Home School Curriculum

Learn what home schooling programs are all about

While it can be more comfortable than a conventional school, a home school is not a lax arena for fun and games. It may not be a traditional classroom, but your home school must follow certain guidelines to ensure that your child is benefitting from the program and that your school continues to live up to government standards. Learn how to satisfy these requirements and take the preliminary steps to creating a good curriculum, beginning with a firm understanding of home schooling techniques and a good connection with a home schooling community.

Home Schooling Requirements

There are a few things that must be included in your home school curriculum to ensure it meets state standards, and you'll need to plan to teach every required subject thoroughly and effectively. The first step is to investigate the home schooling laws in your particular state and be sure that you understand them completely before preparing a curriculum.

One common requirement is to keep detailed records of your child's schooling, including attendance, what and when they are taught and how they are progressing. Diligent record keeping combined with regular testing (and standardized testing at regular intervals determined by your state) will help teachers evaluate the effectiveness of home schooling programs and will ensure that the school continues to operate within the law.

Developing a Home School Curriculum

Begin by learning about some principles and methods at the base of home schooling and connect with a home schooling community for support and direction. For instance, if you're interested in a Montessori curriculum, it will help to consult a variety of resources to find out how to guide rather than teach your child; it's an approach that may be more challenging than you had thought! You can find a local home schooling association through your state association, or explore the Internet for a home school community that you can share with and learn from.

The general subject categories in a home schooling program will resemble those of most traditional or alternative schools: social studies, science, language arts, health and safety and mathematics. Within these categories are a number of specific subjects that range in nature from social to analytical to imaginative, and the specific teaching techniques and home schooling materials that go along with them will obviously vary according to grade level.

While the traditional method involves using home schooling books that are designed for a specific grade and subject, Internet home schooling is gaining ground as a multi-faceted approach that involves more sensory experience to stimulate learning. In any case, there are plenty of publishers, suppliers and reviews of homeschooling materials available to you, and combined with the advice and lessons you derive from your home schooling community, you can get off to a strong start.

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