When you choose to homeschool your child, one of the biggest decisions you have to make is what curriculum you are going to teach. As the only teacher, your child is depending on you to give him all of the necessary material, so you will need to do your homework to figure out what that information is and the best way to relay it your child. The first three steps you need to take are: deciding what you want to focus on, what standards your child needs to meet, and how your child learns material. Homeschooling can be highly beneficial for many children because their individual learning needs are met every day, so if you put in the work beforehand, both you and your child can reap some great benefits from this style of schooling.
Decide on Your Focus
Ask yourself what you want your child to gain from homeschooling. What can your homeschool offer that a traditional school cannot? You may want to do an interdisciplinary approach, focus on the STEM subjects, or focus on the arts if your child has a talent for one of those things. There isn’t much room for customization in regular schools, but you do have that advantage in homeschool and you can find curriculums that suit your preferences and slightly modify them if you desire. As long as you ensure that your child is proficient in all necessary subjects, you can spend more time focusing on a single subject or two if that is what you feel is important.
Research and Set Standards
If your child plans on attending college, he needs to have the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in a traditional school environment. Look up the set standards for each grade level for your state and follow those as closely as you can. Some resources you can use to set your curriculum are: Time4Learning, Calvert Education, Citizens High School, and your state’s website for academic guidelines. Even though your child is studying at home, they still need to have homework, take tests, and participate in hands-on activities just like traditional students so they will be able to perform on the same level when they are finished with homeschool.
Cater to Your Child’s Learning Style
Is your child a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner? You can look up the different learning styles and determine whether your child learns best through pictures and video, the spoken word, or through hands-on activities. If you cater to your child’s learning style, they will learn the material more quickly and accurately, which could result in them actually being ahead of their peers in traditional school. Their learning style may be out of your own comfort zone, but the focus of homeschool needs to be on them, which could mean that you have to do a significant amount of research and lesson planning on your own.