child’s learning style and strengths.
Choosing a Homeschool Curriculum
When it comes to picking curriculum, there are some key factors to consider, including:
- Teaching Style: Does the curriculum align with your preferred homeschooling approach?
- Customization: How much flexibility does it provide to tailor lessons?
- Student Learning Style: Does it accommodate different learning styles like visual, auditory and kinesthetic?
- Educational Standards: Does it meet your state’s homeschool requirements?
- Cost: What is the curriculum price – is it one-time or ongoing fees?
Some of the most popular curriculum options include:
Comprehensive curriculums that include all subjects needed:
- Five in a Row
- My Father’s World
- Calvert Homeschool
- Oak Meadow
Curriculums focused on specific subjects:
- Singapore Math
- Saxon Math
- Explode the Code (phonics)
- Writing with Ease
- Story of the World (history)
Virtual curriculum with lessons delivered over the internet:
- Connections Academy
- Acellus Homeschool
Creating a Homeschool Schedule
Establishing a schedule helps provide structure and consistency in homeschool learning. When creating a schedule, consider:
- Core subjects: Prioritize key subjects like math, reading, writing.
- Short focused blocks: Shorter 30-60 minute blocks help maintain focus.
- Hands-on activities: Incorporate interactive, kinetic learning when possible.
- Flexible timing: Allow flexibility in schedule to adapt to some days going slower or faster.
- Breaks: Include regular breaks for snacks, lunch, physical activity.
- Review and assess: Set aside time each week to review material and assess mastery.
Sample Daily Schedule:
- 8-9 AM – Math
- 9-10 AM – English/Language Arts
- 10-10:30 AM – Break/Snack
- 10:30-11:30 AM – Science
- 11:30 AM-12 PM – History/Social Studies
- 12-1 PM – Lunch & Free Time
- 1-2 PM – Art/Music/Foreign Language
- 2-3 PM – Physical Education
- 3-3:30 – Wrap Up/Review
Homeschooling Support Resources
Homeschooling families don’t have to go it alone. Take advantage of these resources for guidance and support:
1. Support Groups
Join local homeschool groups for advice, socialization and activities. Great resources for field trips and making connections.
2. Online Forums
Online communities like homeschool.com allow connecting with other homeschoolers for tips and discussions.
State and national conventions offer workshops, seminars and vendor exhibits. Great for curriculum reviews and advice.
4. YouTube Channels
Channels like Homeschool on the Hillside and Homeschooling Mom of 4 provide encouragement and real-world advice.
Podcasts like The Homeschool Solutions Show and Homeschool Gold offer interviews and veteran homeschool insights.
Finding Local Resources
Connect with local resources to enrich your homeschool experience:
- Libraries – libraries often host educational programs, book clubs and maker spaces perfect for project-based learning.
- Museums – look for museum programs designed specifically for homeschool families and students.
- Nature Centers – nature centers provide outdoor science learning through guided tours, hikes and hands-on activities.
- Businesses – grocery stores, restaurants and local businesses may allow educational field trip visits.
- Colleges – local community colleges can be a resource for auditing classes, tours, libraries and events.
- Parks – state and national parks design educational and hands-on programming for kids.
Common Homeschooling Questions
If you’re exploring homeschooling, it’s natural to have lots of questions. Here we answer some of the most frequently asked:
Is homeschooling legal?
Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states, but regulations vary widely by state. Research your state’s specific homeschool laws to ensure compliance.
What are the qualifications to homeschool?
Homeschool qualifications differ by state – some require parents to hold a high school diploma or GED, while many have no formal requirements. Again, check your state regulations.
How do you begin homeschooling?
Typical first steps when starting out include choosing your homeschool approach, researching curriculum options, establishing a schedule, finding local resources and notifying your school district if required.
What subjects do you need to teach?
Required subjects vary by state, but usually include: math, English/language arts, social studies/history, science and physical education. Many also incorporate art, music, foreign language, technology and life skills.
How do homeschooled students get socialization?
Contrary to popular myth, homeschoolers have many social outlets through local groups, extracurricular activities, community events and online platforms. Families can customize social interactions based on their child’s needs.
What is the cost of homeschooling?
Homeschool costs vary widely based on chosen curriculum and activities. On average, homeschooling costs range from $500-$1000 per student annually. Many resources are low cost or free.
Is there an online homeschool?
Yes, full online academies like K12 and Connections Academy offer structured virtual public school at home led by state-certified teachers. Some local schools also have distance learning options.
Can you homeschool part-time?
Many states allow hybrid schooling options like homeschooling part of the week plus attending traditional school part-time. This provides flexibility to blend approaches.
We hope this comprehensive guide has helped provide clarity and direction on the best resources for beginning your homeschool journey. The key is choosing an approach that aligns with your family’s educational philosophy and customizing curriculum and activities to meet your child’s learning needs and interests. Homeschooling is a wonderful opportunity to bond with your children while giving them a love of learning