As you prepare to teach homeschool, you may have a number of questions in mind about what you’re going to do. Especially if your own experience with a particular subject in school was limited, or you are about to start teaching a subject that was not your best, you may not be sure about how to approach it. This set of articles helps sort out what you need to know and decide and provides some hints and tips for your use as applicable.
This set of articles addresses 16 homeschool subject areas, of which you will meet many, if not all as you homeschool.
- Homeschool Art
- Homeschool Bible Study
- Homeschool Economics
- Homeschool Electives
- Homeschool English
- Homeschool Foreign Language
- Homeschool Geography
- Homeschool Handwriting
- Homeschool Health & Nutrition
- Homeschool History
- Homeschool Math
- Homeschool Physical Education
- Homeschool Psychology
- Homeschool Reading
- Homeschool Science
- Homeschool Spelling
As you can see, some of these topics are ones you are likely to encounter with any curriculum and at any level, like Homeschool Math. Some, like Homeschool Bible Study, will only be pertinent to some families whose belief system includes the Bible. And some are most suitable for high school, such as Homeschool Psychology and Homeschool Economics. Homeschool Electives may be handled in different ways by different families, just as different children choose different electives in public or private schools.
The Five Foundations of Your Homeschool Program
The first foundation of the subject matter in your home school is the subject matter itself. Each homeschool subject has certain elements, techniques, approaches, methods, materials, vocabulary, and content, all of which are things we assume someone knows and is able to do when they know a subject whether it is music or physics, though of course these things are different for each subject.
The other four foundations of your homeschool art program are the national standards, local curriculum requirements – usually your state, if you live in one of the 50 United States, the program provided by the materials you use, and your own overarching and short-term goals for your child. Let’s start with national and work towards you.
Most homeschool subject areas have a national organization, generally composed of expert instructors in the area, who provide standards to help you understand what is normally expected of students at various stages of development. If you live in one of the 50 states, then your state education department – which may not go by exactly that name – is directly responsible for your homeschool program and you must find out and follow their requirements. The requirements are not only different in different states, but are more and less specific in different states as well.
The fourth foundation is any program you are using, that is, the teaching materials that make up your program. These should be in keeping with national standards and must fit with your state curriculum, but a single curriculum can be presented in many, many ways and from many perspectives and points of view.
Finally there is you. It is important the recognize that while some, or many of your goals may coincide with the goals of the national standards, your state’s curriculum, and the text or program you’re using, some may be entirely different. For example, in the realm of short-term goals, you may have a goal for your child’s math lesson that he or she will complete 10 problems without interruption. This isn’t a math goal, per se: it’s a behavior goal that happens to coincide with a math lesson. Thinking long-term, you may have a goal for your child’s art education that she or he will have discovered an art or craft that s/he particularly enjoys and achieved some proficiency in it by the time s/he finishes high school. You might be perfectly happy to have a child beading, knitting, playing the trumpet, making clay vases, or welding birdbaths of their own design, as long as they understand, enjoy, and regularly participate in the venture.
The Article Content
Because the national standards are something we have in common, and the state curricula and programs are different, the discussion in the articles will focus on national standards of these three. They will also provide suggestions for references, supplies, projects, web resources, and homeschool field trips.