Sunday, May 15, 2016

5 Ways Of Putting Together Your Curriculum



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5 Ways Of Putting
Together Your Curriculum



I still remember my first introduction to the
'homeschooling world'...

I didn't have a CLUE on how many options
are actually available.

A friend recommended a book to help me,
and of course, the hours of website perusing
began.

Over the years, as I met & interacted
with more & more homeschooling
families, I came to realize that there 
is no 'one size fits all' of homeschooling
curriculums.

However, there are only a few ways you
can put together your curriculum pack.

Today, I'll share five popular ways to do this, and
each of their benefits/challenges.




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1) Buy a complete set 
(otherwise known as 'boxed curriculum')


Benefits: easy for newbies; (usually) no planning needed; covers all of the
subjects in one set (no need to go looking for other pieces); comprehensive & (typically) comparable to what children in public school are covering

Challenges: lack of individualization; your child may excel in one portion (say English), but not the math component; cost is usually quite expensive & must pay up front (no piecing together through the year!)

Examples: Bob Jones (BJU), Sonlight, ACE Paces, etc.





2) Purchase by subject & piece together.
(usually called 'eclectic' homeschooling)


Benefits: you can research the best fit for your child in each subject; highly individualized school program, allows you to purchase as needed; typically much more economical; easy to replace one subject over entire boxed set

Challenges: research is needed; can be time consuming to find all pieces; curriculum doesn't always 'fit' well together, or complement one another

Examples: Mystery of History (History); Life of Fred (Math) & Wordsmith Apprentice




3) Follow a particular method.
Let that method be your main guide.
(i.e. Charlotte Mason, Classical, Unit Studies, etc.)


Benefits: while you learn about particular methodologies you'll have a better understanding of WHY you are selecting said curriculum pieces; you can easily find support from other followers of that method (online groups, in person groups, co-ops, etc. all created around that methodology

Challenges: not easy to build an entire curriculum based on one ideology; you may still want to mix & match (i.e. you cover Charlotte Mason based literature studies but mix with a traditional type Math booklet, etc.)

Examples: using sites like Ambleside Online or reading Classical Conservations




4) Use multi-level teaching curriculum.


Benefits: this can save A LOT of time; children learn together & share thoughts; build strong relationships

Challenges: if age range is larger than a few years, this can be difficult to navigate (I've tried it!!)

Examples: various options--> piece together your own group work OR purchase by subject material that can be used with multiple ages at once (some boxed curriculum can be adjusted to do this as well, such as Sonlight)



5) Follow your child's leading.
(termed "delight directed" or "interest led")


Benefits: your child finds great fulfillment in pursuing their own interests or giftings; less 'fight' over doing school work 

Challenges: what if your child is not very motivated to learn much about anything; or you can see talents in your child that they haven't yet discovered (it's a balancing act to be sure!)

Examples: using unit studies of interest to child & adding in core subjects; OR totally allowing your child to direct the school day (in some instances overlaps the term 'unschooling' or unstructured education, or a combo)






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These are some of the main ways I've seen people select their curriculum.

I personally have gone from using a full box set (typical when you start out) to following
more closely number 2.

What about yourself: what has guided your curriculum selection?


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6 comments:

  1. Great post! We do a mix of #2 and #3 and love it! Thank you for linking up to the Art of Home-Making Mondays this week :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. The beauty of homeschooling is that YOU get to create and tailor the experience based on the needs of your family. We have moved in and out of almost all of the different approaches-experimenting along the way to find what inspires, motivates, and stimulates the imagination. It is those moments when the eyes sparkle that you know you have found it! Learning is a journey and the gift is enjoying the process. That gift captures a life long love of learning.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm mostly a #2 homeschooler. :) I'd love to invite you to link up your post over at Literacy Musing Mondays: http://www.brandiraae.com/literacy-musing-mondays-march-13-18/

    Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
  4. We tend to combine numbers 2-5; I put our curriculum together subject by subject. There are some subjects we study together and I try to include my sons' interests as much as I possibly can.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am still learning and testing things out so I haven't decided on one way or another yet.

    ReplyDelete

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