Back to Homeschool with the Right Curriculum is part of the Back to Homeschool: Mind Over Matter blog series. This post has been provided by Yours Truly (Michelle) from With the Huddlestons.
There is good curriculum. Then there’s great, amazing, and wonderful curriculum. I’ll never call one bad because although it may not have worked for one family, it could be just the thing another family is looking for.
I’ve been blessed thus far in my six year homeschooling journey to not have come across something that just absolutely didn’t work (and may have left a bad taste in my mouth). It’s probably because there are a few key things that I keep in mind when searching for and using resources.
The Child’s Unique Needs
This is a big one, especially for those of us who are homeschooling multiple children who span across various age ranges. I currently have a 6th grader, Kinder-schooler, and two Play-schoolers. This means looking for resources that will accommodate their learning needs at these particular stages.
Taking it a step further, I also want to ensure that I am going where their needs lead. For example, one of my Play-schoolers (the 3-year-old) is in a repeating phase. This mama is thinking, “Okay buddy! Let’s repeat the words on these flashcards!” Playfully, he does all while I have building his vocabulary in mind.
The Child’s Learning Style
I hate to say it but my firstborn was the guinea pig in the beginning of our homeschool journey because he was the only child at the time. Not to mention I had just traded in my brick-and-mortar teacher hat to become a work-from-home, homeschooling mom. Put those two things together and you get a funny memory to look back on and lessons to learn from.
Fast forward five years, I like to think that I may have this part of homeschooling down. I’ve learned to not give a hands-on, let-me-get-dirty child a stack of worksheets and say, “Do them.” or we’ll most likely have a meltdown.
I’ve also learned to let a lesson be extended if the kiddos are enjoying themselves and want to learn more. If she wants to write, let her write. If they want to color, let them color. If he wants to touch and feel (versus just looking at it), let him do it. This makes learning fun and real to them.
Spending vs. Investing
Unique needs and learning styles aside, understanding the difference between spending and investing was a huge money-saver for me. I admit that at the beginning of this journey I already had a do-it-yourself mentality and was set on spending less than a certain amount on resources.
However, this isn’t always the case for some homeschoolers. Sometimes you may feel like forking out hundreds of dollars on curriculum is what you’re supposed to do because that’s what so-and-so did.
Simply put, I’ve learned that spending doesn’t always mean that it’s a wise investment. When I invest in something for my children’s educational needs I want it to be reusable and have longevity (to say the least).
The question now becomes, “Where do I find the right curriculum for my family’s needs?”
I’m glad you asked. While I don’t know your family’s unique situation, I do know of and want to tell you about a few curriculum resources that I highly recommend (and have heard other’s raving about too)!
Curriculum Resources the Huddlestons Trust
Hands down, this online piano lesson program is the best I’ve seen. The teacher, Mr. Hoffman, is an amazing teacher who is even more amazing with children. His teaching style makes learning fun and engaging. And the best part is the lessons are totally free.
There are premium perks that can be unlocked for only $18/mo (still cheaper than any piano lesson I’ve ever found)! Oh, and they are having a piano camp until September 1st!
When I was first approached about trying out WriteShop’s curriculum, naturally I was skeptical because it seemed like one of those boxed curriculums that I [personally] tend to stay away from (because we are too eclectic for that). However, after looking it over I said yes.
I first said yes to trying their WriteShop I & II for Middle and High Schoolers. Then I was asked to give their WriteShop Primary a try. So far I have been very pleased with these resources. My 6th grader is able to work independently on his lessons while I am able to work one-on-one with my Kinder-schooler.
WriteShop Primary helps me to teach her simple writing skills that match her [already] love for writing and continue to build her confidence. It also offers:
- No-pressure activities that eliminate stress
- Incremental lessons that build slowly
- Multisensory appeal for visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners
- Picture book suggestions for each lesson
- Crafty publishing ideas children love
- Oral activities for kids who aren’t reading or writing yet
- and much, much more!
Check them out and even get a free sample (immediate download)! In the meantime, hop in their back to school giveaway (time sensitive)!
This is the hub of all things educational resources. There are hundreds and thousands of resources to choose from! To make your search easier, use the tool in the left margin to narrow down what you’re looking for – and whoolah, hundreds of options pop up!
While you can get your hands on some incredible (and free) resources, if you decide to make a purchase, you are supporting a teacher who is also a lover of education and passionate about providing you with great resources!
This resource is exactly what its title says, extra math. Conveniently online, this website is a great program for students (parents and teachers) to help with building math facts in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
I personally enjoy the teachers way of presenting each lesson and the quizzes given. Student reports are emailed to the parent (and can be printed) to show progress. They also give certificates of completion!
Even MORE Resources
Other resources that I’ve used and/or heard are good and worth a look-see:
- The Good & The Beautiful (free Language Arts Curriculum for 1st-5th grade, PDF form)
- Starfall (free interactive, online games and activities for preschool thru 3rd grade)
- Classic Life Science (free elementary life science)
- Middle School Chemistry (free)
- Letter of the Week
To get your hands on even MORE resources offered by us, consider:
- Subscribing to our email community and unlock our Free Resource Library (sign up in the right margin).
- Joining our Homeschool Library Membership with perks that include hundreds of curriculum resources, tools for parents, access to our virtual COOP program, access to past events, conferences, seminars, and so much more!
- Purchasing our highly sought-after FREE Resource List bundles (currently available for High School and Middle School).
I wanna hear from you!
What are some of your go-to choices for great curriculum?! Let me know in the comments below!
Before you go, don’t forget to enter the back to homeschool bundle giveaway!