What should I be teaching?
What should I be teaching? For some homeschoolers, the answer to this question is simple. Each year they purchase a curriculum package from a reputable publisher (ABeka, Alpha Omega, etc.), which contains all the subjects needed for their child’s grade level. Homeschoolers doing this can usually be pretty confident that they are teaching what they need to be. But for homeschoolers with a more eclectic style, deciding what to teach can be a bit more overwhelming. This is especially true for homeschoolers that use a variety of free resources, write their own curriculum, or do not use traditional curriculum.
Be sure to read all the way to the end of this post for a $200 Rainbow Resource Center giveaway!
Don’t worry so much about what you “should be doing”.
Children learn at different rates, have different learning styles, and different interests. This makes it very difficult to say what all children of a certain age “should” be learning. The beauty of homeschooling is that your child can learn at his own pace. Sometimes that will likely mean moving at a faster pace than public schools in some areas while moving at a slower pace in others. When homeschooling, there is no need to rush through concepts your child needs more time to grasp or bore your child with things he already knows.
This post contains affiliate links. See our complete disclosure here.
But, I’m still worried…
I get that. I’m a worrier and planner, too. It can be reassuring to have some sort of guide to loosely follow so you can feel like your child is on the right track. Having a guide to follow can help you determine if your expectations are reasonable and age appropriate. Knowing what is typically expected at a certain age or grade level can also help you pinpoint problem areas that you may need to focus more time on. Fortunately, there are many resources available that you can use as a guide. Below, are some favorites:
World Book’s Typical Course of Study
World Book’s website offers a free course of study guide for all grades (preschool through 12th). This guide includes all major subject areas and is very thorough and well organized.
Hewitt Homeschooling offers free learning objectives for kindergarten through 8th grade. The objectives are provided in a PDF file, which makes it convenient to print or save. All major subject areas are included.
Free Scope and Sequences
Many curriculum publishers list their scope and sequence online. Looking at several of these will give you a good idea of what is typically taught at each grade level. Here are a few scope and sequences from reputable curriculum publishers:
- Abeka – Download the scope and sequence or view it online. Both options are free.
- Christian Light Education – You may download their scope and sequence for free or purchase a print version.
- LifePac – At the bottom of the page, you’ll find a link to download the scope & sequence for free. They also sell a physical copy.
What Your __ Grader Needs to Know
What Your ___ Grader Needs to Know is an affordable book series that provides a detailed plan for preschool through 6th grade. Key concepts in all of the main subject areas are included. The books provide teaching tips and ideas. There are also sections (short stories, poetry, etc.) meant to be read aloud to the student and numerous full-color illustrations and photographs.
Weaver Skills Evaluation
Weaver Skills Evaluation is designed to help the parent learn their children’s strengths and weaknesses. The book provides comprehensive listings of what your child should learn in each grade from kindergarten through 6th. This book may be used by any homeschooler, not just those who use the Weaver Curriculum.
What Your Child Needs to Know When is an excellent resource for Christian homeschoolers. The goals outlined in this book will help you prepare, teach, and evaluate your children from a Biblical world view. The book includes checklists for kindergarten through 8th grade.
Common Core and State Standards
If you wish to see how the curriculum you’ve planned for your child compares to what public schools are teaching, you may want to take a look at the Common Core Standards for math and language arts. If you live in a state that has not adopted the Common Core Standards or you would like to see the standards for other subject areas, simply do a Google search for your state’s standards. (Freedom Homeschooling does not endorse or support Common Core.)
Yikes, that was a lot of info!
Now you may be wondering which of the guides or scopes & sequences listed above is the best to follow. First, I don’t recommend treating any of them as a rigid checklist to be followed without change. They should be treated as suggestions. The ability to personalize and tailor your child’s education to their individual needs is a major benefit of homeschooling. However, since many of the resources listed in this post are free, I recommend taking a look at several of them. Recommendations can vary a lot from one source to another, so it’ll take looking at more than one of them to determine when various skills or concepts are typically taught.
A Little About High School Credits
When planning credits for your high schooler, it’s a good idea to look at the graduation requirements for public schools in your state. These can usually be found on your school district or state department of education’s website. Even if homeschoolers in your state are not required to have particular credits for graduation, these requirements can still serve as a guide. If your child plans to attend college, it is also important to find out if the colleges they are considering require specific credits. Here are some articles for additional reading on high school credits:
- How to Create a High School Homeschool Curriculum Plan — in four simple steps!
- 3 Ways to Determine My Teen’s High School Course Credit
- How to Plan for Homeschooling High School
While many states allow parents to complete freedom in planning their children’s education, some states have specific requirements. It’s important that you read and understand your state’s homeschool laws. These can often be found on your state department of education’s website.
$200 Rainbow Resource Center Giveaway
Now that you have a better idea of what to teach, it’s time for the fun part – curriculum shopping! To help you with that, we’ve gotten together with a group of homeschool bloggers to give three homeschool families each a $200 gift card to Rainbow Resource Center.
We know homeschooling can put a financial strain on families, whether it’s from living on one income or buying curriculum for multiple children. Our hope is that we can bless a few homeschool families so they can buy curriculum, books, games, puzzles, or whatever educational supplies they might need, with a little less stress.
To enter for your chance to win, simply use the Rafflecopter form below. Now I know this form includes quite a few ways to gain extra entries, but each of these bloggers has generously chipped in their own money to make this giveaway possible. So, I hope you will take the time to do all of the entries. And, hey, the more entries you complete, the better your odds are of winning!
Giveaway ends July 30, 2021 at 11:59pm ET. Must be at least 18 years of age. Must be a resident of U.S. or Canada to enter. Selected winners will have 48 hours to respond to email notification to claim their prizes or another winner will be drawn. By entering this giveaway, you agree to be added to the email lists of the participating bloggers (see the Terms & Conditions on the Rafflecopter form for the complete list).
- 40 Free Ways to Prevent Summer Slide
- Free Summer Reading Programs With Prizes
- 12 Tips to Ease the Transition from Public School to Homeschool
- Free Printable Camping Journal for Kids
- Pandemic School at Home is Nothing Like Regular Homeschooling
- What Curriculum Should I Use?
- Where to Buy Used Curriculum
- I Don't Have the Patience to Homeschool!
- 20 Ways Homeschooling is Less Stressful
- If People Reacted to Public Schooling Like They Do Homeschooling