I don’t know about you, but in our neck of the woods it’s back to school season. This month, public school buses will go chugging down the street, ready to pick up those eager (at least for the first week) children. While we don’t have to be on the curb at the crack of dawn or make sure our children have their lunch money, we do need to plan out our coming year of homeschooling.
You’ve accepted your family has been called to homeschool. You’ve even taken the time to organize your yearly schedule, accounting for much-needed breaks and planning for your daily routine. You’re rearing and ready to go, there’s just one more thing you need. Materials.
While I’d love to point you toward the perfect curriculum for your child, only you and God know what will work best. Pray, pray, and pray some more about which materials the Lord would have you choose. Have faith He will guide you in making the wisest choices in this regard.
That being said, if you’re merely looking to gain some insight into what is generally taught at each grade level, HERE is a helpful link listing a scope and sequence for each. You might also consider picking up a curriculum catalog from several companies, comparing standard outlines of education.
What about those fields your children are interested in exploring, but don’t neatly fit into a core category? Consider making them into electives! Here are a few elective suggestions to get you started:
- Home Economics (sewing, baking, cooking, and more)
- Foreign Language
- Computer Technologies
- and more!
If you’re not quite ready to delve into the mass of creative supplies you could purchase to make learning more fun, there are a few general supplies are probably going to need:
- Lined Paper (and lots of it!)
- Pencils (ditto)
- Pencil Sharpeners
- Colored Pencils, Markers, and Crayons
- and Patience … wait, you can’t buy that one. Shucks!
For those who really dig crafting and can’t wait to try new things, here are a few suggestions for your crafting closet:
- adhesives (glue sticks, glue tape, glue dots, double-sided tape, and the like)
- scissors (both regular and pinking sheers)
- stamps (we have four boxes for our ever-growing collection)
- ink pads/stamp crayons
- embossing tools
- modeling/sculpting supplies
- paints (both watercolor and washable paints, including brushes)
- glitter (but only for the truly brave)
- yarn, ribbon, and string
- arithmetic resources (rulers, compasses, protractor, and triangles)
- science resources (magnifying glasses, rock collections, fossil collections, and more)
This portion of homeschool planning is probably the most stressful. As parents we are constantly weighing the value in what we purchase and stressing to budget appropriately (more on that later this week).
Again, pray about how you should be using your resources, and ask God to clearly direct you towards the curriculum that will best fit your child’s needs. Consider speaking to like-minded homeschool parents you know and ask them what worked for their family. Do a little online research and ask companies if they offer free samples of their materials for new families, some do!
As a final note: Don’t be afraid of switching curriculum mid-year. Sometimes it takes a few tries to get it right. You can always sell the curriculum that didn’t work out!
Time to Chime In: We’ll be covering curriculum in more detail later in the series, but to help out new families just starting their homeschooling journey, share with us your favorite place to purchase curriculum. Is there a website you love; a company you always buy from; or a forum for used curriculum you’d like to share? We’d love to hear about it!