So today’s the day you choose to begin shopping for the classes and curriculum needed for your child. You’ve never done this before, but you think how difficult can it be? We’re used to shopping for things, it’s a part of life in the 21st century. You quickly learn that it’s not quite like shopping for anything else.
You don’t drive to a specialty store, look for the “homeschool” department and find the aisle marked “online curriculums” where you see what you are looking for listed in order according to age and grade. No, it’s not quite that easy.
If you’re like most people will start with a Google search: “online homeschool curriculums” and in a little over half a second you find 474,000 pages for you to get lost in. The point is, you need to refine your search.
Do I want religious or secular?
One big distinction, that will shorten the list of sites you look at is whether the curriculum you are looking for will be religion based or secular. If you want your child’s curriculum to include spiritual instruction, you then tailor your search to include the religious background you prefer.
You will find programs including Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and Jewish faiths to name a few. And of course, there are many Christian based programs to choose from. You may however determine that you want your religious instruction to be a family guided thing, and so choose a secular based curriculum.
In any event, this is a significant distinction to consider when you are looking at all the options available.
Do I need a teacher beside myself?
Sometimes the relationship between a parent and a child does not lend itself to a teacher-student scenario. Some children are just not receptive to their parents at certain times in their lives and so are best served by having someone different as their teacher.
You as the parent may not have experience teaching and may not be suited for that role. You may be brilliant, and education came easy for you, but communicating that understanding to someone else, “just isn’t your thing”.
For any and all of these reasons, you may determine that it is best to shell out a little extra money to have a third party instructing your child.
Does my child need to be in a group setting?
Some children do best in a team based learning environment. They thrive in discussion groups and working together with others on projects.
Many public schools now are incorporating this type of cooperative learning structure into the classrooms and finding it to be very beneficial. However, it doesn’t work for everyone.
Some of the more gifted children at times carry more of the load than others. And yet everyone’s name gets listed and they all get the credit equally. Your child may be very disciplined and motivated, while others in their group may be more concerned about socializing than learning.
As with most things in life, there are no absolutes in the education process. That’s the nice thing about homeschooling, you can choose which environment best fits your child and provided with them without having someone else make a decision for you.
How involved do I need to be?
Are you a stay at home mom devoted solely to your child’s education? Originally, that’s what homeschooling was all about. Mom was the teacher and spent the day instructing her children. Things have definitely changed in the last 20 or so years since the advent of the Internet.
Many families now require a two-person income and yet want their children to have the benefit of a more personalized education process than the public school system allows. Many homeschooled children have a parent at home but not necessarily available.
Many times the parent at home has a business to attend to during the day and so is limited as to how much time they can spend in their children’s education. That’s the beauty of online homeschool curriculums. You can choose the one that works the best for you the parent as well as the student.
Searching with direction
These topics are certainly not all-inclusive and by no means cover all the aspects involved in finding the correct online homeschool curriculum for your child. If anything, the intention was to help you think through the details of the decision process and help you expedite your search for the proper curriculum for your little learner.
Surely you’ll come up with other parameters around which to make this decision and we welcome them in the comments below. If nothing else please be encouraged in knowing that it is available to find the very best situation for your child even though there are so many options out there.
We look forward to, welcome and appreciate all your comments and input on this subject knowing it will certainly help others who have embarked on the same journey.