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Welcome to the exciting world of
If this is your first year, we understand how overwhelming
choosing your child's homeschool curriculum can be.
There are so many web-sites, catalogues,
and products from which to choose!
How do you know what is right for your child?
Well, that's where we can help.
We are here to assist you in the development of your child's
complete homeschool curriculum program.
General Guidelines for Curriculum Development
"Keep it Simple"
We wish to share a few ideas
that we have found can be helpful when choosing curriculum for your
child/children. The information contained here is based over 20 years of
involvement in the textbook industry and the homeschool movement in general. We do not claim to be experts when it
comes to curriculum development. We just know what has worked for our customers.
Through the years we have
noticed a “trend” in the home school movement. There is an increasing number
of home schoolers who desire a more structured and/or traditional curriculum.
This becomes especially apparent when their children reach middle school.
Parents express the need for guidelines as to what to teach and when to teach
developing complete curriculum packages for our customers, we usually stick with the 6
basics which are listed below. Please note that the recommended
subjects/grades are just that - recommendations. ....every child is different.
Obviously, Bible study and electives such as Latin, Greek, logic, foreign
language, accounting, speech, home economics, art, music, drafting etc. can be
used along with whatever program you may choose. Always consider your state home
school law when choosing curriculum.
comprehensive phonics program can be either “pieced together”
(based on your child’s level of need) or can be purchased as a
pre-packaged kit. Phonics is the foundation of reading, which is
the foundation of learning. Phonics is usually taught from
kindergarten through around 3rd grade and obviously overlaps with
Traditional spelling texts (which are usually
designed for grades 1-6) will include a variety of other skills
like word usage, dictionary skills, prefixes and suffixes,
definitions, writing etc.
Vocabulary building programs are usually designed for
grades 7-12 and are often workbooks which will include a variety
of exercises and may include Latin.
Your basic grade level
history text for grades 1-6 usually covers a number of topics like American
history, geography, world history, social
studies etc. No matter which one you choose for what ever grade level you’re
teaching, just know that you’ll cover that same material on a higher level
again in grades 7 -12.
In these middle to high school grades, most traditional
publishers will have one text for American history, one for World history, one
for Geography, and one for Government & Economics or Civics and hopefully a
state history book. You can either use these 7-12 grade texts by grade level or
you can teach whatever you want whenever you want (keeping your state home
school law in mind).
approach, unit study method, or reading so called “real” books works well
especially in the elementary grades. We encourage
you to supplement this more random teaching style with the basic grade level
texts mentioned above to help prepare you child for standardized tests (as this
seems to be a concern of many parents). Your child may use these traditional
texts as readers or in a read aloud/discussion setting.
We have also found that
most home school parents prefer the traditional text when their children reach the upper grades (7-12) to insure their child doesn’t have gaps in their
knowledge. These “gaps” seem to be a concern of parents with middle to high
school age students who are preparing for college prep tests.
Science can be taught many different ways in all grades- unit
studies, hands-on approach, traditional text or any combination there of.
Most textbook publishers address the 3 sciences (life, earth and
physical) in their 1st through 6th grade text books. Some may also include
7th grade science texts usually cover either “general”
science (which is usually a combination of the 3 sciences mentioned
before) or life science.
8th grade usually covers either “general” science or
9th grade is usually physical science.
10th through 12th grades are usually devoted to biology or
Obviously, you can teach whatever you choose, but be sure
to refer to your state’s home school guidelines when necessary.
your child learns to read there are obviously a million things from which to
choose. In the very beginning, I suggest you choose phonics readers which
usually include only a limited number of sight words and will supplement any
phonics program you may have chosen.
Traditional reading programs are most often designed for grades 1-6
and come in a variety of formats.
Literature is usually taught in grades
7-12. We recommend that you invest in a literature library. Find a publisher you
like and invest in a “set” (student book & teacher edition) for each
grade (7-12). Having this complete set will give you many years of use and your
student an overall understanding and appreciation of literature. You can easily
correlating your literature with your history.
For example if you’re studying world history - also study world literature.
Grammar and Composition
There are many
ways to teach English grammar and composition. Here are two:
1. Your child (any grade) can study English by using a
traditional text which will teach both grammar and composition. Because
we have found that so much of the information presented in a traditional English
text is duplicated from year to year, it is not always necessary for you to buy
an English program every year, rather choose a publisher you like and buy a few
elementary level books, a middle school book and a few high school books
(especially grade 12 because it usually contains everything!) Use each book for
more than one school year instead of trying to cram in a whole English book
2. Another method of teaching English is to teach using two books- one
that teaches just grammar to be combined with a product that teaches just composition.
You’ll find that all math
books for grades K-6 usually contain pretty much the same basic concepts for the
particular grade level. Choose the one that best suits your child’s particular
learning style. After completing grades K-6 you may then move on to 7th &
8th grade math books which should “pull together” and build upon all the
basic skills learned in previous grades. Consumer math can be taught any time
you want, but most publishers design their consumer math texts for middle to
high school. Your child may desire to move on to Algebra, Geometry (usually
touched on in the preceding grades), Advanced
Math, Calculus and Physics.
We highly recommend that you always purchase answer
keys because they are a time saver. “Solution manuals” are especially
helpful when you are teaching the higher maths as they give you the answers to
the problems in your student’s text “worked out” step by step.
We hope the information
contained here is helpful. Please feel free to call if you have questions.
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