Planning a Homeschool Curriculum
It’s never too early to start preparing for a new year of homeschooling.
Whether you’re new to homeschooling or in your tenth year, planning your homeschool curriculum for the following academic year remains one of the most important parts of homeschooling. There’s so much to go over: state standards to compare to, curriculum resources to select, and more.
For many, this is an exciting time! Homeschooling parents get to choose their resources with care and plan how to set their children up for success while giving them an individualized education that public schools can’t offer. For others, planning a homeschool curriculum is overwhelming. We get it; it can be intimidating!
We’ve compiled a little checklist for homeschoolers to help them plan their upcoming curriculum. While it’s not an exhaustive list, we hope you find it informative and helpful on your learning journey to teaching homeschool!
Review Your State’s Homeschool Requirements
Every state has different guidelines for homeschooling—and some states are more friendly than others. Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, and Vermont are some states that have high regulations for homeschooling families.
Check out the Home School Legal Defense Association’s state map to view the requirements for your state. Some states require that you adhere to standardized testing and specific subjects, while others require that you teach a state-mandated curriculum. While you can be a little creative in interpreting the curriculum, following the state regulations is a priority.
Set Goals and Learning Milestones
An important part of homeschooling is its ability to be hyper-individualized to each student. Two students who are homeschooling in the same grade may have completely different curricula based on their needs and interests. If your student is interested in video games, consider adding computer coding or digital art to your curriculum. Set SMART goals for their end-of-year assessments in relation to each of their subject areas.
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Consider Outside Resources for Assistance
Homeschooling doesn’t mean parents must be the sole source of information in all subjects. Consider supplementing your homeschool program with outside resources or incorporating regular community events into your program.
For example, many libraries offer reading programs or take-home activities for students to take advantage of—for free! Incorporating these programs into your homeschool program can alleviate some administrative burden while piquing your children’s interest in new and different topics. There are also homeschool groups that come together and ensure that subject areas are covered by parents or teachers with an interest and experience in teaching the subject—you don’t have to do it all alone!
While there’s a great big world of homeschooling out there, we hope this is enough to get you thinking about your next year—and asking your local library about homeschooling resources!
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