I have homeschooled for over a decade. I’ve tried many different methods and find that there is no one right fit or way to do it. Each child has different interest, strengths and challenges. I will try to break down different things I have learned over the years in separate posts. This one will be about curriculum.
Before the year begins, I research what the state expects each child to know at the end of their current grade. I am not required to test my kids in this state but we still do periodic testing to make sure I am not missing exposing the children to content. I print out the standards at the beginning of the year and check it once a quarter to help keep us on track.
We are using the Oak Meadow books as the backbone of our school year. We do not participate in their teacher assisted program. The Oak Meadow set has the teaching guide and all the student texts. It isn’t the cheapest nor is it the most expensive. I don’t buy the art kit because I can buy the items locally cheaper. If you have never homeschooled, these books are great because the entire year is broken down into weekly lesson plans. You could strictly use their guidance and be fine.
I also pick up workbooks from Sam’s, Costco or Barnes and Nobles for each grade. This helps guide some of learning that isn’t covered at grade level in the Oak Meadow books. I also find it helpful for assisting the children to understand that at other schools they will be required to sit and complete work to turn in. I don’t plan to ever put my children in school but I’m also aware that circumstances change and it might be necessary at some point.
We also work on a theme for a few weeks at a time. This work is used to give them the chance to explore a subject that interests them more deeply. For example we are studying bats this week. I find bat worksheets and art on line that I can print out. I reserve bat themed books at the library. I cue up YouTube videos on bats as well. If we lived near a bat colony we would take a trip to study them in real life.
When my older kids were homeschooling, I did purchase grade appropriate text books either locally or on line. I have also used distance learning on-line during the high school years. Both worked well but it doesn’t let you completely step back from teaching. It required me to make sure they were completing work and tests when they did the on-line studies. With the text books I had to do hands on planning of the year.