Options for Developing a Home-School Packaged Curriculum
Pre-Packaged for Convenience
Whether you are new to homeschooling or an old hand, home-school packaged curriculum options provide an easy solution for teaching materials. Rather than tracking down individual courses, textbooks, workbooks, and supplemental materials, you can opt to buy a pre-packaged curriculum that includes several complete courses based on a particular grade level. There are courses of study intended for Christian households as well as general curriculum packages.
Basic, Standard, and Deluxe Packages
Each curriculum manufacturer provides a slightly different option in terms of pre-packaged curriculum. Some offer only one package, including the entire curriculum for a particular grade. Other publishers provide graduated or tiered packages. Still more will help you to customize a curriculum package that is best for your student's needs. If you have more than one child, you may find it useful to buy packages that you can recycle as each child reaches a new level.
For tiered options, the most basic sets cover the required core courses of Math, Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies. Standard, deluxe or full sets include additional subjects, supplemental workbooks, study aids, manipulatives and in some cases, electives. Before deciding on a particular package level, be sure to check legal requirements where you live. Some states require specific subjects, above and beyond the four core courses. Naturally, this will affect which package option is right for your home school.
Christian Packaged Curriculums
By far, the easiest home school packaged curriculums to find are those with a Christian focus. Some packages take a holistic approach by incorporating biblical lessons into each subject, while others approach Bible lessons as a separate subject. ACE (Accelerated Christian Education) curriculum, for example, is a complete stand-alone curriculum option, with textbooks broken down into smaller section or unit-style studies. Other publishers such as A Beka, Sonlight, and Alpha Omega, to name a few, also offer complete curriculum packages.
Some publishers, such as A Beka and Alpha Omega Publishers offer parents the option of complete curriculum sets, individual subjects, or a combination of both. Parents can opt for a core set, and then add electives such as foreign language or other subjects. You can learn more about different curriculums, such as A Beka, through Bright Hub Education articles such as The A Beka Home School Curriculum, Pros and Cons and a review of the Sonlight History curriculum.
Secular Packaged Curriculums
Stereotypically, pre-packaged curriculums for secular homeschoolers are harder to find. Years ago, the only way to find secular curriculum of any kind was through curriculum swaps, auction sites, and teacher stores for workbooks and unit studies. Parents often struggled to find used public school textbooks and other secular options. Today, however, the need for quality curriculum packages for the secular homeschooler has sparked publication of a wider range of options.
Suppliers work with various publishers to gain access to the same textbooks used in public schools. Websites like The Secular Homeschool and Home School Super Center both provide help finding package options. Sets are organized based on budget, with economical curriculum sets providing only the minimum. Larger or “deluxe” packages provide additional subjects, materials, and supplies.
Alternatively, for those teaching children with above or below average academic skills, customized packages are available from both Christian and secular curriculum publishers. In fact, some home-school packaged curriculum providers employ professional educational advisors to assist those families who need custom packages. If you have a child that does not fit a particular grade level across the board, these advisors can help design a curriculum that meets your child’s particular needs while still providing the convenience of a pre-packaged curriculum.
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