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Homeschooling is more than just education at home. Homeschool parents, children, tutors, and anyone interested in learning online, a structured home classroom or unstructured unschooling will find A2Z Home's Cool an "cool" home school blog.

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Help Choosing Homeschooling Study Material

About Curriculum

What is “Curriculum?” It is not just a set of books, but a plan for achieving the goals you and your children set forth. Here are essays that will help you with choosing curriculum for homeschooling.

What is the best homeschool curriculum?
I get this question so often and without any supporting information that I thought I’d post an analogy.

This company advises other companies about trends in children’s learning. They even have a website where they can “watch” kids try out new online programs. If you want to get an idea about how modern curriculum is created, this site can give you some eye openers!

A Textbook Example of What’s Wrong with Education
Every time a friend with kids in school tells me textbooks are too generic, I think back to that moment. “Who writes these things?” people ask me. I have to tell them, without a hint of irony, “No one.” It’s symptomatic of the whole muddled mess that is the $4.3 billion textbook business. By Tamim Ansary

Advice on Where to Purchase

Big Chains, Big Savings?
Okay, I’m biased. As a small independent bookseller, I don’t like what the big chains are doing to the bookselling business, but at least they save you money . . . don’t they? The Family Unschoolers Network.

Buying Used Curriculum
If you would like to know more “behind the scenes” of the homeschool authors and suppliers that are serving you and making these products available to you, there are three articles right here. By Barb Shelton.

Why Don’t You Discount?
If you find a company [or author ] you really believe in, a company that has ministered to you and met your needs, a company you think fills a unique “niche” in the home schooling market, a company you would like to see grow and flourish, then buy from them. By Chris and Ellyn Davis of The Elijah Company.


Figuring out where your child is at helps avoid tears for starting too hard or boredom for starting too easy. It also helps you determine your child’s learning style.

Assets 4 Learning
Teach to your child’s strengths. He’s intelligent in his own way. She has a style of her own.

Understand how learning happens.

Math Assessment
Ways to find out just what your child has mastered in math and what math to do next.

Reading Level Assessments
Two assessments to help you figure out the reading level of your child. Explanation of the RL code on books.

Build in Flexibility

Homeschooling has the big advantage of being able to quickly work around bottlenecks.

Concerning Choosing Curriculum (I Love Alliteration)
The method is not as important as just jumping in and doing it. Sometimes your choices won’t work. The child hates it or worse yet Mom/Dad hates it. Try something else. By Tammy Montel.

Curriculum To Unschooling
From off-the-shelf to creating your own, to letting your child lead the way.

Don’t Panic–How to Choose a Curriculum
And then it hits you–what am I supposed to teach him–how am I going to teach him–I don’t know how to teach him–WHAT HAVE I DONE!?

How To Create a Dynamic Learning Environment in Your Home
After nearly two years of reading, browsing through catalogs, cruising the web, and talking to many homeschoolers in search of the “right” curriculum, I have come to the conclusion that educating myself about teaching, the learning process, etc. is a higher priority than purchasing a curriculum package. By Susan Franklin.

Advice on What to Purchase

Words of advice from a wide variety of experienced homeschool parents.

Choosing Curriculum That’s Right for You
Common Sense Press takes a look a three methods of education. Their delightful “duck” lesson as approached by each method will help you understand which method you’d like for your family.

Choosing The Right Homeschooling Teaching Material
There are plenty of resources available that can help lead concerned parents to the appropriate teaching materials and methods that work best for their family. By David Dunlap.

Conference Conundrum
One way to view curriculum before you buy is to attend a homeschooling conference, convention or curriculum fair.

Curriculum Wars
William and Tamara Eaton write from a Christian perspective, pointing out that just because a curriculum might be “Christian” it still might not fit the values and goals you have for your children.

The Great American Textbook Scandal
Why you probably won’t want to buy a science text book used in schools. Use hands-on or primary sources instead.

One Stop Shopping, or Eclectic Education?
The homeschool shopping season has begun. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you select materials. From Kathryn Stout of Design-A-Study.

The Relevance of Materials and Classes to Real Learning
It’s so hard to let go of the notion that children need to be led through all that stuff in order to learn what it has to teach.

So you’ve decided to homeschool
Karen Gibson reminds new homeschoolers to take it slow, to do your research. Note that Karen is from Alabama where one must have a cover school. This is not true in most other places.

Step 6: Managing Materials
As tempting as it is to jump right in and start scouring the suppliers’ catalogs, if you don’t know what you are looking for, you may never find it. Laying the groundwork for a curriculum search may take you more time now — but save you time and money later!

Things that will make me not buy a homeschool material
This isn’t a comprehensive list, I’m sure there are other things that would cause me to refuse to use a material/curriculum/sevice. These quickly came to mind, though. I did have specific materials or publishers in mind as I wrote much of this.

What curriculum should I choose?
The choice of a curriculum is based on your educational philosophy and the learning styles and developmental stages of each child.


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