For any parent needing more information about how to choose appropriate materials for their child out all of the MANY curriculum choices now available to homeschoolers, the Choosing and Using Curriculum Set by Joyce Herzog is a solid resource.
From a general list of questions to ask about the curriculum you are considering, to specific recommendations for language arts, history, and math, this 108-page paperback provides some thoughtful considerations for both newbie and seasoned homeschoolers. Joyce Herzog has divided the learning and teaching process down into manageable pieces, and her dependable guidance is based on her own extensive education and 30 years of teaching and homeschooling experience.
The book contains 28 chapters covering such topics as:
- Curriculum Types
- Education Styles
- Grade Levels
- Independent Learning
- Starting the school year ‘right’
- Early Childhood Training
- How to choose a math curriculum
- Choosing a reading method
- How to Interest a Child in Reading
- Comparing handwriting styles
- Adapting Materials for Special Situations
The resource ebook is a hyperlinked 39-page .pdf that contains:
- General Resources
- FREE Resources
- Links to help with special needs such as Deaf, Blind, Autistic, Speech and Language Development, and Dyslexia
You will also find some links for legal advice, special needs support groups, and homeschool magazines.
What I find most helpful is the general recommendations that assist with choosing and customizing any education resource. Homeschoolers are now a significant consumer demographic, and it seems every day there are new websites, programs, and textbooks geared for home education. To have a list of questions and guidelines to apply to anything new and shiny that we see in those catalogs and magazines is a valuable tool.
For instance, Chapter Fifteen compares seven popular learn-to-read methods, and explains their strengths and weaknesses. Then Chapter Sixteen provides a comparison of several reading programs and which method they use. These are the kinds of examples that homeschoolers find helpful to make important, money-saving decisions about what to use in their homeschool.
Each chapter of Choosing and Using Curriculum is a snapshot- a few pages, easy to read in one sitting, outlined for easy reference. Specific curriculum recommendations are obviously limited to a few per subject, as an exhaustive resource would be hundreds of pages. My only concern about the physical book was the many spacing and typographical errors that undermine the professional appearance of the book.
Choosing and Using Curriculum Set is a one physical book and one ebook set for $15. Joyce Herzog offers many more resources on her site- the Scaredy Cat Reading System, Learning in Spite of Labels, and Timeless Teaching Tips are just a few.
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