Homeschool Basics

Talega Prep Family Favorites
Homeschoolers today find myriad resources and support that simply didn't exist just ten years ago.  Sifting and sorting through countless websites, booklists, curriculum vendors, and education programs can seem an impossible task.  To help our families begin their homeschool journeys, we've narrowed down the lists to just a few of our absolute favorite go-to sources.  
As you get your footing, you will have plenty of time to broaden your exposure, but for now, you can rest assured that the lessons and links we list are an excellent starting point for any homeschooling family.
 

Homeschool Organizations

The California Homeschool Network (CHN) is a non-profit organization created by and for homeschooling families in California.  The organization provides a wealth of online resources at its website, sets up an annual Homeschool Expo in June with vendor booths, informational sessions, and an inclusive high school graduation ceremony.  A directory of local area contacts helps new families connect with other homeschoolers in their area.

The Homeschool Association of California (HSC) is a non-profit volunteer operated organization for homeschooling families throughout the state.  HSC issues a monthly newsletter, maintains legislative and legal teams, has an extensive website, and also has area contacts in each county.  An annual conference is organized each summer.

The Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is a national organization providing legal and legilslative advocacy for homeschooling. 

Curriculum and Classes

Sonlight has a long-standing reputation for excellence in Christian homeschool education offering literature-based, complete curriculum-in-a-box for all grades.

 

Oak Meadows is an out-of-state homeschool ISP, which California does not allow residents to attend.  However, the school does sell a comprehensive Waldorf-based curriculum for each grade level that is perfectly suited to compliment your Talega Prep enrollment.  

The Kahn Academy offers free online video lessons and tutorials in a wide range of high school subjects, especially in math and sciences.  Donations are appreciated so that these great courses may continue.

 

Study.com is a fee-based, multi-media program offering comprehensive courses broken into brief 7-12 minute video lessons.  Videos are fast-paced  but come with a written transcript.  Quizzes are available.

Switched-On Schoolhouse offers comprehensive homeschool Christian curriculum for grades 3-12. 

Easy Peasy All-in-One is a free Christian curriculum provided online for pre-k through grade 12.

Time 4 Learning offers comprehensive homeschool secular curriculum for grades pre-k through 12.

Stanford Online High School and Middle School courses are available as single courses in a wide variety of subjects and academic levels.

C3C Classes are offered in South Orange County and provide homeschoolers opportunities to participate in collaborative, hands-on activities, with an emphasis on developing critical thinking skills.  Highly organized schedules are published in advanced.

Orange Coast Musical Arts homeschool music program has grown to include beginning through advanced levels of band, a marching band, drumline, orchestra, choral music and lessons in many instruments.

 

Singapore Math refers to the teaching method and curriculum used in Singapore, a nation that consistently ranks at the top of international assessments of student achievement in math.  One of the defining features of Singapore math is visualization. The concrete, pictorial, and abstract method underscores real-world application of math. It takes students from hands-on activities to pictorial representations, and finally to numbers.  Singapore Math is a very popular and effective homeschool math program.

Saxon Math for Grades K–12 is based on the teaching principles of incremental development, continual practice and review, and cumulative assessment.

The Key-To Math series offers self-paced, self-guided workbooks, covering topics from fractions and decimals to algebra and geometry.  The bite-size, easy-to-follow lessons give students an opportunity to learn and master concepts without being bogged down or overwhelmed.  

Methods

 

Charlotte Mason offers a three-pronged approach to education.  In Charlotte's own words, “Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life.”   The method utilizes real, living books rather than textbooks and approaches education of the child holistically.   A very popular homeschooling method; Christian-based but used in secular homes as well.

Classical Education based on, "The Well-Trained Mind," by Susan Wise Bauer, provides a comprehensive guide to a rigorous classical education for grades primary through high school.   Start with the Story of the World series and activities, maintain timelines, include classic literature and copy work, and your children will be off to a great start.   

Five in a Row is a literature-based, integrated curriculum that fosters a love of learning and the joy of discovery.

 

Waldorf Learning is based on the curriculum developed by Rudolf Steiner who felt that the best liberal arts education would "weave the lively arts through all subjects," stimulating imaginations colorfully and creatively, inspiring and making learning memorable.

 

The Montessori Method developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, is a child-centered educational approach wherein the child is seen as one who is naturally eager for knowledge and capable of initiating learning in a supportive, thoughtfully prepared learning environment.  Because a hallmark of the method is students of different ages being grouped together, homeschooling true to the method is not without its challenges.

 

Unschooling is also known as natural, interest-led, and child-led learning. Unschoolers learn from everyday life experiences and do not use school schedules or formal lessons. Instead, unschooled children follow their interests and learn in much the same way as adults do-by pursuing an interest or curiosity. 

Blogs/Lesson Ideas

The Homeschool Mom an exceptional website for homeschoolers with lessons, tips, methods, unit studies, and so much more.  This site alone could guide your first year.  

Hip Homeschool Moms (and Dads too!)  Blog full of ideas for homeschooling all ages

 
 
 
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