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  1. #1
    Junior Member Newbie
    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Default Help--homeschool newbie here!

    I'm just starting to research the options for homeschooling my two grandchildren (2012 and 2014). I know it's early, but I probably need the headstart because I have no familiarity with this world. I've always felt a little squidgy about the proliferation of homeschooling, mostly stemming from my view of the relationship between a democratic society and its educational system, but also because the first I knew about homeschooling was people who seemed to want to withdraw from the culture, seemingly on religious (read: anti-science) grounds. I myself am religious (I suppose you'd call it that), but am also what you'd have to call a science-groupie. (My daughter is in the sciences, as was my husband.)

    So, fellow SHS members, how do I investigate the available curricula? What questions should I be asking myself as I wade through the material? How do I get started?

    Thanks for any advice!

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  3. #2


    The links here for secular curriculum reviews is helpful. And then its a case of figuring out their learning styles and trying to match up. I am still in the process of doing that...but its been how I am tackling it.

  4. #3


    Investigating curricula is something that will invade your life and take over your brain if you let it! One of the books that helped me immensely was 100 Top Picks of Homeschool Curriculum by Cathy Duffy. There's a web site, but the book digs in and discusses the kids' learning styles vs. your teaching style and then suggests various options for these different types. It's not foolproof by any means, and some of the curriculum isn't very secular-friendly, but I found it to be a good jumping-off point. From there I browsed and dug and figured out what I wanted to use and went from there. Another approach some people use is to look at what they want the end results to be, whether it be 12 years from now or just a single year, and find curricula to reach those goals. It's totally up to you. I see you're in Texas, so you won't have the state breathing down your neck and trying to tell you what to use, if I understand the laws there correctly, so that'll be nice. One final thing is to remember that the first year is almost a throw-away year. You're learning how to teach and work with their quirks, they're learning how to do what is expected of them while still being in a 'home' setting (well, most of the time, unless you join a co-op), and it's just all a hot mess sometimes. You'll have great expectations and then have to throw out a whole curriculum because it inspires tears rather than smiles. It's the cost of doing this and doing it well, I think. Welcome to the boards!
    Sarah B., Oklahoma

    "By three methods we may learn wisdom: first, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third, by experience, which is the bitterest." - Confucius

    Blog: Our Sunnyview

    Less-than-Zenlike mother of:
    M1 - The Boy, age 11, home since 2009 - loves science, swimming, and folk music
    M2 - The Girl, age 9, home since 2012 - loves anatomy, the arts, and her violin

  5. #4
    Senior Member Arrived Elly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013


    I started by reading the books available in my local library, and browsing the web. There is a lot that's religious, some more than others (it might bother you less than me, from your post!). I also really enjoy the Savvy Homeschool Moms podcast (I wasn't into podcasting until I started listening to it!). They have tons of chat, resources, ideas etc. I've listened to most of the episodes more than once because I go back to review material. Even if you don't want to listen to the podcast, their website has loads of interesting, secular information.

    4th year of homeschooling DS, now 9!

  6. #5


    I agree with Ellycp. You would probably be better to start with researching homeschooling in general and the variety of educational philosophies you might follow. Read these forums and blogs, magazines etc. The children are still so very young. You can't know just yet what kinds of materials might work best for them, what kinds of learners they may be, where there interests will lie, and all of that plus your educational goals should come into play in choosing curriculum. Also by the time you need curriculum in 3-5 years there will be new options available to you
    Good luck!

  7. #6


    The place to start might be with the requirements in your state. In SC, the requirement is that the primary educator is a parent or guardian, I suppose there are ways around this but you will need to make sure stories are strait. KWIM??

  8. #7


    I second reading about homeschooling in general and not about specific curricula. If you have time, then the best thing you can do to understand how to evaluate a curricula, is to figure out where you stand on education in general. That will give you a lens through which to ask questions about things you see. And that's something you can do now. The other piece you can't know is how a child will turn out as a learner and what curriculum they'll turn out to need. And it may not be the one you envision.

    I always suggest that people start with books with different perspectives, so I usually say The Well-Trained Mind and either Project-Based Homeschooling or Free Range Homeschooling.

    Also, as others are saying, read forums like this and see what people are using. There are routinely "this is our line up" type threads here where people post what programs they're using. Look them up and check them out. I have learned a lot more from copying other peoples' choices than anything else.
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