It doesn’t matter how or where your child receives their education but if it is built on a poor curriculum foundation that is disorganized, incoherent and doesn’t provide the necessary information that students will be tested on then they need to move to the next level. This is why parents need to carefully consider any homeschool platform starting with the curriculum they offer through their program because it can be difficult for a student to switch to something new once they have started. To this point, working with a platform that offers 1st-12th-grade education ensures they can stick with it from the start through to graduation.

The term ‘curriculum’ is often limited to textbooks but in a broad sense, it includes any tool, information or material that is used to help the student grasp the concept and succeed. The primary component is the textbook or e-text but there should always be room for creativity and introducing websites and other tools to enhance the experience. Elementary students are more likely to absorb information when it is ‘brought to life’ through field trips or hands-on interaction where high school students do fine with working on their own through the online portal so long as the information is put together well and easy to access.

The best first-grade homeschool curriculum is designed to give students the basics in the core subject areas so that these can be developed with each grade in an organized and understandable manner. Students should be able to read through the material, have a general understanding with the assistance of their parent or online teacher and then work through the assignment so they can move to the next concept.  During the process of choosing a homeschool platform, parents should request a look at the textbooks and see if they can follow what is being taught. Concepts should be taught in an organized flow so that students are not jumping back and forth, getting confused about the connections between ideas and doing poorly because the curriculum is not set up efficiently.

The curriculum is not the only tool for teaching at home but it should be the primary guide to creating lesson plans and developing ideas for how to teach the information in a way the student understands. For this to happen, the material needs to be clear and definitive but needs to allow for variations in resolution and completion as students learn differently and sometimes need to view a problem from a different perspective. This is where professional teachers have the requisite experience on how to use the first-grade homeschool curriculum to make it relatable to the student. Parents also have an advantage because they know their child intimately, how they think and what works best for them. The homeschool program may use a single publisher for all subjects or integrate multiple options based on expertise, grade level and coherency of the information.

Annual testing for the state or through the platform is designed to measure the student’s knowledge and determine if they are able to promote to the next grade. The curriculum used during the year needs to support this so that the child is set up for success and not failure, otherwise, they get discouraged and families may need to move them into a traditional classroom. It’s easier to work with an established platform so parents do not have to research the publishers and create their own every year for each grade.  They can simply review what is offered by the school, check out online reviews and once they determine it is acceptable then monitor how the student does to confirm that this is the right program for them. In addition, it is hard to measure students if there is no curriculum to asses them with or if the information is scattered and doesn’t make sense to the teacher. Education is about increasing knowledge, developing skills and then measuring those to ensure the student is getting what they need.

Any approach to education without a reliable curriculum will not deliver the expected results and the individual to suffer will be the student. There are many options available and perspectives on each own that parents will need to consider before making a final decision. Whenever possible, it is easier to start and finish with the same homeschool platform because the curriculum will be consistent and set up to build in a gradual and organized manner. Switching schools is not impossible but there could be overlaps or gaps in the material depending on the curriculum the new program uses which can make it challenging for the student especially based on their age and learning ability. Give your child the chance to build the future they want by setting them up with the right foundation from the beginning complete with support systems, great teachers and quality backed information.

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