The best part of homeschooling is that you can create your own curriculum. However, this same freedom of choice that appeals to many can be nerve-racking to others.
The idea of having to put together a thorough and effective curriculum for your children can be stressful. The great thing is that you can successfully homeschool your children – even if you know nothing about curriculum development. You simply have to know your options.
Below, you will find some of the top boxed homeschool curriculum options. In other words, they are done-for-you curricula that you can either us as-is or supplement as you see fit.
This highly structured curriculum has kits for kindergarten through 12th grade. With a definite focus on Christian values, it is designed to address not only intellectual growth, but moral and spiritual education as well.
It includes weekly tests, drills, and a lot of repetition that parents are guided through via lesson plans. You can choose lesson plans by the week, the month, or even by the entire year. A Beka even goes so far as to provide you with a daily routine (though you’re free to create your own).
In addition to their physical products, they also have pre-recorded video lessons through A Beka Academy that can take the pressure off you as the lecturer. They even have academic advisors available if you need help with something.
Want to choose between an accredited program (due dates, grades, permanent records, college prep courses, etc.) and independent study? You have those options as well.
Bob Jones (BJU Press)
Ok, so I have to admit that this is my personal favorite. This is what we use and what has been working well for my family. I love the structure they provide and how thorough the program is.
It makes me feel confident that my children are receiving an education that can compete with that of their public school counterparts. I am also very pleased with their approach to Christian education as that is something that is important to me.
The Bob Jones curriculum is very teacher-led, which is great for parents who look forward to spending a lot of quality time with their children. However, they also have a great distance learning program for parent who require a bit more flexibility. In fact, their distance learning program offers three options:
This includes all of the books and materials your child needs. They can be used on your own schedule. You can watch the DVDs at home or on the go.
This option gives K4-8th grade students access to the program for 13 months via a hard drive that you can just plug into your Windows computer (not available on Mac). It even keeps track of which lessons have already been viewed.
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With the online distance learning option, your child receives daily video lessons that are taught by expert educators. All of the lessons, ebooks, and assignments are accessible online via just about any device, including PC, Android, iPad, and Mac. Quizzes and tests are all graded for you and you have access to grade books and records at any time to track your child’s progress.
Something else that I love about the online curriculum is that it is super customizable. You have the ability to customize the grade level up or down – in any subject!
For example, if you have a 4th grader who is ahead of the curve in math, but struggles with reading, you can set the reading grade level to 3rd grade and the math grade level to 5th grade. That way, your child is truly able to develop at his or her own rate rather than struggling to keep up OR being bored with the material.
If you have young children that you want to begin homeschooling, Sonlight has materials for kids as young as 4 years old. Their Instructor Guides do all of the heavy lifting for you where it concerns lesson planning and scheduling. You can just open and go. You can even choose between 4-day or 5-day lesson plans.
You can also choose to buy an all-subjects package (which combines skill-based subjects like math, writing, and phonics with literature-based subjects like history, science, and bible) OR customize a curriculum.
Timberdoodle’s focus is, and always has been on providing children with hands-on, experiential education. The thing that makes Timberdoodle’s curriculum kits unique is that they are not published by Timberdoodle itself.
Instead, the company researches and selects educational books, workbooks, games, toys, and more from publishers. This allows homeschoolers (from kindergarten through 12th grade) to try out fun learning tools from hundreds of publishers rather than just one.
Their kit options for each level are basic, complete, and elite, with the price increasing significantly for each level. You also have the option to choose between secular and non-secular kits.
Time 4 Learning
If you are looking for an online-based homeschool curriculum, Time 4 Learning is a solid option. With programs for kindergarten through 12th grade, this monthly subscription provides 24/7 access to self-paced lessons in language arts, math, science, and social studies.
They offer Extra Education options, such as Time 4 Languages (6-month subscription to one of nine Rosetta Stone language programs), Time 4 Writing (an 8-week writing course with certified teachers), and Vocabulary Spelling City (an annual membership that uses games to improve your child’s literacy skills).
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If you are worried about record-keeping, you can rest assured that Time 4 Learning’s system is keeping track of everything – from when your child logs on, which activities the complete, grades they get on quizzes, and more.
You can also control everything about their activity from your parent dashboard – including their lesson plan and how much work they have to do before they can play games. Don’t want your child to be online all the time? They also have printables and recommendations for offline work.
I also want to share real fast that we use Classical Conversations here too. This has been such a huge help to us! We do add in other curriculum BUT it is also just fine as a stand alone and is complete.
Hopefully, this has shed a bit of light on some of the top boxed homeschool curriculum options. Did you see one that seems like it might be a good fit. Do you have any questions? I’d be happy to help where I can. Just let me know in the comments below.