Where To Find Home Schooling Curriculum

Finding homeschool curriculum that is age appropriate, cost of materials, where to find, and alternative sources

As more parents turn to homeschooling their children, the need for quality curriculum for all ages of students is becoming evident. Age and readiness of child, cost of material, value of what you are getting for your money, and what to do if you just can not find the specific material you are in search of, are all important things you must consider when gathering curriculum for your child's education.

Age Recommendations

You know your child better than whoever puts the age "╦ťrecommendations' on products, and the key word here is "╦ťrecommendation'. If you have a four year old who already knows the alphabet by sight, can recite it, even print it, knows his or her colors, numbers up to 10, etc., you most likely will not get much use out of a preschool program. Kindergarten and first grade curriculum will most likely be a much better value. Do not overestimate your child's achievements either. If your six year old still needs help with the basics because he has been more into nature, just a late bloomer, or for whatever reasons, do not assume a program or set of books that has an age suggestion of three to six, is too young. Jumping ahead to save a few dollars will not help your child learn, and may even frustrate your child immensely. You know your child best, go with your instincts!

Cost Versus Value

After searching through every source you have for the perfect biology course for your 16-year-old, you have come up with three programs. One is a program on CD-ROM for the unbelievable price of $19.99. One is a complete course in book form, with both teacher's manual, student book, consumable workbooks, and a separate list of alternatives resources for additional learning and go with products, plus a CD-ROM, but total cost is $229.00. The third is also a book-based course, with a consumable workbook, total cost of $49.00. Any of these courses may be fine, but you need to look at what exactly you are purchasing with each. Ask yourself the following questions about each:

What exactly is covered in each course?

Is more than one subject or grade level included?

Do they meet your child's learning style? Are they visual, text based, combination?

Will you need to buy additional materials with them?

If buying a computer based course, does your computer meet or exceed the program's requirements?

Finding Course Material

With the renewed interest in homeschooling, finding materials is not as difficult as it once was, but unless you live in a large metropolitan area, most outlets will be online or through mail order. If online, go to any of the major search engines and type in homeschool curriculum. This will give you many hits for companies that curriculum for sale via websites, or offers for catalogs. The local library is still an excellent place to find curriculum outlets also. Even in rural areas, groups of homeschoolers are becoming increasingly common, and these are an excellent choice for finding curriculum. Many offer used curriculum that their children have outgrown. What do you do if your child shows an interest in a subject that you can not find a set course, or even any curriculum whatsoever in? First, define, with your child, in writing, what the subject is? Are their other learning outlets available? Museums, businesses, and again, libraries can be helpful. If you live near a college campus, or can look online for a college textbook site, do these offer books on the course? The advantage of homeschooling is often just this, that your child can learn about subjects that fall no where near the traditional classrooms offerings. Do not be afraid to approach places that you feel may be able to offer help. If your high school student shows interest in a field of work that, you know nothing about, go right to the source. Veterinarians, police, architects, hospitals, and just about any line of work you can think of, offer regular high schools career days, where students can visit and gather information. Call and inquire if they can accommodate a small group of homeschoolers in a similar fashion.

Remember, you are homeschooling your child because you want to give them every advantage possible to ready themselves for the adult world, so do not short change them with the materials you give them to work with. Search out, give choices, and help make informed choices, and offer alternatives when necessary and you will be providing the entire curriculum your child will need!

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