Finding the right homeschooling curriculum that best fits the needs of my children was one of the greatest challenges that I had when we first started our journey. I found different kinds of curriculum that I thought would be best suited for my children’s needs. Sometimes they end up working for us but sometimes they don’t. I also had to make sure that the homeschooling curriculum that we use was in line with the state requirements and at the same time also caters to the learning needs of my children and agrees with our family finances. Not everything that is high priced is good for your children and not everything that is low priced is not beneficial.
There are different approaches to learning that homeschooling families use to enhance the learning of their children. In my family, we mainly use the internet to research for information and as a parent, I’m always on the look out for anything that would benefit my children. I joined some online and off-line groups of homeschooling families. We also get information from other homeschooling families and friends who are supportive of our homeschooling journey.
We use the internet almost everyday for our homeschooling but only for probably about 2-3 hours a day. We have internet based learning subscriptions. Sometimes, we also get our children to watch Netflix or YouTube under our supervision. We are always wary of the dangers that lurk online so we always tell them to be careful. It’s an on-going lesson that we have to inculcate in our children’s minds while they are young so that they try to make the right choices later in life.
We use PCs, laptops, and iPad tablets. We also go to the library sometimes although we also have a library of books and magazines at home. Other families use interactive TV, CD-ROMs, online books, audio books, and workbooks. There is really no one homeschooling curriculum that fits all. The learning needs of all children vary and so it is our duty as parents or guardians to find out which one is best suited for our child. Each child is different so even in the same family, kids would differ in their learning needs as well.
One way to determine which homeschooling curriculum will best benefit your child is to know his learning style. Diverse learning approaches will benefit children because it helps them not to be bored. In my family, sometimes we start the day using computer based lessons. Then, we would go out into the garden to get some fresh air and tend to the plants. Then we would watch an educational video and have a discussion about what we watched. Afterwards, we would write on our journals. Then we would do some art projects. Each day is always different. When children have varied activities in a day children they are more engaged. So, as your child begins to learn take note of which style helps him learn better.
It is also important not to force a child to sit through certain activities for longer periods of time because this can result in boredom. There are children who can get hooked into some things like my son. He loves to do programming and cooking. So, sometimes, even if we have moved on to learning languages, he would find a way to excuse himself so he can do some programming or cooking. This might not be fine for some parents but for me, it is perfectly okay. Either way, he is learning and for me there is no better way of learning than being enthusiastic about it and enjoying the experience at the same time. I think children absorb more when they do things on their own choice.
In my family, we have some lessons from a certain program that we use based on our children’s grade level. However, we let them choose what they want to learn on that day. For example, in Science, my son is free to learn Earth and Space or Force and Motion or Genetics or Microbiology or Chemistry. Now, if he wants to learn about Force and Motion, he can either learn about levers, or velocity or friction or kinetic energy. It's up to him what he wants to learn on a certain day. They almost always decide for themselves what interests them at that particular time.
We use a weekly schedule of the subjects that they have to do each day based on the curriculum of our state and all the things that they have done for the day are ticked. Of course, we are quite flexible so there are some days that are not based on the schedule. We also include the children in planning their weekly homeschooling schedule. As your child's teacher you should always ask yourself about the length of time your child will spend for each activity and what methods of teaching you will use and see if you can use variety in your approach.
Parents should look into a homeschooling curriculum that combine lessons with real-life experiences. Homeschool families must review the programs they use regularly. Always be on the look out for homeschooling curriculum that meet your child's needs. It is best that the program is supported by technology, creativity and materials that will enhance a child's learning experience. It is important to build an engaging environment and as parents we should try to improve our connection with our children. We also need to be more accepting of the changing world especially technology. We have to embrace them because that is where the world is going. We also have to understand that children participate better when the homeschooling curriculum provides a fun learning experience. There is no one perfect homeschooling curriculum that fits all children. Trends in homeschooling curriculum usually changes over time so it is important to be aware of what's happening in the world and discuss with your family about it. For example, back in my time ICT (or Information and Communication Technology) wasn't part of the curriculum. Now it is. The most important thing is to Keep It Simple.
In my state we are required incorporate the following subjects
in our homeschooling: English, Mathematics, Sciences, Humanities and
Social Sciences, The Arts, Languages, Health and Physical Education, and
Information and Communication Technology, and Design and Technology.
So, I've searched out all the programs that would be beneficial for my
children and their learning. Sometimes some things work for us but
sometimes they don't. When that happens, I always research for other
alternatives. For example: This Science program is not working so I will look for another Science program. Just like that, Keep it Simple!