During this time with online schooling becoming a realistic situation for many of my friends, I’ve had a few come to me and ask, “What homeschool curriculum do you use?” Well friend, I can tell you what curriculum we use, however that will not be a complete answer. Why? Well, homeschooling is a very individual lifestyle. Note, I said lifestyle. It’s commitment and time spent studying your child to know what curriculum choices you should use and how your schedule (if you choose one) should go. Our children are not the same, and that’s what makes my answer is more than likely irrelevant to your situation. Every child is different. Teachers know this and do the best they can in teaching many students in a class. You have the opportunity, yes opportunity to study how your child learns. So, I can rattle off the curriculum choices we have made in the past year but that’s not the answer for you. Yes, I said “this past year” because it can change. You can use one curriculum and find that it doesn’t work and switch to another one. That’s the beauty in homeschooling. If it doesn’t work change it. Just make sure you don’t have learning gaps. So, here is my long answer to the “What homeschool curriculum do you use?”
First, Pray. Seek God in all of this.
Second, if you are really considering homeschooling check what your state laws are. Someone in California won’t have the same options/regulations for homeschooling as a person living in Missouri or Illinois will. We know this from living in these states. Check https://hslda.org/legal for your state laws.
Third, study your child. How do they learn? What do they require to be able to focus? Do you have a child with a learning disability? What developmental stage are they in? What they capable of doing? All of these things and more will come into play when you are planning your homeschool lifestyle. Search things like, “ “Learning styles”, “Learning style quiz”, or “What's my child's learning style?” My Fia is a kinesthetic learner. She will not sit quietly and let me teach her without moving around and wiggling. That’s just her. She’s learning and is a very smart child. Old school teaching would think if you are wiggling you aren’t paying attention. Not true. She just has a lot of movement in her little body. My curriculum choices and teaching style accommodates the way she learns. Many classrooms are accommodating student learning styles. We have wobbly chairs so she can move and sit at the same time. I allow time for her to act out situations while reading because that is evidence that she’s comprehending what she’s read. If your child is a visual learner, she or he will need charts, illustrations, diagrams. They are the students that like to draw, highlight, doodle, etc. They enjoy bright colorful curriculum choices. I chose MathUSee one year and Helaina went through the curriculum easy, without using the manipulatives. Fia, on the other hand, needs the manipulatives and the black and white pages bored her. She struggled to find interest in it. We switched to Teaching Textbooks because it kept her attention. I say all that to explain that your child’s needs come first. That will determine what curriculum you choose. There are 7 links on Learning styles at the end of this post.
Fourth, research curriculum choices. You can do a search for “homeschool curriculum for visual learners” to see what options there are. Beware there are tons! There are plenty of YouTube reviews, blogs, and articles that can tell you about the curriculum you are considering. https://www.thehomeschoolmom.com/homeschool-curriculum-reviews/ and https://cathyduffyreviews.com/ have a lot of curriculum reviews.
Fifth, You matter too. Create your Homeschool Circle of Friends. Find fellow homeschooling parents to help you along. Be careful not to think they will show you exactly what to do though. They may not know answers to your specific issues, but they can be helpful in encouraging you. Being overwhelmed is a reality in homeschooling. Don’t feel guilty. A lot of us homeschooling parents know the burnout. Adjust, adjust, adjust! Take a break! You don’t have to finish everything you set out to finish. If you can’t handle the schedule you establish, change it. Maybe it’s unrealistic and you have to change things around. It’s ok. Just take a break, rejuvenate, and start again. You will have moments of frustration, confusion, and questioning if this was a good choice. Guess what, teachers go through the same thing. They collaborate with fellow teachers and get advice. It’s ok. Keep going and if you find out that homeschooling isn’t working after trying different things, maybe public, private, or charter school is a better option.
Finally, Pray. Yep, that was the first thing, as well as the last thing. God can give you some great insight into what you need. He is the giver of wisdom. Hang in there. It’s possible!
Hope this helps you.
Links on Learning Styles