Choosing Curriculum That Works For You

Choosing Curriculum imgChoosing Curriculum That Works For You

Episode 4

Curriculum!! ahhhhhhhh …. Choosing a curriculum is probably one of, if not the biggest fear of new homeschoolers. In this podcast, we walk you through choosing curriculum that works for your family. Tips and advice on selecting the right homeschool curriculum. Move past the fear of selecting curriculum with help from FPEA.

 

We have compiled a list of good curriculum resources below for you to explore. Not every curriculum works for every family or every student. What might work for some students, won’t be a good fit for other students.

Concerning homeschool curriculum, the good news is there are many choices and sources. The challenge is there are hundreds and hundreds of materials from which to choose. Florida does not require any specific curricula or even specific credits for high school; you are free to select the materials and the courses best suited for your children. It is important to know why you have chosen to homeschool and to be somewhat familiar with the different educational philosophies — traditional, unit studies, classical, Charlotte Mason, unschooling, etc. The approach you take usually drives curriculum choices. Attending an FPEA-sponsored homeschool orientation will help you understand the factors to consider in making informed choices. It is also advisable to consider the learning style and the successful/unsuccessful education experiences of each individual child. Some curricula are better suited to a specific learning style or a particular subject.

The Guide to Homeschooling in Florida includes a full directory of “tried and true” home education teaching materials. Please contact those companies to access their catalogs so you can begin to search for the materials that interest you. Long-time favorite catalog companies are R.O.C.K. Solid (www.rocksolidinc.com), Timberdoodle (www.timberdoodle.com), CBD (www.christianbook.com) and Sonlight (www.sonlight.com). The best catalog companies are owned by homeschool parents, have great descriptions of their products, and offer a wide selection of some of the best materials. In the Orlando area, A.C.C.E.S. (www.acces-inc.com) offers a variety of homeschool curricula and has a public warehouse where you can preview them.

Most libraries and bookstores have homeschool magazines that contain reviews of different teaching materials and encouraging articles. Your library may also carry 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum by Cathy Duffy, a highly recommended resource. If you choose to homeschool with a particular philosophy (classical, unit studies, traditional, etc.), specific books recommend curricula based on it. In addition, many local libraries host FPEA-sponsored homeschool orientations.

Some good curriculum resources

 Abeka

Answers in Genesis
Apologia

Beautiful Feet Books

BJU Press/HomeWorks by Precept

BookShark

Classical Academic Press

Common Sense Press

Cornerstone Curriculum

Creating a Masterpiece

Demme Learning/Math U See

Doorposts

Fun-Schooling with The Thinking Tree

GeoMatters
Good Steward Books, LLC

Great Leaps Reading and Math

Institute for Excellence in Writing

Jim Hodges Audio Books

La Clase Divertida( The FUN Class!)
Lamplighter Publishing

Landi English

Logic of English

Memoria Press

Mr D Math

Nature’s Workshop Plus

Pandia Press

Rainbow Resources

RightStart Mathematics by Activities for Learning,
Rod & Staff by Bible Way Books
Rosetta Stone Homeschool

ShillerLearning: Montessori at Home
Simply Charlotte Mason

Sonlight Curriculum
Souns for Literacy

Teaching Textbooks

Usborne Books & More

 

Join us this September in Sanibel Island for both fun and learning. Make a staycation of of this FPEA STEM Conference. Sanibel is a beautiful area with lots to explore.

Sanibel STEM

Summer Roadschool Rules

Summer Roadschool Show ButtonIf you’re looking for a list of rules to make your summer roadschool awesome, you’ve come to the wrong place! Our Roadschool Moms team wholeheartedly agrees that we generally steer clear of any set-in-stone, cookie-cutter parameters that could inhibit or stifle our roadschoolers enthusiasm to learn something new everyday. In this episode, Mary Beth and Kimberly use their radio time to talk about the ways they plan to keep their traveling homeschoolers on the learning adventure this summer. Click play to hear more.

  1. One of our favorite summer traditions in the Road Trip Teacher rig, is our summer journals. This is something we’ve been doing for many years (even before we started living fulltime in an RV.) It is a simply constructed journal of paper (lined, colored, blank, or a combination) bound together to be used to document all the summer activities to come. Giving your student a few ideas is a great guide to help him get started such as
  • write or illustrate the weather daily or in a weekly summary
  • make a summer leap list at the beginning of the journal to talk about all the things you would like to accomplish during this season of sunshine
  • use it as a daily diary of thoughts or inspirations
  • make a photo scrapbook of sorts to document one picture daily or weekly that represents the time period

2. Take advantage of travel plans to delve into state history facts and information. This project is even more fun if you will be hitting different areas of the same state so that differences in  Again, by planning a notebook or binder for this state study, it gives your roadschooler a place to record state symbols, cut out the state song to play later if he is musically inclined, investigate the different areas in the way of topography, rivers and lakes, and the different terrain across the area. If your summer travel plans will take you to a specific region of the U.S., these state study guides can be grouped together to represent that as well. This is a wonderful record of time spent that will be referred to time and time again.

3. Sometimes, homeschool plans are so full of all the basics, it’s hard to consistently fit in the extra-curriculars. Summer is a perfect time to take advantage of music, art, or other areas of special interest:

  • There are tons of music curriculum out there that allows a student to formally study the subject. One of our favorite ways to enjoy music curriculum is with Super Quiet Learning Time from SquiltMusic.com.   These are easy lessons with no planning involved that can be enjoyed by all ages under a tree during a picnic or anywhere you please! You might even find that one of your roadschoolers enjoys a particular composer and for that, this fun site has Squilt Spotlight studies.
  • It’s no secret that Art + Outside = Super Summer Fun. There are so many different ways to enjoy art, sometimes it’s overwhelming to pick just one medium. So don’t! Try something new each week of the summer that you may or may not have tried before. A favorite from the Road Trip Teacher’s crew is chalk art pastel drawings.  The Roadschool 101 crew especially enjoyed the lessons from the American Landmarks tutorials.
  • Have your kiddos shown an interest in a particular sport, activity, or musical instrument? Use YouTube videos and plan a chunk of time to further their interests. If you summer travel plans are really flexible, research an instructor or private tutor and block out a few weeks of lessons. This is something that will be a reward long after the instruction is over.

4.  No matter where in the world you are, summer and nature just go together. This is the perfect season to spotlight a nature study. Compiling a nature journal ahead of time so that details of the world around your roadschooler can be written down is an added bonus. Keeping a nature journal for three months so that what she sees and what she hears can be recorded will make her a better observer. As the leader of this trip with Mother Nature, drop in subtle reminders to look for the little things, pay extra special attention to what you hear at night when all is quiet, and note the weather for one place to another. Using a nature study to spotlight your summer roadschool is a great way to cultivate your learner’s senses and enjoy every ounce of what the season is all about.

But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.      Job 12:7-10

5.  No matter what the season or direction of your roadschool rig, reading is a great way to keep your learners moving in the right educational direction. Summer feels like freedom so this is a great time to let your readers sample all kinds of material. Download these free reading calendar pages from the Learning Shoppe over at Road Trip Teacher and post them in a central location. See who in your household can fill a month’s worth of reading activities.

6.  Take advantage of the summer holiday spotlight over Independence Day. Let the research begin before you arrive to your early July destination and see what the area you will be visiting has to offer in the way of history, activities, and firework celebrations. If July plans in your rig aren’t firm yet, check out these great July 4th destinations from Fulltime Families.

7.  If you entire summer is up in the air, make your summer roadschool a mystery trip! Last year, the Roadschool Moms shared you their Top 10 Summer Destinations. Use that as a guide to map out all the places your traveling tribe would love to see in the lush, green season of summer. How many can you mark off before the leaves fall later this year?

For information on how you can catch up with the Roadschool Moms duo this summer, check out their schedule for the 2016 season.


To listen to the Roadschool Moms’s plans for summer roadschool, tune into the May 1st episode of Roadschool Moms over at iTunes!

Roadschool Moms is a live, one-hour weekly broadcast dedicated to the needs and challenges facing today’s roadschool moms. Kimberly Travaglino, of Fulltime Families, and Mary Beth Goff, the Road Trip Teacher, team up every week to offer listeners a fresh take on homeschooling while traveling full time, working in current events and featuring a mix of expert guests.

Grammar Galaxy: a Language Arts Curriculum Out of This World

Grammar Galaxy: The Homeschool Sanity Show
If you have a beginning reader, you’ll be interested in this episode of The Homeschool Sanity Show. I share the curriculum I’ve created to engage young readers and writers as well as an exclusive discount for podcast listeners only.

Listen on iTunes
 

Links

GrammarGalaxyBooks.com
Periscope
Homeschool Sanity on Facebook

Encouragement from an Expert

learning in spite of labels

 

 

Joyce Herzog (teacher/author/consultant/speaker) has been a friend to homeschooling families for over 20 years.  Listen to this interview and be encouraged to help your children learn in spite of labels, or in spite of curriculum that does not seem to be working, or in spite of the naysayers!!  Curriculum is to be a guide, not a god!  Joyce offers all kinds of great advice and she shares a few secrets that teachers never tell!

 

 

How to Teach Patriotism & Politics

How to teach patriotism and politics to kids of all ages. Don't miss these amazing free resources from Founders Academy.net in this podcast.Lynn SchottWhether you think politics is a boring or intimidating topic to teach in your homeschool, you’ll want to hear my interview with Lynn Schott of Founders Academy. Her enthusiasm for the topic is infectious and the resources she provides for students of all ages (many of them free and very inexpensive) are amazing.

Listen in to learn:

  • How Lynn got involved in politics (it’s a neat story)
  • How she imparted patriotism and a willingness to participate in the political process to her children
  • The amazing project she has her government students do (that adults should do, too)
  • How your high school students can complete semester-long classes in just eight weeks this summer

You can find free online classes at Founders Academy and follow Lynn on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+.

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