Choosing Homeschool Materials
Do you wonder what you really need to buy for homeschool? As in, what subjects does your child really need to learn and how much do you really need to spend on homeschool materials? I am sure you want the best education possible for your child, but you also have a budget and time constraints. You probably have wondered if it is possible to homeschool with excellence and not overspend or wear yourself out.
I want to encourage you that it is possible to help your child achieve academic excellence and keep yourself sane and your budget balanced. In the Elementary years of school (especially the early elementary years), there are 4 categories that you need to consider. I talked about these more in detail in my Choosing Curriculum articles, but for simplicity I listed them here.
- Math-this is one subject that is a must do. Math is a subject that builds upon itself. It is important to introduce math in the early years. Although, it will be pretty simple to begin with. For more on my recommendations for solid math programs, you can read my Choosing Homeschool Curriculum articles.
- Reading-Phonics will need to be taught until it is mastered. Usually this takes several years (some kids need longer than others). I have listed some excellent phonics programs in this post.
- Copywork-If you have been reading my blog for very long, you know I believe in the power of copywork! 🙂 Copywork is really simple. At first a child will learn to form letters. They will be copying one letter at the time. Later they progress to words. And, finally they will copy sentences and paragraphs. The best way to learn how the English language works is to copy great writing. Many language art programs show children incorrect language and then have them correct it. In my opinion, this just causes them to see the wrong way to write over and over again. Children learn spelling and punctuation by seeing it correctly over and over again. In their upper years of school, it is more appropriate to have them correct badly written sentences. But, when they are young, it is powerful to see correct writing and to copy it. My Early American History Unit Study is heavy on copywork. You can check it out here.
- Other Subjects-this is where you get to choose what else you want your child to learn! In the early years of homeschooling, many of the science programs and history programs are very basic, and the same content will be repeated in many of the grades. So, it is a possibility to skip science and history altogether for the year. You could choose to concentrate on something that you feel is more important-like life skills, gardening, or music. The sky is the limit when you homeschool! Or have your kids watch some science programs. Or read historical books, color historical pictures and look up historical websites on the computer.
Each family has different priorities. For my family, we list American history as one of our “other subjects”, because I feel it is important for my kids to understand how and why are free country was formed. Maybe you have different priorities. Maybe your family is called to serve others, and you want to spend time going to nursing homes or volunteering at church.
I created a simple printable for you so that you can record your curriculum ideas and choices. If you are like me, you want to make sure you have covered what is truly important and you need to write things down so you can sort out your thoughts! 🙂 Click here for the printable curriculum planner! 🙂
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