Choosing the best homeschooling curriculum for your children is not an easy task. But, by well understanding your kids, yourself, and your situation, you can reduce stress when making choices.
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No matter how long you have been homeschooling, deciding the best curriculum is always challenging. In fact, the best curriculum is the most suitable one. However, each person is a separate individual. We have unique physical and psychological characteristics. So, what needs to be considered when choosing the best homeschooling curriculum? This blog will reveal three things:
Let’s explore them one by one.
#1. Understand Your Children
When choosing the best homeschooling curriculum, the first thing you should care about is your children. Let them be the center of the education process as well as your target customers. Understanding them helps you make better decisions. The learning programs that adapt their learning styles, abilities, and support their interests help home education much more effectively.
Students approach knowledge in different ways due to the differences in learning styles. Each of them learns best when knowledge is presented in a particular way. Understanding learning styles is essential for effective learning. The VARK model identifies 4 learning styles. They are visual, auditory, read/write, and kinesthetic. Knowing your children’s learning styles, you can choose the best homeschooling curriculum for them.
For example, your kids are visual learners. But the learning tasks are reading textbooks or writing essays day-by-day. They will run out of learning motivation. So, you pick the one including visual support such as images or videos, instead.
Next, choose a curriculum that is suitable for the real abilities of kids. Kids’ abilities are different one by one and subject by subject. A kid can excel in this subject but struggle with another one. Furthermore, parents tend to make choices based on kids’ age or what they assume. It is a mistake you should avoid.
For instance, your kid is in 5th grade. Commonly, you will pick up the 5th-grade courses and learning materials. But, if your kid is a master of 5th-grade mathematics, you can upgrade to 6th-grade or more. Meanwhile, he may struggle with foreign language lessons. Then, downgrade to lower levels.
In short, parents should know where kids stand. Thanks to that, they can choose the curriculum that adapts to kids’ abilities.
People tend to perform what they like better than what they don’t. Similarly, students can learn better if they realize that learning is fun. If the curriculum is related to their interests, they will study proactively. So, you can ask them what they’d like to learn at first.
For instance, if they are interested in animals, you can arrange field trips to the zoo or get them zoology lessons. Thanks to that, their love for animals can be nourished. If they like music, you can use foreign language songs for listening lessons. Or, add some instrumental lessons to the curriculum such as piano or guitar. They will be so grateful to you.
So, let’s add some programs that support their preferences. That can benefit the learning and teaching process so much.
#2. Keep Yourself in Mind
Besides understanding your kids, think about yourself before choosing the best homeschooling curriculum. Note that parents play an important role in homeschooling. Hence, remember to keep yourself in mind when making choices.
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Children have learning styles. Similarly, parents have teaching styles. If you only care about your child’s learning style but do not keep your teaching style in mind, you will end up hating lessons or skipping them altogether. Of course, it’s best if you can find the one that is suitable for both. But, that’s not easy.
For example, your kid prefers to listen to get information or retain the knowledge. But, you are sick of reading anything out loud or talking all day long. So, a curriculum including audiobooks is a good idea.
Also, you should consider your teaching capacity. You are not a master of all subjects for sure. For this reason, you have to improve your teaching capacity. Besides, think of how long you can spend with children per day. Apart from educating them, you have to do many daily tasks. So, how to keep everything balanced? Furthermore, how many children you are homeschooling affects your teaching capacity too. Based on these factors, you can decide to select a curriculum that needs more or less your involvement.
#3. Consider Your Situation
Apart from your kids and yourself, considering your situation is the last thing to bear in mind before choosing the best homeschooling curriculum.
In America, each state has its regulations for homeschooling. It may require some specific subjects. Also, homeschooled students may need to take standardized tests or show proof of meeting standards or benchmarks. For example, New Mexico does not require any test. But, reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science are compulsory subjects. Besides, parents have to notify the state each year and keep track of children’s attendance (180 days). Homeschooled kids must have a diploma or GED and immunization records. So, make sure your curriculum complies with the laws.
What are your priorities in your children’s learning? The answer can help you reduce stress when choosing a homeschooling curriculum. They can vary from family to family, even child to child. Moreover, it’s likely to change from year to year.
For example, if your kid is in 1st or 2nd grade, your priorities may be literature and mathematics. If you intend to send him to study abroad, foreign languages may become your priority.
Additionally, create a learning plan depending on your priority. For example, your priority is mathematics. So, you should spend more time on it.
Don’t forget about money. Before searching for a homeschooling curriculum, create your budget. Try to find the one that adapts both your needs and your finances. Many parents are in the case that they find a perfect curriculum, but it’s over the budget. So, how to deal with it?
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Remember that curriculum is only a tool that supports you to homeschool your children. Some kids still perform well even though they don’t follow any curriculum. If you can not afford that expensive curriculum, don’t worry! Find an affordable one. Besides, you can consider free curricula, for example, Khan Academy, if you have a limited budget.
One more attention is not to see only the base cost of a curriculum, then buy it. You should find out what extra materials are needed and how much it costs to complete a year of the curriculum.
If you are reading here, maybe you know how to choose the best homeschooling curriculum for your children. Hope that this blog benefits you. Don’t forget to visit our Blog for more helpful and informative articles.