The first question non-homeschoolers ask homeschoolers after they have learned about your decision to home education your children is most likely about socialization issues. The first question that most homeschoolers ask each other will most likely be about curricula/ homeschool providers.
I still remember Deonna Tan-chi’s (one of the pioneers of homeschooling in the country) story about heading to National Book Store soon after they decided to homeschool to purchase all the locally produced textbooks of their children’s levels. Without the information online then and all the material available now, her options then were less and simpler. She just found a way to make it work with their 5 children. After homeschooling 4 children of 4 different levels, I can truly say that the abundance of homeschool materials can be seen as a double-edged sword. You can either swim and drown or you can swim and do a wonderful stroke with the sea of materials!
I really can’t put a comprehensive list of what’s out there. Wow, I will drown! This post will probably have a part 2 in actually sharing with you my personal journey with our own curriculum but for now let me share with you some important principles in decision making re curriculum.
1. What works for others, may not work for you thus a certain level of trial and error may be necessary. That’s why it makes more sense to borrow first if you have friends who have gone ahead. However it you choose to borrow, treat material with respect always. It ain’t yours, dear!
2. Regarding purchasing material, you can waste money in rushing, hoarding and bandwagon decision making. Know what you have and know what you need. Do not purchase add-ons for books with lessons or subject matters that are easily taught online too. Use what you have first.
3. Once you have decided, stick to your material and abandon only when absolutely necessary.
4. Choose material that:
- can be used and reused for multilevel kids.
- suits your teaching personality and what you hold dear in terms of learning and education principles.
- contain assessments (seatwork, quizzes or testif that is a requirement
- suits the dominant learning style of your student (that’s if you children like most have mixed learning styles)
- enhances creativity and promote real-life connection and applicationwithin your homeschool budget
5. Your decision to go independent or hook up with a homeschool provider may affect your choice of materials.
Some providers may require only a limited type of material or may require that you use the material they publish.
The list below is no way comprehensive but having been in the homeschooling circle for over the decade now, here are some materials that’s been widely used. You may google each one to find out more about them. Just type away and you’ll get a wealth of information about all of these material.
- Sing Spell Read and Write
- Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind
- Easy Grammar
- Rod and Staff
- Bob Jones University
- Five in a Row
- Horizons (part of Alpha Omega)
- Alpha Omega Publications (Lifepacs)
- Living Heritage Academy Paces ( School of Tomorrow)
- Apologia Science and Apologia What We Believe Series
- Singapore Math
- Saxon Math
- Calvert Homeschool Program
- Mystery of History
- Story of the World
- Eps Publishing
- Voyages in English
- Catholic Filipino Academy
- Science by Pearson Publishing
- Following God series
- Tapestry of Grace
- Sonlight Curriculum
- Filipino: Binhi, Liwanag at Landas, Sanghaya
- Social Studies: One Country, Pluma, Philippine Pride, Kayamanan
Am sure, I’ve missed a whole lot more. Please do write on the comments below if you would like to suggest other material for our readers.
Let me share with you what we’ve used these past 13 years!
We tried Binhi, Liwanag sa Landas and Sanghaya for teaching Filipino but ended up using lots of story books/ chapter books and a Filipino Conversation teaching guide.
So, I hope this post helps. Most of the books I have shown here are available in Learning Plus Bookstore in Fun Ranch Compound, Tiendesitas. Mathusee is available in Philippine edition. Howeve, I had to order the Sing Spell Series, most Language,Music and Art materials online.