Curriculum refers to all the subjects that will be taught during a school year. It includes the means and materials students will use to achieve identified educational outcomes. In homeschooling, choosing curriculum programs for each academic year can be an overwhelming task for families but it can be exciting as well.
There are lots of homeschooling curriculum being offered online. If you are new to homeschooling, here is an overview of the major homeschooling curriculum programs per level, and some useful materials for each, to give you an idea on what curriculum to choose for your children.
This overview starts with the elementary level because formal curriculum for preschoolers isn’t necessary. For preschoolers, playful learning opportunities will work such as cooking with mom, nature walks, art, and simple experiments.
The elementary level is often referred to as the grammar school years. Here are some of the major curriculum programs for this level.
- Phonics and Reading: One of the important things to teach children at this level is how to read. There are lots of online curriculum for reading. You can also try the all-in-one curriculum Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. When you complete its 100 lessons, your child might be able to read on a 2nd-grade level.
- Grammar: It is also at the elementary level where the basics of word usage and placement are taught. The First Language Lessons is a helpful guide in developing your child’s language ability.
- Spelling: In-depth spelling instructions at an early age are not that necessary but it also helps children in reading. There is an online program called All About Spelling where they teach spelling for different levels. The Spell to Write and Read teacher’s manual is also a useful material to teach children how to spell.
- Penmanship: It is also in the elementary years when your children’s handwriting should be practiced and improved.
- Writing: Writing is different from penmanship because it is the art of putting words together. This includes narration, copy work, dictation, and many others.
- Math: Children should be taught to love math at a young age that’s why choosing a Math curriculum that is not boring will surely help. Horizons Math is a great textbook for Math curriculum which has colorful pages and it explains math lessons in short and simple ways.
- History and Literature: History and Literature are both fun and exciting subjects and they can be taught to children in many different ways. However, in-depth teaching of History and Literature at this level is not necessary.
- Science: Science is a subject that requires a lot of effort because aside from reading and teaching lessons, it requires hands-on activities as well. But children can have fun while learning it. Exploring Creation has a lot of Science books which may help in teaching young children.
- Bible: It’s great to teach children Bible stories through books which have lots of photos in them. An example is the Big Picture Bible Timeline which is also a coloring book.
Middle school includes the 6th grade to the 8th grade. Here are the major curriculum programs for this level.
- Language Arts: Since the basics of grammar were taught in the elementary years, it’s time for more in-depth grammar lessons in middle school. The Easy Grammar workbook can be a helpful material in teaching grammar.
- Math: Math lessons in middle school are focused on Algebra. It can be a challenging lesson to teach but the CD-ROM package Saxon Algebra can be a great help. It teaches Algebra in a fun and interactive way.
- History: Middle school is when children are taught about the ancient times, the major eras, as well as the people and events in history.
- Science: The Exploring Creations book series can still be helpful in middle school. This is also the time when basic Chemistry and Nature are taught. Christian Kids Explore is a good Science material to use.
- Logic: It’s also great to work on formal logic instructions in middle school. The Fallacy Detective is a fun logic book that can teach how to recognize bad reasoning.
- Economics: Teaching Economics also starts in middle school. The book Whatever Happened to Penny Candy can be useful in learning about the principles of Economics.
High school can be the easiest level to teach in homeschooling because teenagers usually don’t need much attention and instructions. Here are the major homeschooling curriculum programs for the high school level.
- English: English in high school level is about learning writing techniques through literature. Wordsmith is a great book that may help improve writing skills.
- History: In high school level, History can be all about Ancient Civilizations, The Roman Empire, Revolutions, World Missions, and World Wars. A History of US is also a good book set for high school students.
- Math: After learning Algebra in middle school, Geometry is next in high school Math. The book Jacob’s Geometry might be helpful because it includes real-life situations and humor in each lesson.
- Science: Science in high school years may include in-depth lessons in Physics, Biology, and Chemistry.
- Government: It’s also the time to learn about the government in high school.
- Bible: Different religions all over the world can also be taught in high school. As well as the differences between Christian denominations.
- Electives: Choosing an elective is a fun part in planning your children’s high school curriculum because you will explore their interests. Some examples of electives are art, astronomy, foreign language, psychology, geography, and fiction writing.
These are some of the major homeschooling curriculum programs you can choose from for your children. However, choosing a curriculum still depends on the learning style of your children, your budget, as well as to the homeschooling goals you’ve set for them. You can also find some resources online which offers curriculum packages for each level. You’ll just have to make sure that all the subjects included will be useful for your kids.