How to Homeschool Part 3
Part 3: Curriculum and Planning
For the past few weeks I have been talking about "How to Homeschool". We have divided this blog in 4 parts to make it easier to use and understand the process.
Last week we ended with a homework to take a quiz and find out your homeschool style. That quiz is super helpful in identifying what you need to know about choosing a homeschooling curriculum!
Lets talk about "Curriculum":
How to choose a homeschool curriculum
First, let’s define what a curriculum means: a curriculum is the subjects comprising a course of study in a school or college.
Based on Florida Law, (don’t forget to follow the laws of your specific state) there is no legal requirement regarding what curriculum you have to choose, so we have the freedom to pick what we would like.
Some parents choose not to use a curriculum at all and un-school by letting their child learn naturally. If you want to go this route, please use an umbrella school so you don’t have to worry about keeping a portfolio or doing an annual evaluation.
Some parents are more relaxed and use different resources to build their own curriculum. If you want to buy one outright, finding out your child’s learning style is a great first step. You also want to consider your own teaching style as well and definitely use your results from last week's homework to determine what kind of curriculum to look for.
When you have figured out your teaching style and their learning style (auditory, kinesthetic, and/or visual), ask your groups, Google, or other homeschool parents what their suggestions are regarding curriculum.
Our favorite curriculum currently at Kind Academy are the following:
Kahn Academy (Free)
Zearn (included in Kind @ Home)
Exploring Nature with Children (included in Kind @ Home)
All of these will be included in our Kind @ Home program starting in August. As you can see we are eclectic homeschoolers as we like to do what works with our children and flow through interests as well as making sure we have a strong academic foundation.
I find that flowing and doing what works best for my kids to be the most important way to homeschool for us. We also sometimes bounce between curriculums as my children change and grow.
Some other programs and curriculum we have found helpful are:
Complete Curriculum Workbooks
Handwriting Without Tears
Weekly Summer Express
Hooked on Phonics
Evan Moor Workbooks
Another important thing to do when picking curricula is asking your child what they would like to do in terms of learning. They are the ones who will have to do the work, so getting their input can be enlightening and gives them ownership of their education. If your child is super young, you may not get much from doing this, but you can still determine their interests and build a curriculum that surrounds that. We have found that Outschool for Interest Based Learning has been an amazing resource. We teach there as well, but use it all the time for our children to give ourselves a little break (homeschooling is not a one person job) and to allow our children a chance to learn with other teachers and students.
Lets talk about "Planning":
Now that we have learned "How to choose a Homeschool Curriculum" let's jump into one of the more common asked questions when homeschooling:
"How much time should we homeschool?"
There is no legal requirement regarding how much time you should homeschool, but the following guidelines below should be helpful in planning.
The total number of hours spent each day in one-on-one instruction ranges as follows:
Thirty minutes in Kindergarten (broken up into several five-minute sessions)
One to two hours in grades 1 - 6
Two hours or more in grades 7 - 12
How to Homeschool Today:
If you are a planner (like me) you will want to have some idea of how you will get through the school year.
Here are the steps I take to plan my year:
I determine exactly what we will be studying this school year. For example; we will be working on Math, Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies for our core curriculum. We will also be doing a social and emotional building program and History from a Deconololized Perspective. Field Trips used to be a huge part of our homeschool curriculum and we hope we can get back to doing some this year once things open up!
Now it’s your turn
What do you think your child will be studying this school year?
How I create lesson plans
My children and I decide what we will be learning this year. Math and English Language Arts are required but everything else is interest based for us mostly.
I create a list of subjects they will be learning for each child.
I create a routine of how they will be doing the work. I have them do about 30 minutes of Math, 30 minutes of ELA, and 2 workbook pages per day.
It would look somewhat like this:
Math 30 minutes x 4 days per week
ELA 30 minutes x 4 days per week
Science 1-2 hours per week
Social Studies 1-2 hours per week
Arts 1 hour per week
Language15 minutes X 4 days per week
P.E. 1 hour minimum daily outside time
Reading 15 minutes x 5 days per week
Finally I input what I hope our routine will look like. Honestly, time is much more flexible but I do like to complete most of the core work in the morning.
I hope this schedule example helped!
We understand how confusing this can all be so will be doing group sessions to help guide you on setting up your homeschool year, creating lesson plans for your children, setting up learning spaces, making sure your child is progressing through content, choosing curriculum, and so much more.
Next week we will be posting our 4th and last part of this blog "How to Homeschool", See you then!
Homeschool 101 Workbook
Presented by Kind Academy Founder : Iman Alleyne