Is there really a golden home education resource that everyone must have?
When I first started home education I used to wish for such a resource, I would read reviews after reviews searching but now 8 years later, I don’t want one single golden, perfect resource, now I like the fact that we use multiple resources.
What I’ve come to appreciate is most resources have strengthens and some weakness and there is always a distinctive style with the way they are written and the type of questions that are asked. So when you use more than one resource you actually end up getting a broader, more accurate view of the topic.
Take my son’s Maths (Primary Maths) – we used the Understanding Maths series from Schofield & Sims, which has nice brief explanations but not a lot of practice, so we download extra examples from the TeachitPrimary and Twinkl websites (also for younger kids Activity Village have some Maths pages). And he also logs onto Khan Academy and watches some videos and does some exercises there. But it’s that combination that works. And the nice thing about combining the resources is he has gotten used to different formats and different styles of asking the same questions.
My daughter was recently looking at some human biology and she had a student book from Collins open, a student book from Oxford, Twinkl labelling pages and even a website open – all on the same topic, but they all looked a bit different.
For us the golden rule for our resources has actually been combining different sources, exposing the kids to the different styles and allowing them to get a broader understanding of a concept because no single resource ever covers it completely.
Now I am not saying we don’t have favourites, of course we do. I have certain go to websites that I use (The Teachit sites, Twinkl and Activity Village) and certain publishers (Schofield & Sims for primary and Oxford University Press and Oaka Books for Secondary) that I will always search first just because I have had good results with them in the past.
And that is why I often write what seems like multiple posts on the same topic. Sometimes it may seem that I have already written about Medieval History and then a new post crops up, with a new resource. It’s just how we like to work, we like to use the Oaka Books Topic packs, together with her Oxford Student book and some Historical Fiction books, sometimes even a BIG CAT inform book might be added or an extra non-fiction book that I found, possibly some extra pages were read, a documentary watched. For us this is really why home education suits us – they get to use that wide range of resources, they get to see the same topic from different perspectives and different angles.
So I am sorry to say but after 8 years I no longer search for that golden home education resource instead I enjoy combining different sources together to get a more holistic view of the topic we are learning about.
I can relate to searching for a time for a perfect curriculum or resource. But, like you, I much prefer a wide variety of home education materials. Keeps things much more interesting and fun for everyone!