Wednesday, 3 December 2014
There is a lot of choice out there when it comes to curriculum for home schooled kids. We keep an eye on the National Curriculum for a few reasons: 1) it is actually quite a sensible learning guide for the most part, 2) I don't want the children missing out on chunks of knowledge the vast majority of their peers have, 3) circumstances are never fixed; if something happens in the future and the children have to go into state education then I want the transition to be as easy for them as possible.
There are a wealth of homework textbooks and workbooks out there, cheaply available in discount stores, that follow the National Curriculum. These are perfect for the early years of home schooling, complimented by our own projects and activities, e.g. after finishing a textbook chapter on dinosaurs this morning, they are currently enjoying the BBC's Dinosaur Planet game. If you have the time to research the internet, you can find a great deal of free resources from school's own websites for reading guides etc, and from the BBC and TES. As the children grew older, however, I found we needed to introduce a resource to encourage more focused learning to prepare them for the exam years to come.
There are online schemes, online curriculum and open colleges which offer home schooling. These can all be as expensive as private tutoring. I found the great resources we ended up using through a recommendation on Larger Family Life's website.
Galore Park textbooks are really kid friendly, lots of bright pictures and easy to follow, but offer a thorough look at National Curriculum topics. They really are great value for money, as you only need one textbook to share for each subject, ready to use again for the next child. We plan to continue using these until GCSE time.