Choosing, or creating, a homeschool writing curriculum means knowing what's best for your child, your family and your own educational philosophy. Before you buy the latest lesson plan guide, ask yourself a few key questions. Doing so helps you to select a curriculum that meets your needs, boosts your child's development and meets educational standards.
1. Are you going to use a ready-made version? Your state's homeschool laws dictate what you need to include in terms of a curriculum. Depending on the requirements, you may feel more comfortable using a pre-packaged curriculum or book type of guideline. This helps to ensure that you cover all the bases or can direct the schooling if you're new to this. According to the Georgia Home Education Association, there are subject-specific and general curriculum guides that you can find in bookstores or at home school conferences. You may choose one that covers all subject matters (including writing). You may also pull together several different curricula, opting for a writing-only guide that you combine with other similar content-specific options.
2. Are you going to create your own curriculum? If you have specific educational goals or have experience in the education field, you may want to design your own writing curriculum. Doing so allows you to tailor the writing lessons to your child's developmental level, set your own goals and use the methods that work best for your homeschool practices. Creating your own curriculum doesn't mean you need to design 100 percent of your own lessons. You can pick and choose ready-made writing activities from books or online sources, adding them in to your own framework.
3. Do you want to align with Common Core State Standards? If you're not already familiar with Common Core, these standards are nationally used guidelines and expectations for learning outcomes in English language arts and math for students in kindergarten through grade 12. Ready-made curricula may include connections to the writing standards that are woven in through the lessons and activities. Creating your own homeschool curriculum that is Common Core-based means using each grade level writing standard as an objective or goal. For example, grade four standards cover writing opinion pieces on topics or texts. Your lessons need to teach your child how to do this and include activities that support this goal.
4. Does your child need grade-level lessons? Some exceptional, or gifted, children need above grade-level activities to engage with the subject matter. If your child excels in writing, she may need to move up a 'school year' in this subject.
Writing skills weave their way through every kind of scholastic subject matter. From writing a history report to crafting biology lab research, language and literacy learning are high priorities for your child's homeschool education. Knowing what type of curriculum you need and how much you want to design on your own helps to inform your decisions and shapes the way that you educate your child. Talk to experts like Classical Academic Press for more information.