Last Minute Curriculum-School Choices

There are times when, for one reason or another, a family will decide, in August, to home school.  It’s not the best idea because of the stress it invokes, but let’s face it.  It happens.  So now what?

First, Know that Homeschool Curriculums should really be thought of as “Levels,” not “Grades.” Meaning, if your child just came out of 3rd grade at public school, don’t just assume you need the “3” kit in the curriculum. (This particularly applies with Math-U-See.)  If you can, go to the publishers website and administer their free placement test to see what level your child is in, for their curriculum.

K12 is an excellent free choice.

The Pros:

  • It’s free because it is a Texas public school.
  • You basically have someone to hold your hand everyday and get you through.
  • It’s excellent academically and your child will learn a lot.
  • The classes are live and you’re child gets to interact with other students during the class.
  • Classes start at 8 a.m. three days a week, so that keeps you on track.
  • All materials are free except the computer.  You provide your own in most cases.
  • If you can’t hack it, you can withdraw and return shipping of materials is free.

The Cons:

  • It’s A LOT of work. A ton more than the brick and mortar public school you came out of; because, it’s where the state legislature wants kids to be, not where they’ve fallen to at the brick and mortar public.
  • Classes start at 8 a.m. three days a week, not typically a good type for home school families.
  • Your child must have been successfully enrolled at a Texas public school last year for it to be free; but you can purchase it.
  • Attendance and truancy laws apply.
  • It’s standard state curriculum, if you have a problem with that.  Of all the curriculum I saw, only one test question was horribly skewed with a political agenda.  We discussed how our view was different and moved one.  In my opinion, one question is not a big deal.
  • The TAKS test apply.  We enrolled.  Enjoyed the structure and the help but when I failed the practice Reading portion, we withdrew.  I have a Master’s Degree, by the way. No way, was my child failing the 5th grade because of a test I, myself, couldn’t pass. (You also, don’t get to know which questions you missed on the practice test so there’s no way to correct any missed learning.)

An Online Academy or Curriculum Kits

Most of the big publishing houses have online or DVD schools.  These are totally worth it, especially if you have several kids.  That way, you know that no one is missing out on quality teaching while you are helping a struggling student.  These are called Online Academies.

Potluck – All of These are Tried and True
If you are so desperate, that you would try a curriculum sight unseen because of time limitations, then these will get you through until you can, then BJU is a safe bet. It has good white space, fonts, colors and pictures as well as being pretty close to grade level with Texas Public School, perhaps one level behind, if your student was an A student.

Math:  Teaching Textbooks Software and Kumon Books (Barnes & Noble carries this one)
History:  Story of the World and BJU
Science:  Apologia or BJU
Vocabulary/Spelling:  Wordly Wise (especially “Vocabulary Cartoons” for those with learning differences)
Reading: Rod & Staff & BJU
English: BJU