A church school founded by the Huntsville Area Friends Meeting

Picking a Curriculum for Home Educating Your Child

Why are you homeschooling? What is your motivation? Do you have a homeschooling philosophy (i.e. are you doing a standard school approach, a classical education, child-centered learning, etc.) - don't worry if you don't have a philosophy yet - you will develop one!

What type of books are you interested in using? (public school traditional testbooks vs. those by a Christian publisher vs. unit studies, etc.) Are you interested in workbooks for your child?

Do you need lesson plans already made? Can you make your own lesson plans? Do you want teacher's editions? Answer keys?

Are there any subjects you feel a real need to focus on? Is your child ahead or behind in any areas? Do you need to concentrate on basics or add in electives? Are there any areas you feel the need for extra support in?

Think about your goals for your child. What do you want them to accomplish this year? Your curriculum should reflect what you hope to accomplish (for example, if one of your goals is to have your child do more independent writing, you probably won't want to use too many fill in the blank type workbooks!)

Consider learning styles: How does your child learn best? Do they like to read? Do they like to write? Does your child learn best by hearing things read to them? Do they need to move to learn - learn by doing? Counselors at North Alabama Friends School will be happy to assist you in picking curriculum for your child that will suit them as an individual.

Plan to spend most of your homeschool money on the basic 4 subjects:

Math (Many choices here from traditional school type texts, A Beka, Bob Jones, Saxon Math, Singapore math, Math-U-See, Teaching Textbooks, Chalkdust Math, computer games, drill sheets, etc.)

Science (Traditional text, Christian text, units, experiments, hands-on equipment) and Health (should be covered at some point in elementary school and again in high school).

Language Arts (this means English, i.e. spelling, grammar, reading - phonics for the beginners, reading comprehension, study of literature for older students, handwriting, composition, vocabulary, library skills) This may all be accomplished with one program or by combining many individual components.

Social Studies (history, geography, civics, economics) May use a traditional text, unit studies (a Sonlight-type approach), workbooks, or research-based.

After you've covered those areas consider electives:

Art (and art history), music, keyboarding, foreign language, logic, P.E., etc. the sky is the limit with electives and homeschool!

In addition to textbooks, consider other resources like the library, videos, the internet, computer games, people who might work with your child, classes etc.

Available Curricula

Bob Jones University Press - Christian textbooks, very thorough, college prep. 1-800-845-5731 BJU Press Website

A Beka - Christian textbooks, thorough, math moves quickly through elementary school. 1-800-874-2352 A Beka Website

Saxon Math - quality math, placement test available online, phonics materials - very thorough plus materials to teach older children/adults to read. 1-800-284-7019 or 404-329-7071. Saxon Website

Apologia Science Books - 1-888-324-4724 Apologia Website

Calvert - Very thorough, full curriculum program, excellent teachers materials, quality public/private school texts and materials. Calvert Website

Sonlight Curriculum - Full curriculum, wonderful history, reading, bible and science programs with a choice of math programs. Lots of writing. Thorough teachers materials. Sonlight Website