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When I began my home schooling journey I was overwhelmed by the incredible number of curricula available. I had no idea where to start. If you are there, please check out this book by Cathy Duffy.
Choosing a curriculum is risky business. I initially chose a full curriculum that I absolutely hated once we began to use it. It was an unfortunate waste of nearly $1000 as I had gone hook, line and sinker and purchased it for two different grade levels because I was so certain that we’d love it. I haven’t made that same mistake again.
We stopped using that curriculum about a month into home schooling and I began to piece together my own home school curriculum. I have come across many valuable resources in the process (which I will add to the home school tab as I have time.)
I consider five different books (or sets of books) to be critical in helping me plan and create my own curriculum each year. Here they are:
The What Your Nth Grader Needs to Know series. These books span from Preschool to 6th grade and are a valuable resource for any parent–home schooling or not, but are especially for those who want to create their own curriculum.
Home Learning Year by Year: How to Design a Homeschool Curriculum. Another must-have for me. It’s a small book, but within its pages is a wealth of information and ideas for each level from Preschool all the way through Grade 12.
Homeschool Your Child For Free. This book gives an incredible number of resources–FREE resources–for lesson planning, teaching and even essentials like printables.
Story of the World. My favorite history curriculum, hands-down. Story of the World is a series of volumes from 1-4 which take you and your child through history beginning in ancient times. The accompanying activity bookoffers worksheets, lesson ideas and a teaching guide. There is also a tests/answers book, but we’ve never used it.
Books from American Education Publishing. From Comprehensive Curriculum of Basic Skills for each elementary grade level to specific elementary school subject such as Maps and Geography and Grammar and Punctuation, these books have been a valuable resource for worksheets that go along with the lessons I create. You can’t beat the prices. Especially if you have more than one child. Make copies of the pages and continue to use the book for years.
Most pre-packaged curricula are expensive. It is entirely possible to design an inexpensive, thorough, well-planned curriculum. It can be time consuming at first, but if you have multiple children be sure to save your plans for each grade level to make for easier planning in the future.
Remember to copy consumables so that the books will be usable for as long as you are home schooling.
This post was originally featured on Allison’s blog, Our Small Hours.