Rachel Rittenhouse

Christian fiction for ladies young and old

Homeschooling 101: Curriculum

October 16th, 2014

20141015_191115“What curriculum do you use?” This is another big question that homeschoolers get asked! There are many, many options out there for either self-paced, online, or physical classes to take.

For me personally, I was always trying something new and experimenting with what worked best for my learning style. For most of the elementary years, my sister and I would use the same program, but once we each reached high-school, we each did what was best for us!

Because I loved reading and learning about history, my mom was able to tailor my studies to compliment that. For two years, I used a curriculum called Sonlight. Sonlight is a literature based program that involves reading lots of books. So if you or your child loves to read, this is for you!

In middle school, I used the Abeka program. Abeka offered pre-recorded DVDs and workbooks. Therefore, you had a teacher actually explaining what you should do and then you would have homework to follow up. Now, this was not virtual (live) and so it was flexible, though there was a day that you had to be finished for the year.

In 9th grade, I attended ALC, a class which met once a week at a local church. Here I took three classes and was able in interact weekly with my classmates and teachers. In 9th and 10th grade, I also supplemented with other curriculum such as Math-U-See, Apologia (science), LifePac (language/grammar), as well as extra-curricular activities—choir, drama, and orchestra.

Finally during my junior/senior year, I participated in a dual-enrollment program through Belhaven University located in Mississippi. Dual-enrollment is a wonderful opportunity for high-schoolers. This means that you are taking college classes that count for college credit as well as high-school credit. Amazing, isn’t it! By the time I graduated from high-school, I had 12 credits to put towards my college degree and I even graduated a year early!

A part of my schooling was also the learning process of publishing a book. Like I said earlier, homeschooling is designed to cater to your needs and interests. This gives you the freedom to learn what you enjoy learning about! During my high-school years, I spent a lot of time researching writing, editing, publishing, and marketing. I was also able to use my writing and my book itself as writing projects that needed to be submitted.


 Now, read what other homeschoolers are saying about their curriculum:

Audrey D. says: “Homeschoolers use a variety of curriculum. There’s a few popular math ones, a popular science one that is pretty widespread, but it depends on where you live and whether or not you do most of your school at home.”

Autumn D. says: “I used MathUSee for mathematics and Apologia for science. Loved them both, especially Dr. Jay Wile’s science, because it really prepared me for higher intense science in college now.”

Michaela C. says: “I use Sonlight Curriculum, a very literature-based program. I am constantly learning new things in an unconventional way, because of the flexibility offered by Sonlight. I have been blessed to learn using this curriculum for 8 years. The best part is that I don’t have to write up my own schedule with Sonlight, because they already have it all laid out for easy use. Any avid reader would love this style of education, plus it’s a Christian company, so a lot of the studies have a Biblical core. I also take a Chemistry class at a one-day-a-week educational community in my area.”

Kaitlyn R. says: “I’ve used several curriculum in the course of my schooling so far. The great thing about homeschooling is that you can choose what you want to learn. In the beginning of my homeschool years, I used the Sonlight and Beautiful Feet curriculum. I also used Math-U-See for, well, math! Later on, I switched to A Beka, which is connected to Pensacola Christian Academy in Pensacola, Florida. This curriculum basically follows a single class and teacher throughout the school-year. These classes are video-recorded and loaded onto a DVD for homeschooled students to buy and watch at home. The recorded class includes everything a student would experience in a brick-and-mortar school (except for live student-teacher interaction – but that’s where the parents come in). You would purchase textbooks, test booklets, etc. and follow along with the class, along with completing the homework the teacher explains at the end of class. I did this curriculum from 6th to 8th grade. For my freshman year of high-school, I signed up for PA Cyber, which is a live, online public school. This includes live teacher-student-classmate interaction, as well as real deadlines and scheduled class times. Then for my sophomore year of high school, where I am currently, I switched to traditional home schooling again. I am using Khan Academy (free quality online videos) to supplement my science and math lessons.”


So what do you think? There are tons of options for curriculum out there and there is really no right or wrong! Also, watch tomorrow for my monthly book review. And don’t forget to stay tuned for next Thursday’s Homeschooling 101: Teaching!

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Rachel Rittenhouse

Christian fiction for ladies young and old