Tips for Designing Homeschool Curriculum

You may not need a lot of fancy curriculum, or you may want a structured pre-planned progression of materials and resources.  There are many, many possible directions to go, with everything from unschooling to very academic to Christian-oriented materials.  You must know your child, and proceed with materials that will work for his or her learning style, age, and your goals for their education.  State guidelines may determine what you focus on at each level.  Check your individual state homeschool laws at the state education department website, or get the info from your local school district.

You will have some expectations for each year of your child’s education.  Some school districts list these outcomes very clearly.  Some share their curriculum and textbooks.  This is rare.  Your evaluator will have some reference on this, too.  Or you can find these online at your state education department website.  Make this an outline, and then fill in the blanks.

Do not stress-out about curriculum if you are an un-schooler.  This is the most creative approach to learning and teaching.  It’s all good.  Otherwise, you can find curriculums online or available at homeschool supply centers.  It is easy to adapt any of the planned curriculums to your own needs.  Some of the most popular ones follow.

To check out the various curriculum approaches, you can explore their individual websites.  Oakmeadow is a great natural education philosophy. Calvert is along-established classical approach.  Waldorf is a Rudolph Steiner-based style of dynamic learningResources promotes a wide Christian education, and there are many more.  Most of these provide a great deal of help, networking, and flexible packages, even some assistance with costs.

Remember that you do not have to purchase a curriculum.  You can read about the philosophy and find your own materials.  A good librarian is priceless.  You must have a good computer and a good internet connection, high-speed preferred.  Keep those resources and references handy from year-to-year. 

Money does not buy a good education.  Your enthusiasm and love of learning will make all the difference.  Find ways to engage your student.  Then find the materials and curriculum, or cross-curriculum studies that will make the student simply love getting into those lessons.  Travel whenever you can, with your student.  Make everything a lesson, without preaching about it.  Enjoy this homeschool experience. 

Designing your own curriculum is the main reason most people homeschool.  Making a custom education fit your child’s needs and personality will be a gift of a lifetime, to last his or her entire life.