One of the biggest draws to homeschooling for many families is the ability to make learning fun and for students to have the opportunity to explore subjects that they enjoy studying in-depth. Many new homeschooling parents go into homeschooling with ideas of craft projects, exploding science projects in the kitchen, snuggling up with their little one reading “living” books, and enjoying nature walks with their kids, only to find that the curriculum that they just spent hundreds of dollars on doesn’t give room for any of the activities to occur. Luckily, there are many ways that you can homeschool your elementary aged kids without the expensive curriculum and include all of those activities that you had once dreamed of. Here are some great ideas for homeschooling your elementary aged kids without a curriculum.
Phonics/Teaching Your Child to Read
Teaching your child to read is one of the most daunting tasks that any homeschooling mother may face. While it may seem that something of this importance needs to be done by using a full curriculum it can actually be done quite easily without a curriculum. I personally taught my youngest to read using the book Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons which can be purchased anywhere from $7 to $15 online, it can also be found in most public libraries. We also checked out easy readers from the library to teach beginning reading skills.
Another way to teach your child to read is to start off teaching them word families, then move on to sight words, and introduce easy readers borrowed from the library for reading material.
Free math worksheets can be found in abundance online. There are also an overwhelmingly abundant number of websites that offer different approaches to teaching math that do not require a curriculum to teach it, like Living Math and Natural Math.
Science is one of the most fun subjects to teach without a curriculum, allowing students to learn more about subjects that interest them, all while having fun. One of the first suggestions that I took from the original Well Trained Mind book was to use experiment based books as a science curriculum. These types of books give students feature an experiment along with the facts behind each experiment.
Unit studies are another great way to learn about science. You can spend anywhere from a week, to a month, to even a semester covering a science topic in depth. DK books have several books that would work perfectly for a unit study including the one we are currently using, How the Weather Works. You can also find several free science themed unit studies online to help in your planning.
Another way to teach science is through library books. Allowing your student to check out books on the weather, DNA, animals, and habitats allows your student to learn science simply through reading books.
History is another subject that can easily be taught without a curriculum and allows students to study subjects that interest them in depth. As with science simply reading history themed books from the library or using history based unit studies is a great way to teach history without a curriculum. If you are looking to teach history in a chronological order instead of interest based simply set up a timeline of events in history that you want to cover, and then choose library books based upon those events.