Homeschool Curriculum – 6 Places to Go to Get Exactly What You Need

Now that there is so much home school curriculum available, there are equally as many places to purchase it also. You can purchase it from the author or major retailer or you can purchase your home school curriculum used through various sources. Once you have a list of what you want to purchase for your home school, you can use the list below to find the books and resources at the best price.

1. Internet – The world is open to you on the internet. You don’t have to drive all over your state to find a good deal at a home school fair or garage sale. eBay seems to be the most popular place to purchase home school books, although it is not the cheapest place. I have purchased home school books at book sales and then sold them for much more than my purchase price on eBay. Homeschool classifieds is another good place to purchase home school curriculum online. It is a well organized site with good prices.

2. Library – I used to get some books at the library but didn’t usually find exactly what I wanted there. Now many libraries are using a resource system where they can get almost any book you want from another library. I do this all online. I order the book from my library’s internet system and have them send it directly to my local library. Then my library calls me and lets me know the book is in. I can manage my account online and see when my books are due and even renew online. This system has also helped my daughter do lots of research on making her own spa products. She orders the books from all over the place and has a huge host of information to use in her research.

3. Goodwill/Thrift Stores/Garage Sales – If you enjoy browsing over used books you can find some great deals at these stores. They might have resources you can use, but I have also found home school curriculum in these places.

4. Retired Teachers – Many times elementary teachers that retire will have a garage sale or put an advertisement in the classified section of the newspaper selling off their classroom resources and books. Many times they have paper, art supplies, pens and markers too that any home school can use at any time.

5. Used home school Curriculum Sales – Depending on where you live you can find some great deals from other homeschoolers that want to sell off the books they are no longer using. If the sale happens year after year you can pick your favorite sale and put it on your calendar each year. This way you get a chance to look over many types of books. I know I have thought about purchasing a curriculum and then after looking at it at a home school book fair realized that it wasn’t for us. I enjoy being able to look at many different curriculums that other people have used. If I keep seeing the same unused books over and over again I can tell that not many homeschoolers where happy with the books.

6. Retailers – Obviously you can purchase directly from the author or developer of a curriculum. I would think that you could get more support for the product if you purchase this way. They should be willing to answer any questions or give any support from someone who purchased directly from them at the retail cost.

Sometimes the maze of home school curriculum can be overwhelming, but if you make a list of each child, the subjects they need to study and the books under each subject then you can at least work off that list. If you know your child’s learning style and your favorite style of home schooling that will help you make a more informed decision about what curriculum or books you need to purchase.

Ten Great Reasons to Homeschool Your Child

1. You will be the number one influence on your child and his formation, instead of learning the latest “dirty word” or being encouraged to have a girlfriend at the very mature age of 10.

2. It will allow you the chance to get to know your child better because you will be with him most of the day. An average child will spend about 11,000 hours in the classroom. That doesn’t even include activities and time away with friends. Children are young for such a short period of time. Why miss that much time with them?

3. You can allow your child to learn at her own pace, whether she is ahead or behind. Teaching in a traditional school is “one-size-fits-all.” Differences in things such as learning styles and the child’s temperament will not be taken into consideration. If your child has difficulty keeping up in math class, she may get lumped together with children in the “special ed” room, instead of being allowed to go back a level and relearn some things.

4. The ability to teach your religious faith and pray during your school day. This is very important. It is a proven fact that many children will lose their faith when faced with the day in an day out assault on their beliefs. Christian teenagers, in interviews, often report that they fell like a tiny, beleaguered minority at school. They often feel alone in their struggles to live by the Christian values of avoiding premarital sex, risqué music and videos, pornography, alcohol and drugs. Why throw your lambs to the wolves at such an early age. Keep them at home for as long as possible to help build a solid foundation for weathering future storms. Which brings me to #5 ….

5. The ability to have a say in who your child’s friends are. If you homeschool for any amount of time, you will seek out and find like-minded families and friends. I cannot say enough about how this has helped one of my more rebellious children in his ability to mature and grow through his teen years. His homeschooling friends are all being raised with roughly the same types of values so there is no “But Mom, everyone else is watching it, doing it , etc.” Also, there is a “positive peer pressure” from these friends. If my son started talking about drugs or bragging about viewing porn, these friends would not approve and it would not be considered cool.

6. Nicer, more pleasant children. I hate to say it, but it is true. I have strangers tell me all of the time how “well behaved” my children are. It is not that I am such a great mother or am constantly nagging them about their manners (though I do believe in teaching them), but it is because of the removal of what I call the “Lord of the Flies influence.” When children of the same age spend 6-7 hours a day together, five days a week for nine months of the year, unless they have adults constantly monitoring and correcting them, their behaviour can be somewhat barbaric and out-of-control.

7. No worries about bullies. Children often don’t say what all goes on at the classroom. The thought of a bully being mean to my little guy or stealing his glasses, makes my blood boil. Why put your kids through that, especially when they are young?

8. No worries about sexual abuse. A lot of attention has been given to sexual abuse by Catholic priests; however, the sexual abuse problem in the public school system gets little attention and is a serious and troubling problem. Here is an article on the AP report

9. More freedom to express creativity and be themselves. Some schools do encourage the arts more than others and consider spending of funds on the humanities worthwhile. My now 19-year-old son is an incredibly gifted artist and photographer. Being homeschooled, he had the freedom to pursue these natural talents of his unrestrained. When he was younger, he had an affinity for drawing monsters and weapons (mostly medieval). I know for sure that his drawings of weapons would not be allowed or appreciated in a traditional school.

10. The ability to embark on a learning adventure with your children. Who knew that learning could be so much fun? I used to hate history because it was so boring. I can remember falling asleep during American History class in highschool more than once! It wasn’t until I started homeschooling my children that I became enthralled with history. What a fascinating subject!

Now don’t get me wrong, there will be frustrating days and days that both you and the kids don’t feel like “doing school” at all; however, you will have many fun and interesting learning adventures together. Imagine snuggling together on the couch every morning together, so that you can read aloud to your children, instead of hustling them off onto a bus every morning. Picture spending a beautiful fall afternoon going on a nature walk with notebooks in hand for some observation.

Homeschooling your child will be work and take effort, but the rewards and special memories that you gain are greater than you can imagine and will last a lifetime.

10 Good Reasons to Home-School

Whilst there are probably hundreds of reasons why people choose to home-school, these ten seem the most common good reasons why you would embark on this process.

  1. Your child has special needs – Children with Aspergers syndrome or Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADD or ADHD respond much better to one-on-one tuition. This is very difficult and costly to provide at school, but is very easy at home. Their education is less likely to suffer as a result of hearing or speech impairments or other such impediments – Mum and Dad usually can understand them perfectly! Such children often do better in a familiar environment with just one set of ‘rules’ – not one at home and one at school which we are so familiar with. Children with chronic medical conditions who spend a lot of time in hospitals often benefit from homeschooling too.
  2. Your child is not performing at the standard of other children. These deficiencies are often not caught until it is too late to do effective mediation. Practices such as repeating years at school and doing remedial classes or out of school tuition can have questionable outcomes. With Homeschooling, you can start the process from the beginning. Parents can keep a much closer record of their children’s performance, helping them to negotiate learning obstacles along the way instead of discovering their lack of knowledge well into their schooling years.
  3. Your child is being bullied at school. Whilst teaching children effective negotiating techniques is a plus, many children bear the scars of bullying well into their adult lives. Schoolyard bullying is becoming a scourge of schools and although many of them have taken pro-active steps to prevent it, it doesn’t mean much if they have cut bullying incidents by 99% if your child is the 1% they didn’t manage to prevent. Homeschooling ensures bullying is not an issue. Peer pressure is reduced and issues such as drug and alcohol abuse are more likely to be avoided or observed early enough to mitigate.
  4. Lack of choice. Many parents choose to homeschool because they have limited alternatives. In many places, they have only the choice of one school which may be unacceptable for many reasons: it may be too small or too big, not have enough resources, be a boarding school, have a ‘reputation’, etc. At the end of the day, only parents and the children themselves will answer for their standard of education or lack thereof. In homeschooling many parents feel they are empowering themselves and their children by providing a better quality of education than that on offer in their particular circumstances.
  5. Family cohesion. Families often find that school and its extra-curricular activities eat into a lot of family time. Parents who wish to have a close family unit and keep communication at a high level between its members often choose to homeschool. The old maxim “The family who plays together stays together” often comes in here and although this doesn’t preclude family members participating in their own individual activities, homeschool families enjoy a greater number of recreational activities as a family.
  6. Nomadic lifestyle. Many families from those in the Defence Force, to fruit-pickers and showies, move around in their employment. This often has a detrimental effect on their children’s schooling and is often a reason for choosing to homeschool. Many families also choose to be on the move temporarily, travelling around the country or around the world. Homeschooling provides a cohesive education for their children.
  7. Alternative Educational Theories. Some people have researched other educational theories proposed by people like Charlotte Manson, Montessori, Froeble, and Steiner, and see great merit in their methods. Homeschooling allows them to follow these alternative methods, which are available in the education system but often not at a convenient distance.
  8. Gifted and Talented Children. Such children often need to spend many hours practising in the area where their gift or talents lie. Schools try to cater for these students, but lack the resources to tailor such individual programs and although there are some schools of excellence which cater for such children, very often families find they are too far away. Homeschooling is an option which allows them to fit school around such gifts and talents.
  9. Values. Families who have value codes which may not necessarily be, but can include religious or cultural, find homeschooling is a valid option for them. There has been much debate about including values in education, but much of the criticism levelled at historic schooling systems was pointed at values education of the time. Values are not a homogeneous entity, so it makes it very difficult to decide which and how to include them. In recent years, schools have erred on the side of safety by ignoring them completely – which has probably had as disastrous outcomes as those being blamed on the historic schooling systems! Homeschooling allows the passing on of family values.
  10. Dissatisfaction with the curriculum – many parents are not happy with what their children are or are not taught at school. It is also common for children to not learn or not be taught things which are actually in the curriculum. At Homechool, you pick your own curriculum and the way it is taught. In places where a ‘core curriculum’ is required by legislation, this can usually be easily incorporated. Early literacy is an area where many parents find their children are let down. Homeschooling allows the use of resource material for the teaching/learning of such basic skills, such as that from Quantum Literacy, which may not be used in schools or in their child’s school in particular.

How to Be a Great Homeschool Parent When You Didn’t Like School

Some parents hated school and maybe didn’t even complete school. Others endured their education but didn’t enjoy it. The public school system hasn’t really improved over the years, or there wouldn’t be so many parents choosing home schooling. How do you home school a child when you didn’t enjoy school? Obviously you probably want a better model of learning for your child than what you had. Here are some suggestions for being a great home school parent:

1. Educate yourself. Read books and articles about home schooling. Talk to other successful homeschoolers. How do you know they are successful homeschoolers? Do you enjoy being around their children? Then they have probably done a pretty good job of teaching and relating to their children.

2. Get a support system. Sometimes a good support system can consist of a supportive spouse and a few good home schooling friends. Sometimes you need a home school support group or home school cooperative to get the support you need. Each person is individual and needs a different amount of support. You will need to decide that for yourself. If you join a home school support group, make sure you are able to stay focused on the home school materials you are using.

Sometimes when you hear about what materials others are using, it can be easy to be swayed and switch curriculums just because someone else is using it. Some groups are better than others. Just make sure you evaluate that the group is giving you the support you need without compromising your values. Support groups run best when everyone does their part. Contribute to the group, but don’t burn yourself out either.

3. Watch your children. How do they play? What do they like to do? Do they prefer filling out workbooks or creating their own books? What is their learning style? Do they like to be read to while they play or would they rather read the book themselves? Do they need to be shown how to do something or can you just tell them how to do something and they understand? There are many other questions you can ask yourself along these lines that will help you to evaluate how your children learn best and then work with them accordingly.

With the right attitude and support, anyone can be a great home school parent. You know and love your children better than anyone. Sometimes when people had a bad experience in school they are even more determined to provide a great environment for their children.

Can You Homeschool Your Child and Still Work Full Time?

In today society the majority of families are dual income earners. Someone that wants to switch their children from public school or home school may shy away from the idea simply because they currently work at full-time job.

Although it may be a difficult task it is certainly one that can be accomplished with some creative planning. You would first want to consider the amount of time that most children are actually home school during the week. The typical home school schedule is much different from the traditional public school schedule which is generally around eight hours per day Monday through Friday. Most home school programs can be accomplished with just a few hours each day.

Next you will want to consider the individual student. Are they old enough to stay home by themselves while you’re working during the day? Can the student be given a lesson plan for the day and be expected to have this work completed for you to review when you return home? Does your child work well independently? If the answers are yes and then this will be an easy decision for you. If your child is not of an age where they can be left home alone then you will have to be a little more creative.

Since your average student does not follow the traditional 8 AM to 4 PM school schedule, you may find that home schooling early in the morning or late in the evening would work best for your family. You may also consider doubling up your work on your days off or over the weekend. It is not uncommon for students to be homeschooled on Saturdays and Sundays. Remember that you are in charge of the individual schedule and it can be made into anything that best suits your family.

There are many online curriculums that are available for you to choose from that allow you to work at your own pace not following a set schedule. This not only allows your child the educational freedom to work at their level but also provide you with the ability to educate your child at a time that works best for you. Another option would be a library-based curriculum. There are lots of free resources online that can be utilized for this type of curriculum. Although this choice would require a little more planning and effort from you it still would allow you to set your schedule to what works best for you and your student.

The decision to home school is often compared to a giant leap of faith. Trust yourself and your instincts to know what is best for your child’s education. Homeschooling while working a full-time job can be difficult at times but it can definitely be a rewarding accomplishment.