Choosing the Best Homeschool Style for Your Family

best homeschool curriculum

At some point during your quest to figure out if homeschool was the right choice for your children, you probably typed the question, “what is the best homeschool curriculum” into Google. But as smart as Google may be, it cannot know the dynamics and nuances of your family. It doesn’t know why you’re looking into homeschool – if you have a child who struggles in math or spelling, if you’re looking to incorporate a Biblical worldview into their education, if your family travels frequently for competitive soccer tournaments, or if one of your kids has an attention issue and could benefit from a more involved, one-on-one style of education. So, while there are lots of options when it comes to curriculum, there are really only a handful of homeschool styles to choose from. And choosing the right one for your family can be tricky.

curriculum options and homeshool styles
We’ve broken down the options into four basic categories to help you navigate what’s out there to choose from.

School at Home, a Parent-Led Homeschool Approach

If you decide on a parent-led homeschool approach, you will be taking on the incredible role of “teacher” in your child’s life. If you’re brand new to homeschool, it can be overwhelming at first, but over time, you will find a comfortable routine. You’ll discover how to stay organized by using the tools that work best to fit your needs.

For example, some parents would prefer to have the lesson plans and teacher editions provided to keep them on track. Some like to have teaching aids to keep their kids engaged. Regardless of the additions to the basic textbooks and grading guides, a parent-led approach to homeschool is what most people think of when they hear the word “homeschool.” You will be investing time in planning, teaching, and grading, just like a teacher would. Only, you will be able to make your own schedule, avoid a commute, spend quality time with your children, and make your living room or your backyard into your classroom.

Video Lessons and Virtual Homeschool

Video lessons are great for many reasons. Single-subject videos work well if there are subjects you don’t feel comfortable leading. For example,  if math is a weak spot for you, you can rely on virtual teachers to do the heavy lifting. But issues with single subjects are not the only reasons parents utilize video. It’s also becoming more and more popular to virtual homeschool for the entire year and for every subject.

For families who travel frequently – like missionaries, military families, or even just plain life-travel for baseball games or ballet – video lessons and virtual homeschool are life-savers. Some people call it “roadschooling” because it can be done on DVD players or iPads in the car. In the Abeka curriculum, we offer an “independent study” path, where the timeline for completing coursework is not an issue for families who need extra flexibility.

The simplicity of having all the lessons pre-recorded, rewindable, and simply paused when a break is needed makes this style of homeschool even more flexible than usual. The teachers do all the work, and as the parent, your role is to make sure all the testing, quizzing, and preparation is getting done.

Video lessons for homeschool

Eclectic “Flexible” Homeschool

Eclectic means you get to hand-pick every piece of your children’s academics. By selecting each piece of curriculum carefully, you can customize their education to be exactly what you want it to be.

However, choosing each piece of curriculum is a challenge in itself, and it can prove to be overwhelming in comparison to an all-inclusive option like Abeka Academy or a parent-led kit. Some eclectic families mirror a traditional school year, and others choose to school year-round.  For example, in this recent blog, homeschool mom Elizabeth Kidd walks through how she selects each subject for her four children and how they tackle the year. Her family does school year-round, focusing on science and social studies in the summer, with a heavier focus on language arts and math throughout the school year. And she uses different curriculums for math versus other subjects.

Homeschool Group Co-Ops

As your children grow into teenagers, they will start to take classes like physics and trigonometry. If you’re using a parent-led approach, how will you handle teaching those tough subjects? A homeschool co-op could be the solution. A co-op is when a group of homeschool students get together for the same purpose, such as learning a single subject or even just to hang out socially. A parent who specializes in the topic may lead the lessons or alternate from week to week with other parents who understand the subject matter.

Homeschool co-ops can be utilized in a variety of ways. Some act as mini schools all year long, others meet infrequently and offer enrichment classes or field trips, and sometimes, co-ops are simply used to exchange discounted homeschool materials.

Ask around in your local homeschool community groups and do some online research to find out if there is a co-op that your child could become a part of. 

Choosing a homeschool curriculum and style is a decision that affects your entire family. Start by thinking through your goals carefully. Write them out in list form, and consider why you’ve chosen to homeschool in the first place. Which of these methods sounds feasible for your family’s dynamic and lifestyle?  The Lord is faithful, and He will give you wisdom to make the right choice. And remember, no matter which path you choose, you can always switch it up and try a different homeschool option to find the best homeschool style to suit your family’s needs. 

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Comments for Choosing the Best Homeschool Style for Your Family

Wanda Cruse:
April 24, 2020

Needing home schooling with little parental involvement for 9th grade female

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Abeka Admin:
April 28, 2020

Hi Wanda! The best program for you would be the Abeka Academy video program. Your 9th grader will have a video teacher, and all you would need to do is grade her work and be her guide should she need one. You will also have to hand out tests and keep an eye on her, but teaching the lessons would be covered by the video teacher. Here is the link to take a look: https://www.abeka.com/ABekaOnline/BookDescription.aspx?sbn=301485&childSbn=295574

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Dorothea Martin:
May 27, 2020

Need information on the homeschooling for grade 5.

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Abeka Admin:
May 29, 2020

Hi there, Dorothea! We have two different programs for homeschooling your fifth grade--parent-led and our video program. Our parent-led program requires you to teach your children, and you must also purchase the 5th grade child kit and the 5th grade parent kit. Our video program gives you a video teacher that does all the teaching for you, and you must purchase a video enrollment which will include all you need for the entire year.

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Sherry Meadows:
July 8, 2020

Anyone with info.on 3rd grade homeschooling? This IS all new to me and still not sure if I will be homeschooling at this point yet. I have a unique situation to contend with so I am praying about all of it. Thanks.

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Abeka Admin:
July 14, 2020

Hi there! For third grade we have two programs--the video program and the parent-led program. The video program has little parent interaction since you will have a video teacher, and the parent-led program requires you to be the teacher.

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Maria Baker:
July 13, 2020

I need video program for my 5 grade twins,

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Abeka Admin:
July 14, 2020

We have our video program for $959 each. The video enrollment package comes with student books, parent grading materials, and video lessons.

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Ginelly Acosta:
July 18, 2020

Hi, This is new for me. please provide me with information on homeschooling for grade 2nd. Thanks

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Abeka Admin:
July 22, 2020

Hi Ginelly! The first question you need to ask yourself is if you want to teach your child on your own or if you want video teachers to do all the teaching for you. We offer a video program and a parent-led program for 2nd grade. If you choose to go parent-led, you will purchase the grade 2 parent and child kit. If you choose to go video, you will purchase the grade 2 enrollment.

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Debbie Strahs:
July 18, 2020

I have a kindergartner who has special needs. I do not think that Science and Social Studies is a requirement for kindergarten is it? Just trying to see the best plan for me. I do like the video idea and think my daughter would love that.

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Abeka Admin:
July 22, 2020

If you do the independent study video program, you are not required to complete all subjects although we highly recommend it.

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Ileana Mathenia:
July 19, 2020

Hi, I would like to know if I buy Parent led kit for my 7 grader how I do with the videos? I need to buy or rent them? Then when she is in 8 or 9 grade can I switch to Abeka Academy and have accredited? Please explain me what
Parent led kit include
Abeka Academy includes

Thank you,
Ileana Mathenia

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Abeka Admin:
July 22, 2020

There are no videos included with the parent-led program, that is simply you doing the teaching yourself. The parent-led program requires you to purchase the parent and child kit for that grade and that will come with all the student textbooks and teacher guides for the entire year. Abeka Academy is the video program that is accredited and does not require any teaching from you. You would purchase the enrollment kit which includes video lessons by professional video teachers, student textbooks, and parent materials.

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Amanda:
July 20, 2020

I have made the decision to homeschool this year. I have a 2nd grader. All very new and needing help on exactly how to register and get started. Please help.

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Abeka Admin:
July 22, 2020

Hi Amanda! The first question you need to ask yourself is if you want to teach your child on your own or if you want video teachers to do all the teaching for you. We offer a video program and a parent-led program for 2nd grade. If you choose to go parent-led, you will purchase the grade 2 parent and child kit. If you choose to go video, you will purchase the grade 2 enrollment.

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Kelly Moores:
July 21, 2020

If we choose the video option and sign for the yearly tuition with the 10 month payment option and it doesn’t work out, how does that work?

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Abeka Admin:
July 22, 2020

You will be refunded what you have already paid if you return your unused material within 30 days of the invoice date.

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Debbie Strahs:
July 21, 2020

Looking at the K4 program. Not sure I understand how Abeka keeps track of my child's progress. I am sure I will have workbook pages to have her do. How does Abeka know how she is doing for her grades? Also, considering the K5. Same questions. I am sure I will not need all of the videos. The most important would be phonics/reading and maybe math.

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Abeka Admin:
July 22, 2020

For K4, we do not have an accredited option, so you will be the one keeping track of her grades and being sure she finishes her work. For K5-12th grade, we have an accredited option that allows you to send us your child's graded work so we can keep track.

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