It’s important when you homeschool your children to have a clear, outlined curriculum with a specific goal in mind for what your children should be retaining. When you are a new mom to homeschooling your children, you may not know exactly what subjects need to be covered, or how to structure each day. It can be intimidating to try and decide what to include and how to include it.
Don’t fret! Here are some simple steps that you can take to help in choosing your homeschooling curriculum.
Include Your Children’s Interests
One of the best things you can do is to make sure to focus on what your children like because when you appeal to their interests they will be more likely to pay attention. Yes, you will still have to teach your children the “boring” subjects that they don’t necessarily care anything about because they are essential and make up the curriculum, but it’s helpful to break up those subjects with ones that can bring excitement in your learning.
The easiest way to do this is to just ask your children what they want to learn, or what they find interesting so that you can be sure to include it.
Keep A Realistic Budget
One of the biggest setbacks for parents who want to homeschool is that they do not plan out their budget before purchasing things like supplies, books, and more. Set yourself a budget that works for you, and don’t go over it. Besides trying to “do it all” being one of the common homeschooling mistakes, you don’t want to get in over your head and be worrying about finances instead of focusing on teaching your children.
A simple way to do this is to set your budget ahead of time and figure out what you need, and then (the part everyone forgets) what you can do without. Try to find cheap or free ways to utilize the things around you as teaching opportunities rather than focusing on finding the “perfect” curriculum that may be out of your budget.
Adapt To Your Children’s Learning Style
Children all learn differently. What works for one child may not work for all of your children, so make sure to take notice and adapt to what works best for your children. One child might learn better by reading, another by hearing and repeating something, and another by actually writing it down. Be sure you’re considering this when you decide how to approach teaching each day. It might be difficult to have each child utilize their best learning methods all at the same time, so adjust your focus for each subject to cover all your bases.
Use Your Resources
Another thing that you may not realize is that you can enlist help from the outside world. You don’t have to do everything yourself. There is a rich culture all around you, and it can benefit your children (and you) to use it. The internet is a vast space that can help you, too!
For instance, if you have a child that is musically inclined and has taken an interest in learning a basic instrument, but you yourself have no background in music, you can schedule private online training for something basic like the piano through resources like Music To Your Home lessons as part of your child’s curriculum. Trips to museums or farms, places where your children can really see things up close, are also great ideas that can be utilized. Just be sure you’re keeping within your budget.
In line with using your resources, you should always do some research. There are plenty of curriculums out there that you can find and may seem like they will work great, but make sure to check out reviews from others who have used those curriculums before jumping into buying it, in case it won’t work the way that you’re hoping.
Manage Your Time Wisely
One last thing to be wary of when choosing your homeschool curriculum is considering how much time each lesson takes. There is no harm in breaking up your day, and you can’t expect your children to sit through eight (or more) subjects in just one day. You can (and should) split up subjects day-to-day too, such as only doing math and science on Tuesdays and Thursdays, while Reading and Language is done on Mondays and Wednesdays.
Take some time and think about how much time that you can actively spend teaching each day, and how much each child can handle. If you have a very young learner who can only sit still for twenty minutes at a time, you might want to break up their curriculum more than your older child who can sit through a forty-five-minute lesson and handle more time working independently.
Once you have gone through these helpful tips and found the curriculum that will fit your family best by budget, time, and resources, you are ready to start homeschooling. Happy teaching!