Monthly Archives: May 2015

How we choose our curriculum (and a free printable to help you plan your home school year!)

10377014_10152484073918791_8201139499869093238_nWhen it comes to homeschooling 2 very different special needs children, there was a lot of trial and error involved before I landed on a method that worked the best for all of us.

Both my children have a few things in common when it comes to their learning styles and a whole lot of differences.

They both are extremely intelligent, articulate, energetic, hands on learners and hate any kind of paper and pencil work.

I tried various kinds of worksheets found on-line for free or paid sites, workbooks, letting the kids choose the topics, letting them choose the order of their work, time of day to do their work but nothing seemed to go smoothly.

The kids would end up complaining like they were being tortured or would rush through their work and make silly errors. My daughter said she could not work in the same room as my son because the sound of his pencil on the paper was driving her crazy.

Neither were able to work independently and I wanted both kids to be able to complete their work as independently as possible, to prepare them for post secondary education.

10690236_10152439280533791_3822242993217861758_nMy kids have very limited screen time (1 hour a day only if they get their school work, chores done and behave in an appropriate manner) so I looked into on-line curriculum. I figured that may appeal to them since they had very minimal screen time and they liked technology.

We tried a few free trial sites before settling down with Time4learning

It’s a on-line curriculum that covers preschool right up grade 12. All the lessons are taught in a fun, cute and child friendly way making it very appealing to children.

The activities and quizzes are fun and don’t seem like quizzes at all. The kids get to choose what order they want to complete their work. Sometimes they do a little of each subject each day and sometimes they get into a groove where they only want to work on one subject at a time.

They have access to 3 grade levels at a time so if they complete grade 4 language they can move on to grade 5 and still be working on grade 4 math and science for example.

I can see everything they have worked on in the parent login including their marks. If they didn’t get a mark I feel was high enough then I have them re-do the activity.

The really neat thing about this curriculum is that working 1 hour a day at the program my kids have completed 3 full school grades (math, science, language arts, language and social studies) in under 12 months.

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My daughter dog sitting for a neighbour

This leaves so much time in the day for hands on learning through homeschool programs, practical life activities plus lots of unstructured time for the kids to play and explore the things that interest them. The “non curriculum” time is just as important as its teaching my kids job skills through volunteering, practical life skills at home, independence and social skills in a fun hands on way.

How do you choose your curriculum?

Thanks to Lisa at the Canadian Homeschooler, we have a free printable to offer our readers. Click on this link to get a free printable to help plan, purchase and compare your materials for the next year.