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Welcome to the exciting world of homeschooling!
If you are a new Homeschooler, we understand how overwhelming 
choosing your child's homeschool curriculum program 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.


Call us if you have questions regarding how to Homeschool or
if you need help developing your Homeschool program.
252 244 0728

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General Guidelines for 
Homeschool Curriculum Package Development

We wish to share a few ideas that we have found to be helpful when choosing a homeschool program for your child/children. The information contained here is based on over 25 years of involvement in the textbook industry and our experiences
in the homeschool movement in general.

Many home schoolers desire a more structured and/or traditional homeschool program especially when their children reach middle and high school. Parents express the need for guidelines as to what to teach and when to teach it. That is why I developed this page of information.

When developing complete homeschool 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 your homeschool curriculum


Phonics, Spelling/Vocabulary

Reading / Literature

   A comprehensive phonics program needs to be customized based on your child's indivdual level and abilities. 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 spelling.  
   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.

History/Social Studies
 
Standard 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. Always keep your state home school law in mind. 
   The hands-on approach, unit study method, or reading so called "real" books can work well, especially in the elementary grades. We encourage you to supplement this more random teaching style with the standard grade level texts mentioned above to help prepare you child for standardized tests (which is 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 which is often a concern of parents with middle to high school age students who are preparing for college prep tests.

Science
  
Science can be taught many different ways in all grades- unit studies, hands-on approach, traditional text or in any combination.
   Most textbook publishers address the 3 sciences (life, earth and physical) in their 1st through 6th grade text books. Some may also include health.  
   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 earth science. 
   9th grade is usually physical science. 
   10th through 12th grades are usually devoted to biology or chemistry. 
   Obviously, you can teach whatever you choose, but be sure to refer to your state's home school guidelines when necessary.

   Once 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, are vocabulary controlled, 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.

English 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. Very often they also cover Spelling/Vocabulary, Study Skills or Usage and Mechnics. 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. Instead, 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 every year!
   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.


Mathematics
   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. Workbooks to accompany your student's textbook are very helpful for review and reinforcemant of a math concepts. 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 Teacher Editions, Teacher Manuals or answer keys to accompany you math textbook  because they are a time saver and have tips etc. on teaching concepts. 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 this information was helpful. Please feel free to call if you have questions.
252 244 0728

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The Back Pack

 

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