May 26, 2019

Tina's Take on Things: My Curriculum Suggestions

Because of my work creating The Homeschool Resource Roadmap over the last several years, I'm often asked by homeschoolers online and in real life what curricula I recommend. Of course, answering such questions feels a bit presumptuous - a good fit with curriculum and other educational resources happens when parents find a match in material with how God has designed each of their children, and I certainly don't know other people's kids well or at all. For that reason, I wrote a summary guide a while ago describing a process through which parents might walk to narrow down the options. But, given the now-3,900+ educational resource providers I've been able to identify via The Roadmap, I understand how the prospect of choosing is still overwhelming even when using my summary.

So,  though I absolutely do not consider myself the arbiter of what will work for all children in all families, I decided that putting together shorter lists of possibilities for those interested in my opinion might be helpful. I used The Roadmap as my starting point and honed in on a few guiding principles to facilitate a sorting process:
  • Though The Roadmap is designed to be "agnostic" in regards to the common core standards (CCS) and its related initiatives - I've gone to great lengths to present a "just the facts, ma'am" approach so that users can find what they are seeking in terms of CCS, whatever that might be - I am not. In fact, I'm quite opposed to all things CCS. Thus, choosing only that which is wholly independent of the CCS became my first parameter. And if a provider I currently suggest decides at some point to connect with the CCS, I will edit the lists to remove it no matter how much I may have liked it before;
  • Via its Deluxe Charts, The Roadmap classifies resources in a number of other ways beyond CCS, including worldview/religious perspective. As a Christ-follower, I've included a large percentage of Christian providers on my lists, but that's not all. I also felt comfortable listing a couple of Jewish resources and quite a few that I call "Non-Sectarian," by which I mean "material that doesn't obviously promote any other perspective - i.e., it is as 'neutral' as possible where worldview is concerned - and, thus, might be comfortably used by people who embrace a variety of...other perspectives." In my life and on The Roadmap, though, I distinguish "Non-Sectarian" from "Secular," and I have chosen in my lists here to eschew anything I've determined to be "Secular," as well as anything espousing other worldview perspectives;
  • I hold strongly to young-earth creation science so cannot in good conscience suggest old-earth-oriented material. Of course, in many cases on The Roadmap, provider websites haven't specified a position on origins - or it's not relevant to the content in question - but where it might come into play, I list only resources that are young-earth or consciously neutral;
  • In terms of other classification categories - i.e., homeschool style/approach, recommended age range, whether or not something is online, has an app, or is free - I've tried to include a wide variety of options;
  • Within those parameters, I've listed everything I've actually used and enjoyed over the years - or am otherwise familiar with - marking each with an asterisk;
  • As you'll see, though, the lists include a lot more than I could ever personally use...because I wanted to suggest multiple good options in as many categories as possible. So, in compiling the suggestions with which I don't have direct experience, I've relied upon information gleaned from wise homeschoolers I know in real life and in the large online group I moderate, as well as studying company websites as I've built The Roadmap. And everything I list is something I'd at least consider for my own kids.
As you browse the lists, you'll notice that some are still quite long; for example, the Elementary Math list has 84 suggestions and Elementary Science has 117! But I wanted to include everything I felt worth considering and, given that both original lists have over 700 total options (!), including longer lists here seemed appropriate. In contrast, you'll notice a few categories with very few or even no suggestions; that's generally because the original category - which you can view here - has few options, none of which I felt met my parameters.

Will you like everything on these lists? Surely not. Would your parameters for making similar lists be different than mine? Quite possibly. I want to reiterate that these lists are merely suggestions based on my personal experience and study,  not prescriptions of what is "best" for "everybody."

Though the lists are copyrighted, I offer them freely for downloading and printing; simply click on a link to open a PDF list. I ask only that you link to this post when sharing the lists with others. May these ideas be a blessing to many.

 *****

NOTE:
Most of the lists - other than the ones for PRESCHOOL and PARENT RESOURCES -
link to resources for use with "school-age" kids (i.e., Ages 5-18).


PRESCHOOL
(Ages 0-5)

Multi-Subject Packages
Art
Bible
Character/Manners
Community-Based Youth Organizations
Culinary Arts
Educational Games & Toys
Educational Media
Foreign Language
Health & Fitness
History & Geography
Language Arts
Math
Music
Science
"Social Studies"
Worksheets/Printables
Special Needs



Multi-Subject Packages
Traditional/Texbook
Online/Video
Living Books Approach
Waldorf Approach
Bible-Based Unit Studies
Geography-Based Unit Studies
History-Based Unit Studies
Literature-Based Unit Studies
Math-Based Unit Studies
Music-Based Unit Studies
Science-Based Unit Studies
Thematic Unit Studies


Art
Appreciation/History
Integrated Technique
Crafting
Drawing/Illustration
Filmmaking
Graphic Design
Painting
Photography
Printmaking
Sculpture/Ceramics


Business Education
Accounting/Business Math
Entrepreneurship
Keyboarding
Marketing
Office Skills


Foreign Language
Africa
Asia
Europe
Middle East
North & South America
Pacific Islands
Miscellaneous


Geography
United States
World


Health & Fitness
Integrated
First Aid
Growth & Development
Hygiene/Personal Care
Nutrition
Physical Education
Safety/Prevention


History
American
World
Anthropology/Archaeology


Home Management
Integrated
Automotive Upkeep
Child Care
Cosmetology
Culinary Arts
Hospitality & Tourism
Interior Design
Maintenance/Repair
Metallurgy
Textile Arts/Fashion Design
Woodworking/Carpentry


Language Arts
Integrated
Composition
Drama/Theater
Elocution/Speech
Grammar
Literature - Texts
Literary Analysis
Penmanship
Reading/Phonics
Spelling
Vocabulary


Life Skills
Character/Manners
Driver Education
Personal Finance/Consumer Math
Speed Reading


Math
Elementary
Secondary Integrated
Algebra 1
Algebra 2
Calculus
General Math
Geometry
Pre-Algebra
Pre-Calculus
Statistics
Trigonometry


Music
Appreciation/History
Composition
Listening/Enjoyment
Theory
Instrumental Technique


Religious Education
Apologetics/Worldview
Bible Study/Theology
Christian Living
Devotional
Scripture Memory
Sunday School/VBS
Denomination-Specific
Tenet-Specific


Science
Elementary
Secondary Astronomy
Secondary Biology
Secondary Chemistry
Secondary Earth Science
Secondary Forensics
Secondary General Science
Secondary History of Science
Secondary Origins
Secondary Physical Science
Secondary Physics
Secondary STEM


Social Sciences
Civics
Criminal Justice
Economics
Logic/Critical Thinking
Philosophy
Psychology
Sociology
"Social Studies"


Special Subjects
Academic Competitions
Accredited Programs
Advanced Placement (AP)
Dual Enrollment
MOOCs


Technology
AutoCAD/Engineering
Coding/Computer Programming
Drafting/Architecture
Electronics/Robotics
Game Design
Web Design



Academic Support
Brain Training
Career Exploration
Research Tools
Standardized Test Prep
Study Skills
Tutoring




Educational Games & Toys
Activity Books
Board/Card Games
Digital Games
Puzzles
Subscription Boxes
Toys


Educational Media
Magazines
Audio Libraries
Video Libraries





Special Needs
ADD/ADHD
Autism/Aspergers/PDD
Cerebral Palsy
Cognitive Disabilities
Emotional Disturbance
Epilepsy/Seizure Disorders
Gifted & Talented
Right-Brain Learners
Sensory Disorders
Speech & Language Disabilities





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