How to select great homeschooling resources

A modern home education program can offer learners an enriching, individualised education — particularly when high quality learning resources are used. Today, online resources are essential for parents who want to create a homeschooling program – and there are endless options at our fingertips. But with so much to sift through, selecting the best ones can be tricky. Here are some tips for comparing online resources.

Ponder the pedagogical approaches 

How boring would homeschool be if a child was simply reading through a textbook and answering questions on the content, day in, day out? While this style may suit some learners to a tee, research shows that certain teaching strategies have a higher impact on learning.

Educators call such strategies ‘pedagogical approaches’. If ‘curriculum’ is what a student learns, pedagogy is how a student learns it. And as home educators become more experienced, and see the impact of certain pedagogies on a child’s achievement, you will figure out which strategy to employ, and when to employ it. No matter the age or stage, it’s important to ensure that learning takes place in a variety of forms. 

A high quality homeschool resource should offer a student multiple exposures to content through quizzes and activities, model key skills, deconstruct exemplars and provide worked examples. Here’s where it pays to trial a learning platform. While free online teaching resources can provide easy access to content, they may be quite simplistic in the delivery of the content, or only offer a single learning strategy.

Lots of these free apps and online programs are useful, but they cannot replace direct instruction. After all, our brains are wired to learn from other humans. EP homeschooling resources include plenty of actual lessons, developed and delivered by curriculum experts. Students can watch a teacher work through a maths problem, explain the steps of a science experiment or conjugate a verb.

Consider the curriculum area

Core subjects like English, maths and science tend to be the most well-resourced for homeschoolers so there will be plenty of options available. As a central component of a balanced home education plan, the content of these core subjects should reflect the national or regional curriculum. Do the literature topics cover authors from your country? Will your child see their world represented in the taught texts? Are the stories appealing, engaging and will they provoke a child’s curiosity about the lives of others? As for science, content is constantly being updated as scientific understanding improves. In the Maths learning area, strategies for teaching numeracy and other basic concepts have evolved in the last two decades and will continue to do. It pays to check that approaches, content and learning progressions are in line with the current national curriculum.

Beyond these core subjects, what other learning areas are offered? One reason why homeschool appeals is the ability to pursue learning not offered at the local school. Does the platform offer resources for subjects in the humanities and arts? How about foreign languages? Quality language learning progressions are just that: progressions. Learning single vocabulary items via free apps can be a good start but for deeper learning look for language teaching resources that allow students to hear native speakers and interact in the target language.

It sounds obvious, but check the publication date of resources. How often is the content updated or added to? Do you see topical or current events mentioned? With a subject like social studies, homeschooling presents endless opportunities for interest-driven learning based around current events. Will the resources allow a child to pursue their own interests while also building essential skills?

And lastly, don’t forget to consider the most generous resource – you, the homeschooler! You will have your strengths and interests as a home educator. These are likely to get more attention in a learning plan than subjects where you feel less confident. Look to plug these gaps with high quality instructional material to take the pressure off.

Ask about achievement and progress

When comparing resources, inquire as to how achievement is measured, and whether it is easy to report on.

While homeschooling can extend students beyond traditional curriculums, it is also important to stay on top of the requirements for students’ expected level of educational attainment. After all, homeschooled high schoolers will eventually need to sit nationally aligned assessments to gain a recognized qualification.

A quality online learning platform should have clear achievement indicators built into the resource framework, with the ability to check off objectives as they are met by home learners.

The great thing about using an online platform to keep these records is that real time information is available about a child’s progress. Instead of finding out months down the line that your child is not achieving at the expected standard, the platform will flag any issues and support you to rectify them as you go. 

With the current rise in homeschooling around the world, parents are increasingly looking for robust and trustworthy online teaching resources. When navigating the storm of information, keep focused on the three aspects that matter: curriculum (what is taught), pedagogy (how it’s taught) and achievement (are students achieving the intended outcomes?)

Find out more about using EP’s homeschooling resources to create personalised education programs

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Why Use EP to Homeschool?

EP is adjustable for every style of homeschooling. It’s built to enhance your ability as a home educator and offer your child both structured and flexible methods of learning. The platform allows you to adapt for individual strengths and weaknesses so every learner feels supported.

You can:
Create your own courses
Follow our pre built outlines
Unschool your learner with our interest led functionality
Join over 1500 other homeschoolers!

Why Use EP to Homeschool?

EP is adjustable for every style of homeschooling. It’s built to enhance your ability as a home educator and offer your child both structured and flexible methods of learning. The platform allows you to adapt for individual strengths and weaknesses so every learner feels supported.

You can:
Create your own courses
Follow our pre built outlines
Unschool your learner with our interest led functionality
Join over 1500 other homeschoolers!