Curriculum Decisions to Make

While curriculum decisions are actually quite basic, the price range and constrictions various programs apply may be more difficult to handle.

As a parent, you must decide whether you want to purchase a whole range of books, and then possibly struggle getting through them in order for your child to get credit for the grade level.



1st grade

2nd grade

3rd grade

4th grade

5th grade


Organize your child’s materials and supplies before you begin. I would suggest a large, under-the-bed plastic container to store materials, along with

  • five reams of paper, 
  • 3 reams of brightly colored paper, 
  • scissors and glue sticks 
  • a black ink cartridge,
  • several art gum erasers, 
  • appropriate-age pencils and blue and black pens, 
  • a package of manila envelopes to store flash cards and memory game squares
  • a journal for notes on your child's progress
  • a free, online gradebook where you can keep track of your child's progress


As you begin shopping for material, you will undoubtedly see a variety of books for sale. A handwriting book, for example, may cost less than printing a page of every letter presented, so that may be a wise purchase.

I would recommend that you separate the pages of any books purchased to support your curriculum decisions and give your child the page for that day’s lesson only, so you may need to purchase binders or larger envelopes to keep pages in order.

One way to acquire books is by shopping at "Friends of ??? Library" outlets. These auxiliaries support library branches by selling discontinued books, donated books and magazines.

Besides discarded textbooks, you also can find many classics for your curriculum development. 

A Word on Brand New As Opposed To Discarded Books

Retailers and advertisers work to con parents into trading up. This same scam applies to books. They prey on parents' fears that if they don't have the "latest and greatest" books or curriculum material their children will some how miss out. But this is not true. Let's take science.

  • Have the laws of physics changed in the past 10 years?
  • Have eukaryotic cells ceased to exist?
  • Has the classification of animals changed? 
  • How about the science behind pulleys and levers? 

Even if you buy the same textbooks that the publics used, the curriculum would still be behind a minimum of two years due to printing, publication, and distribution times required to get books into the hands of students.  The same is true with all books. 

Have math books changed? (I'll answer that.) Only for the worst. 

History books have changed too! These are now more "politically correct" than ever. If you want truth in history books, go to first sources. Find out what Thomas Jefferson thought by reading what he wrote. 

Whenever possible, read primary sources. Here is an example of an 1841 letter that Alabama Senator Bagby wrote to his wife when the Missouri Compromise was being debated. 

Letter is part of a private collection of Diana Boles.

What If I Miss Something? 

Parents ask this question often. All I can say is I worked in the publics for 25 years, had friends in all departments, and worked on textbook adoptions.

Just because a book has more than 1,000 pages, it doesn't mean that those pages get read or are taught. 

Of course, you'll miss something, just like the publics do, but you will add so much more to your child's homeschool education that it won't matter. The public education system is regularly criticized for being wide and shallow.

Colleges know this and admissions officers are looking for what your child will bring to the table (so to speak) that the publics can't and won't offer. 

Remember to begin with the end in mind, and think about your goals for your child. Please reread that sentence. What do you want for your children?

 Next, think back to your own education. You too  had

  •  handwriting, 
  • spelling, 
  • reading,
  •  English, 
  • science,
  •  math,
  •  social studies,
  •  art, and 
  • physical education.

I have listed these courses with many free links. 

Another advantage of creating your own homeschool curriculum is that if you keep these courses in mind while browsing bookstores, you may be able to pick up bargain books to use later.

You can give your child things that the public school system never would, such as script writing, ballroom dancing, gardening, a diving course (P.E. credit) or an oceanography study.

I've also added a few suggestions that will further add to your child becoming well-rounded and develop skills in all the multiple intelligences. You can begin learning more about your child's natural abilities by viewing these survey items. You can learn  more about the theory of multiple intelligences here. 

Pre-K through 12 Curriculum

Pre-K/  Kindergarten/  First Grade/  Second Grade/  Third Grade/  Fourth Grade

 Fifth Grade/Sixth Grade/  Seventh Grade/  Eighth Grade/  High School

What if My Child Has Difficulty Learning?

Eventually your child may experience difficulty in acquiring certain types of knowledge. These differences make us unique.  However, since your child has the advantage of being home schooled, you can experiment with various strategies that will insure success.  There are many ways to help your child “get” the information.

Return to the Pre-K through 12 pages here

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