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Copyright 2005 Julie Shepherd Knapp
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The Homeschool Diner's
Homeschooler's Guide to the Galaxy

Homeschooling Approaches and Curriculum
How Much Choice do I have?

By Julie Shepherd Knapp, copyright 2006

In the US, Canada, and many other countries, parents have the right to decide how their children will be
educated.  As a homeschooling parent you are free to choose the educational approach that is best for
your family and for each particular child.  That is the main difference between homeschooling and
public or private schooling.    

A few states have given school districts the right to oversee and approve the progress and
achievement of homeschooled students -- by approvingthe curriculum, reviewing student portfolios,
and requiring submission of standardized test scores -- but the parents (or their designees) are still in
charge of the actual teaching.  Does your state or province require any of these things?  All parents
who wish to homeschool in the US need to find out what it says in their
State Homeschooling
before actually beginning to homeschooling.

If you live in one of the few US states that makes it difficult for parents to use an unstructured, child-led
homeschooling approach, such as unschooling -- and that is the kind of approach you wish to use --
then it is
very important that you get in contact with other local unschooling families, to find out how they
have been able to function within the constraints of the regulations.  Start by contacting your state
homeschooling organization and ask for referrals to local groups.  Also check out the Homeschool
Support Group Primer for more ideas on how to "get connected".  

Various homeschooling philosophies and methods are described in the  
Guide to Homeschooling
and each section also has reviews of a few popular curriculum choices for that method.  
Homeschool approaches are also grouped and presented according to the main types of learning
materials they use.  Some approaches and curriculum fit in more than one section, if so, they are listed
in each.

Some homeschool curricula have been designed specifically for families who want their religious beliefs
incorporated into their learning materials. If a product has a particular religious focus it is mentioned in
the review.

As the homeschooling population grows in number and variety,  new educational ideas are continually
developed and marketed for homeschool use, so these sections will be added-to and updated

So... let's take a look at what's out there -

Guide to Homeschooling Approaches, Curriculum,
and Other Resources
Knowledge which is acquired
under compulsion
obtains no hold on the mind.
-- Plato
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Copyright 2005-2012 by Julie Shepherd Knapp,
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