We provide a complete curriculum for kindergarten through twelfth grade.
Yes, it is designed to serve as a family's main homeschooling curriculum. However, it may also be combined with other curricula or even used as a supplement to a traditional in-school education.
The curriculum is compiled from carefully selected external materials. This allows the student to benefit from the world's best educational sources in each subject, and it creates space for the inclusion of great books on a wide variety of topics.
The curriculum uses textbooks and workbooks for math, and video and textbook-based courses for art. History is taught through combination of a core narrative series, biographies and other topic books, and historical fiction. All other courses are taught using a variety of living books, affordable online courses and self-directed activities.
We estimate that parents will need to spend one to two hours of dedicated time per child, per day. Much of this time will be spent reading together. In upper grades, students spend more time on schoolwork but are also able to complete more of the projects and readings independently, so you may find the time commitment reduced in later years.
In addition, while a child is reading or working independently, a parent should be present and provide enough supervision to ensure that the child stays on task.
One of the advantages of homeschooling is time efficiency: the time requirement can be adjusted to suit a child's age and attention span, and generally less time is needed to cover an equivalent amount of material to what is taught in a classroom setting.
In the early grades, we recommend spending no more than an hour per day on formal academic work (first learning to read, then writing and math), with the remaining time (one to two hours) spent reading and being read to. In upper grades, students spend four to five hours per day on curriculum material, and an hour or more on self-directed projects.
In our experience, the attention spans of most five- and six-year-olds are too short for a formal academic curriculum to be productive. Also, many children this age lack the fine motor coordination necessary to write well.
However, children this age and even younger are fully capable of learning to read as long as sessions are kept brief. For kindergarten, we recommend two ten-minute reading lessons per day, in addition to the time you spend reading to the student.
How to use the curriculum
In the early grades, your child should read the easy readers (such as Bob Books and Frog and Toad) aloud to you, and the full-length chapter books are intended to be read aloud to the child. You may read them aloud yourself, or use recordings such as Audible.
In later grades the choice between reading aloud and independent reading is up to you, depending on your child's reading level and how much time you have. Many children enjoy listening to family read-aloud sessions well into their teens. You may choose to read some books (such as more difficult ones or books you personally enjoy) aloud, and assign or allow your child to select others for independent reading.
Other than the math and art textbooks, you should be able to procure most of the core and optional books from your local library. You may wish to purchase your favorites keep in your home, but this is not required.
One of the greatest advantages of homeschooling is that it allows each student to move at his or her own pace. The default curriculum is only intended as a starting point, and we encourage you to modify it to fit your child's needs using the Edit features available in your account.
Ensure that the material is well learned and your family is not feeling rushed. Students can complete these courses up to two years later than specified, and still be well prepared for high school math.
A major goal of our curriculum is to produce lifelong readers, who read for fun outside school requirements. We therefore recommend only reading books that your child enjoys. We make an extra effort to include books that have high entertainment as well as literary value, especially in early grades.
We do suggest that you have your child learn what a book is about and read at least the first few pages before rejecting it. Some of our children's favorite books were ones that they initially expected to dislike, based on the cover illustration or some other superficial impression. If your child doesn't take to a book after giving it a fair try, put it aside. You may be able to return to it when the child is older.
We suggest one of two options. First, if the curriculum as a whole is too difficult or too easy, consider moving back or forward a grade. The grades in our curriculum simply denote progression through a course of study, and do not need to correspond to age or to grade designations in another curriculum. You may change grades at any time and at no cost from the Your Students page of your account.
If you would like to keep the present grade but change the difficulty level of individual books, you may substitute books as desired by removing or rescheduling books in your curriculum and adding new ones. Each nonfiction or fiction book in the curriculum is ranked by difficulty, from easy readers (reading level one) to challenging adult literature (level ten). You can view each book's reading level in the book profile page. To find books of an easier or harder level, go to the Search Curriculum page and use the filter options to display books of the desired reading level. You can then add new books to your curriculum from the book profile page.
Next to the book in the curriculum screen of your account, click the "Add more students" option, then tick the checkbox next to the name of each participating child and click the "Save" button. The book will then appear in each child's curriculum, along with any updates you make to start and completion dates.
Our curriculum for kindergarten is completely free. For other grades, we offer a free seven-day trial to explore the curriculum. Thereafter the cost is $39 monthly for your whole family. You may pause or cancel your monthly subscription at any time without losing your data.