Are you super busy? Maybe you have multiple kids in multiple age ranges you’re trying to homeschool. Maybe you work part or full time. Maybe you are involved in a lot of different activities outside of your home. Can you do all of of this and still homeschool your kids? YES! No problem! There are a lot of options for independent study homeschool curriculum for busy families.
Let’s take a look at some curriculum in each subject that are doable for your busy family…
One of the most popular math curriculums among my friends is Teaching Textbooks. It begins at grade three and has curriculum available up through the high school grades. This course is done completely on the computer using cd-rom. It’s has fun and interactive lessons that kids LOVE. My son especially enjoyed the bonus rounds. All of the grades are files away so that parents can check their child’s progress. This is a great option as it really does it all for you.
Essentials in Writing is a language and writing curriculum all-in-one. It has curriculum available to start in first grade all the way through high school. This curriculum includes cd-rom and workbooks. On the cd-rom, the instructor, Matthew Stephens, teaches the students small lessons each day, followed by instructions for the child to complete work in their workbook that he just went over in the lesson. It’s a very quick lesson, but the kids learn a LOT throughout each level.
Another great option is Easy Grammar. *Warning, I have not used this myself* but I have chatted with enough people who do use it and love it to say, “Hey, check it out.” Very short lessons with just a little bit of parent help for first through sixth graders.
Phonetic Zoo is new to me and I wish I had learned about it before now! This spelling curriculum is different than anything I’ve seen or used before. It has three levels – A-C- and is recommended to start between 3-5 grade. The instruction is done completely on audio CDs and requires very little parent involvement. There are flash cards for each lesson with little jingles with the spelling rule that the kids repeat, along with a list of 15 words that work with (or don’t work with!) the rule. I have a struggling speller and this program is AMAZING for him. Your child tests until they receive two 100% tests in a row. This is MASTERY at it’s finest!Reading
This one is easy…just use REAL BOOKS!! There are so many amazing books out there that you don’t need anything special! For younger kids, you can easily find readers at Barnes and Noble or Amazon. For older kids, there are so many recommended book lists out there for every grade, you only need to take a few minutes to look. Here are some books we plan on using this year for fifth grade (yes, I’ll be making a full recommended reading list soon!)
There are SO many possibilities with history, as there’s so many different topics you can choose to learn!! So, I will name just a couple options to keep it easy (because I feel like I could write a book about the options!)
Story of the World is a crowd favorite for all ages! It comes with a story book about different time periods, separated into four volumes. We have even gotten the audio version for my son to follow along, which is a great option for independent learning for young readers. There is an activity book that has SO much fun stuff from activities to coloring sheets. However, a lot of the activities to require parent involvement.
History Pockets is also a fun option. It has a little bit of reading and paper activities for the kids to do. Older kids who can read on their own could do most of this independently, and there are a lot of topics to choose from.
Science is a tricky subject for kiddos to do alone. Like history, there are SO many options out there depending on the topic you want to go over. Daily Science is a simple, short, daily lesson in science. This is something that younger kids (this option is for 1-6 grades) will need help reading through, but it is a quick lesson. Older kiddos can read it on their own and do the worksheets. The down side is that there isn’t any hands on experiments, but it does go over some really neat topics.
Now, some of the curriculum I’ve recommended doesn’t start until grades in middle-upper elementary. This doesn’t mean that you can’t find independent studies for younger students. I just want to be sure to recommend products that I know, products that I love, and products that I trust.
I work closely with my kiddos in the early elementary years and, as they get older, they start to work more on their own. This is easy for me, as early elementary school work doesn’t tend to take too long. An hour or two each day is all you need for a kindergartener or first grader! So, even if you’re using curriculum that is heavy on parent involvement for these kiddos, you’re still looking at something that is super doable, even if you’re working with multiple age groups, are super busy outside of the home, or work full time.
So, there you have it! Do you use an independent study curriculum that you recommend? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!