There are so many options when deciding on curricula for your family. It is often trial and error until you find what works best for you and your child. Pennsylvania homeschool law includes the freedom for families to pick and choose their own curriculum based on what works best for their child.
The basic types of homeschool materials are:
- CD-ROM – computer based
- Unit Studies – learning all disciplines while studying one area
- Literature Based learning
- Eclectic – mix & match
- Unschooling – unstructured learning through living
Tutors or co-operative classes
When choosing material consider the following:
Goals – What are your goals for your homeschool family? Are you prepping kids to go to college? Perhaps you want your child to learn a technical skill before they graduate. Are you interested in having your children be independent learners or work more in a group setting? Consider both long-term and short-term goals.
Cost — Cost is a factor which needs considering. How many children will this curriculum teach and what other alternatives are there? What is your budget for each year’s supplies? Don’t forget to consider the extras such as lab supplies, art resources and maybe special classes. Does the curriculum you are purchasing require that you buy additional books or can you borrow them from the local library?
Time. – How teacher friendly is this curriulum? How much time will it take for you to prepare before you actually teach the material? Will the material be easily understood by your student?
Independent learning.- For some families, curriculum which encourages independent learning is a positive consideration so that other children can be attended to and so that the skills of independence are taught.
Style of material – Is the material consumable or can it be used by a number of children? Can you make it re-useable by using plastic overlays with whiteboard markers or asking your child to work in a workbook, rather than in the book itself?
Learing style – What sort of learning style does the curriculum use? Is this important to you? Have you determined your student’s learning style?
Your worldview or philosophy – What role do you want your faith to play in your homeschool? How do you want history related? Do you want a global outlook to your child’s education? You also need to consider your core values.
Homeschool Method – There are several methods of homeschooling and most homeschoolers find themselves eventually combining more than one.