By Robin Collins
(Vienna, WV, USA)
We chose Switched on Schoolhouse for Language Arts. My son loves it. I prefer to be more involved as a teacher so we take the lessons at his pace. This allows us time to discuss his assignments and add activities.
We chose Teaching Textbooks for Math. Again, my son loves it. We can speed up or slow down the lessons. I love that it comes with an answer key and printed textbook that I can photocopy for him to work out the problems.
For History, Geography, Science and Health, we chose A Beka. It is fast paced, crammed with information, and so full of assignments. We pick and chose what to do and when. It is hard to speed up and slow down since the program is already planned for a 170 day curriculum. I like that it comes with visual aides and all the quizzes and tests, however, in a tech savvy world we can find those visual aides for free online. This is a very expensive program with little wiggle room.
As a first year homeschool mom I have learned a lot. The purpose of homeschool is to break free from the strict structure of “We have to do this by this date” and focus on the needs of the child. A Beka doesn’t offer that. I do like the content of the lessons but the structure is better used in private school rather than at home. A parent can go online to their counties board of education and find out the topics their child should learn based on the end of year testing that will be done. From there get creative. Sams Club offers nice homeschool workbooks as well as books on the topics your teaching. Utilize the public library. History and science should be fun and hands on. Again, your student is the person who decides the pace. Running them ragged with quiz after test after project is no different than the assembly line that is public school.
First time homeschool mom to a 6th grader.