When considering the option of homeschooling, the list of potential subjects to pursue may seem overwhelming. It’s important to remember that homeschooling isn’t just about what academic topics you teach – it’s also about creating a learning environment suited to your child’s individual learning needs and interests. That said, there are a few key academic areas to consider when designing a successful homeschooling program.
In this article, we’ll outline the most commonly taught subjects when homeschooling, and provide parents with helpful tips for creating a well-rounded learning experience.
Math is an essential part of any educational program. Your child will need to learn the fundamentals of mathematics, including basic operations, fractions, decimals, algebra, and geometry.
Depending on your child’s age and educational level, these lessons may take place at home or may be supplemented with additional, individualized instruction outside of the home. To ensure your child has a strong mathematical foundation, it’s important to make sure the math content is adapted to meet their individual needs. Additionally, many homeschoolers supplement their math instruction with hands-on activities, like playing games or working with physical objects, to help make it more enjoyable and engaging.
Language arts, or literacy, is another foundational topic of homeschooling that should be included in every program. Language arts activities may include pre-reading activities, traditional phonics instruction, literature studies, writing activities, and public speaking opportunities.
While some parents may choose to teach language arts subjects at home, many also opt to supplement instruction with reading and writing tutors, as well as online language arts courses. To ensure your child is mastering the basics of language and literature, it’s important to provide them with frequent opportunities to read, write, and speak.
Science & Nature Studies
Science and nature studies are another popular topic of homeschool instruction. Depending on your interests and comfort level, science and nature studies may include topics like zoology, botany, chemistry, geology, physics, and even astronomy.
Whether you choose to explore these topics in-depth or opt for a more general overview, it’s important to make sure the educational activities cater to your child’s individual learning style. Some homeschoolers like to host science experiments in their own homes, while others may opt for more outdoorsy activities such as local nature hikes or beach studies.
History & Social Sciences
In addition to the other academic subjects, homeschoolers should also explore topics like world history and social sciences. These subjects may include cultural studies, economics, psychology, political sciences, and sociology.
Similar to the other subjects, parents should tailor instruction to their child’s interests and learning needs. While some parents opt for a more traditional approach to history and social sciences, others could make use of the many online resources and virtual field trips that are available.
Foreign language instruction is another subject that many homeschoolers are interested in exploring. Homeschoolers may choose to pick up a second language for fun or with the intention of taking an AP or college language exam. If you plan on having your child pursue a foreign language, it’s important to investigate the various resources that are available to homeschoolers and understand which kinds of instruction would be best suited for them.
Arts & Music
Fostering artistic and musical interests and talents should also play a role in your homeschooling program. Artistic activities may include drawing, painting, sculpting, and photography, while musical activities may include playing an instrument or learning how to read music. If you would like to offer your child more guidance in these areas, you may have the option of pursuing instruction with an experienced arts or music teacher.
Physical Education & Sports
Physical education is another important part of a well-rounded educational program. Depending on your family’s preferences and situation, this could involve sports programs, health classes, fitness activities, yoga, tai chi, and more. The best approach to physical education depends on a child’s individual learning needs and interests, as well as the resources that are available to you.
Some families like to make use of organized sports programs in their local area, while others like to create their own curriculum.
Life skills are an often overlooked facet of a homeschooling program. That said, teaching your child life skills is just as important as teaching them academic skills. Many life skills, like financial literacy, cooking, sewing, car care and repair, home improvement, and more, are easily incorporate into your homeschooling program.
That said, these activities may also require additional resources, like supplies or outside instruction, so be sure to investigate your options.
Family Life & Character Education
Homeschoolers should also feel free to incorporate topics such as family life, character development, and values education into their program. These topics can take the form of both traditional course instruction and everyday life lessons.
The content and frequency of these lessons may vary depending on your family’s individual needs and beliefs, but the important thing to remember here is that it’s okay for your program to include more than just academic topics.
Career & Technical Education
Career and technical education can also be seamlessly incorporated into a homeschooling program. This can include topics such as basic coding and robotics, finance, robotics, 3D printing, and more.
If you have the resources to do so, you may opt to enroll your child in specialized career and technical programs. Alternatively, there are a variety of online resources, including online classes and tutorials, that may provide your child with enriching career exploration without leaving your home.
When homeschooling your child, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to designing and executing an effective program. While the topics explored will largely depend on the preferences and abilities of your individual child, there are a few key academic areas that should be incorporated in every curriculum.
These topics include math, language arts, science and nature studies, history and social sciences, foreign language, arts and music, physical education and sports, life skills, family life and character education, and career and technical education. By making sure each of these areas is addressed in your homeschooling program, you can be sure you’re providing your child with a comprehensive and well-rounded learning experience.