Category Archives: curriculum

Free Scope-and-Sequence from World Book

World Book has a free scope-and-sequence (PreK thru 12th “Typical Course of Study” by grade levels) that’s available on their website. I know of many CM home educators who’ve used it to outline their projected studies each year.  And the price can’t be beat!  I always like “free” the best.



Curriculum Temptations

The only time I ever succumbed to the temptation to buy a complete boxed curriculum was back when my oldest daughter was ready to start Kindergarten.

I guess I was feeling insecure about teaching my own kids, so I purchased the complete Kindergarten package from Calvert School.  I felt it was the program that best fit with Charlotte Mason ideals at the time.  There weren’t a lot of curriculum options back then — we’re talking nearly 25 years ago.

Much to my surprise, my daughter had already learned EVERYTHING in the entire Kindergarten curriculum already just through us living our lives naturally and educating organically.

Rather than feeling I’d wasted my money on that year’s curriculum, I always felt it was the best money I ever spent on homeschooling because it bought me confidence in my abilities to teach my own.  Never bought another box of curriculum again.

Confidence in your homeschooling abilities?  Priceless.


Stay focused on the goal of reaching the educated state

Excerpt from my article, “Are All Homeschooling Methods Created Equal?

According to [John Taylor] Gatto (2001), the process of “education describes efforts largely self-initiated for the purpose of taking charge of your life wisely and living in a world you understand. The educated state is a complex tapestry woven out of broad experience, grueling commitments, and substantial risk” (p. 49). This highly subjective description of what it means to be an educated person is explained in further detail throughout Gatto’s writings, especially as outlined in the pages of his book, A Different Kind of Teacher: Solving the Crisis of American Schooling, and his Harper’s essay, “Against School” (Gatto, 2003).

His combined “curriculum” as stated in the preceding sources, can be condensed into the following general description of methods Gatto recommends to achieve a well-rounded education:

  • Teach serious material
    • History
    • Literature (real books)
    • Philosophy
    • Music
    • Art
    • Economics
    • Theology
    • Be flexible about time, textbooks, materials, and tests
  • Encourage maturity
    • Think critically and independently
    • Self-control
    • Financial responsibility
    • Self-entertainment
    • Capacity for insight
    • Examine political and commercial statements
    • Develop deep friendships/relationships
  • Train to be leaders and adventurers
    • Encourage curiosity and questions
    • Give autonomy to take risks now and then
    • Adventure
    • Resilience
    • Introduce kids to competent adults

To read the complete article, go HERE.


Curriculum Dealers Aren’t Your Friends


The curriculum dealers at homeschool conventions and curriculum fairs aren’t your friends.  They’re honestly looking at you as a prospective sale.

They’re not bad people, mind you.  They’re business people with a product to sell.  And homeschooling is big business these days.  They might be perfectly nice people.  They might be helpful and warm and friendly and appear to be everything you’ve ever wanted in a friend or mentor.

But remember, they’re there to make a sale … and you’re just the latest target of their slick sales speech.  Seriously.  At the bare minimum, they need to make back the cost of renting that space or booth.

In the early days of my homeschooling adventures, Continue reading

Homeschooling with a Limited Budget

by Deborah Taylor-Hough

Over the years, I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve had newbie homeschooling moms cry on my shoulder about all the myriads of choices available for home education curriculum and supplies.

“We’re just a struggling single income family! We can’t afford all this awesome sounding stuff! But I want to give my children Continue reading