I taught my own kids at home for a few years when we lived overseas in Nazareth, Israel. I valued
the materials and books that I took back to the Middle East since we did not have access to an English
library, there was no Borderís or Barnes and Noble and we yet hadnít started using the internet.
Now these tools are invaluable and I canít imagine my life without Google. In some ways, with so much to choose
from, it can be a rather daunting task. Narrowing down the best curriculum, best books, and best approach
and then tailoring that to the needs of different children in the family--all happens before we even hold
one day of school.
My hope is to be able to help you along with some of those challenges, offer some tips and advice and be
available should you have need to talk it through.
What you have here in the United States that I didnít have there in the Middle East, is the beauty of a
homeschool support network, umbrella school and collective mom poolónot to mention the endless source of
wisdom and knowledge available through the internet.
So here are some excellent resources to help get you going or supplement what youíre already using.
1. Customized Curriculum
- Sonlight ó this is a great curriculum choice for families who love literature and real books!
This was my favorite when we lived in Nazareth. I could teach thematically, include both Laura and Ryan
who were just two years apart, and cover all my bases.
This is also a great choice for families who live overseas or travel and for momís who like to juggle a
few things and color outside the lines. It gave me the freedom to incorporate other options. I could
teach a theme or topic across the curriculum with relative ease.
If youíre using Sonlight and would like to add any comments or suggestions, please visit our blog and
let your voice be heard. If you need assistance with your Sonlight curriculum, please feel free to email
me and Iíd be happy to help out in anyway that I can.
I recommend this curriculum to every
homeschool parent I know--I used it for years and love it!
2. Structured Curriculum
- Alpha Omega ó this curriculum choice works well if you have an independent learner. This works particularly
well for older students who are self-motivated and do not need constant coaching or input. The student works
through a series of workbooks to complete each unit. This tends to be a more structured approach to home schooling.
Other curriculum options that tend to have greater structure and are all-inclusive include:
- Calvert School www.calvertschool.org
- James Madison High School Online www.ashworthuniversity.edu/programs/highschool
- Keystone High School www.keystonehighschool.com
3. Christian Curriculum (in addition to Sonlight)
For an overall view of various Christian and secular curriculum options check out:
Learning and Teaching Styles
The choice of the curriculum is dependent as much on the learner as the teacher. You need to not only find
a curriculum that suits you child but one that you feel you will be able to work with everyday for an
entire school year.
Itís important that you know your own learning style as well as your childís and are willing to discover
and explore ways that you can both work best together.
Until your child is able to work on his/her own, you will have daily, direct input and connection to
his/her schoolwork. A good working routine and schedule is important so that your child will see the
value of school and not take it lightly. However, the curriculum choices and approach to learning can
vary greatly from subject to subject, year to year and child to child.
Developing your Personal Approach to Homeschooling
Many homeschool moms like to start out with a more structured approach and as the years go by and she
becomes more familiar with curriculum options, her childís learning style, and her teaching styleóa
confidence starts to build. Thatís when the branching out begins. The ability to combine language
arts with social studies, write your own thematic units, add field trips and enrichment projects,
enhances the entire homeschool experience.
Joining a homeschool association or getting together with other homeschool moms nearby helps build
a greater knowledge base, ensures support through the challenging times and fosters a sense of community
as your work toward common goals and purposes for your childrenís education.
My favorite part of homeschooling was creating exciting thematic units that my kids could totally get
into over a period of several weeks. If we were studying China, then we ate Chinese food, we listened
to Chinese music, and we did Chinese calligraphy, watched movies and read books about China. I could
go on and on. By the end of the unit, we were "experts" on China.
There is something about entering into a subject and taking it on with intensity that enhances the
love of learning. I have always been my goal to develop my children as thinkers and learners.
By steeping our kids in a subject area, their understanding and knowledge of that subject and their
desire to learn and understand more is heightened.
To Learn More
For more information or help in getting your curriculum choice secured or pulling together thematic
units--donít hesitate to call and we can work on a plan that would best suit you and your child as
you teach and learn at home.
- Teaching Children Diane Lopez
- Learning at Home: Preschool and Kindergarten Ann Ward
- Home Learning Year by Year: How to Design a Home School Curriculum from Preschool through High School
- The Way They Learn Cynthia Tobias
On Special Needs and Learning Issues
- Myth of Laziness Mel Levine
- Homeschooling the Child with ADD or Other Special Needs: Your Complete Guide to Successfully
Homeschooling the Child with Learning Differences Lenore Colacion Hayes
- Homeschooling the Challenging Child: A Practical Guide Christine M. Fields
- Homeschooling Today
- Home Education Magazine
- Practical Homeschooling
The list could go on and on. As true homeschooler you know that learning is a lifetime process. You can no
doubt add to this list, as I will continue to, as the months go by and I continue to learn more.
If you have books, materials, CDís, DVDís, periodicals, support group information that you think would
benefit others or would just like to add a word of encouragement or feedback than please
contact me. We value your input and your experience.
All the best for your academic success!!
For further information about umbrella school and local and national academy programs, please visit
the following sites. These programs will help you decide on curriculum, monitor quarterly progress
and keep records and transcripts. Some of the locations will issue certificates of completion and
diplomas. You should visit each site to determine how it will best accommodate your schooling needs.
Local Delaware and Tri-State: