Homeschooling an elementary student as a parent is a huge responsibility. You have to ensure that you are providing the same nurture and care as brick-and-mortar classrooms. However, to make the daunting task more accessible, we have listed some of the best elementary homeschool curriculums.
These curriculums are high-quality, affordable, and easy to use on laptops, tablets, or smartphones. Also, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, these curricula will ensure that your toddler does not fall behind.
We have tried to explain how elementary home schools work and what curriculum they follow for parents new into homeschooling. Followed by that, we have listed the best elementary homeschool curriculums to get you started.
How does an online elementary homeschool work?
Online elementary homeschool is available in a variety of packages. Parents may choose to enroll their kids into private or public online elementary schools. Moreover, parents may also choose an online charter elementary school.
However, homeschooling is not entirely dependent on schools. Parents may choose to enroll their kids into a homeschooling curriculum, administer lessons, and keep their children on track. Online homeschooling programs come with many beneficial features—video lectures, certified instructors, and interactive media.
On the other hand, blended homeschooling programs take some pressure off of parent's shoulders. These programs do not require parents to oversee their child's development full-time. However, assistance in assignments and complex concepts might be necessary.
What kind of curriculum do online elementary home schools follow?
The curriculum covered in all the accredited online private and public elementary schools adheres to the state's policies. These schools cover all the core subject areas and concepts. However, students have a great deal of flexibility in terms of delivery methods and topics. The standard grade-wise curriculum that most of the online elementary schools follow includes:
The kindergarten curriculum focuses on building the essential learning blocks that will lay a strong foundation for a child's overall education. The concepts covered are entirely fundamental, giving students the chance to learn in a fun way. A typical kindergarten curriculum includes language art skills, math, science, and social studies.
The language arts curriculum focuses on making a child's reading and writing skills more structured. Students get to learn about basic punctuation, sentence structure, and the use of words from day-to-day conversations. Also, they get an introduction of nouns, prepositions, and the use of interrogatory words, like 'what,' 'when,' 'how,' etc.
The online kindergarten math curriculum includes counting by ones and tens, identifying shapes, and other concepts. The terms "putting together and adding to" and "taking apart and taking from" are used to introduce the concepts of addition and subtraction. The Common Core State Math Standards are used to teach all of these concepts.
The first grade lets students advance their math and literacy skills. Also, they continue to learn about various scientific concepts and social studies. The language art skill curriculum focuses on expanding vocabulary, answering questions in writing, etc.
The first-grade math curriculum includes counting by fives and tens, measuring, ordering and comparing, etc. Students also learn about creating two-dimensional shapes, working with halves, quarters, and wholes.
The science curriculum for the first graders includes life science, states of matter, earth, and space science. Moreover, students expand their general science knowledge with topics like different animal habitats, parts, and functions of plants, etc.
On the other hand, the first-grade social studies curriculum includes maps, cultures, economics, state and community helpers.
The second-grade curriculum focuses on concepts that build a student's critical thinking skills. The curriculum includes science, math, language arts, and social studies.
The language arts curriculum covers concepts like decoding two-syllable words, prefixes, suffixes, understanding glossaries, etc.
On the other hand, the math topics include solving word problems, reading analog clocks, and partitioning shapes into halves, thirds, and fourths.
The science curriculum for second grade includes energy, force, motion, space, changes in matter. Moreover, the social studies curriculum for second grade includes human needs, work in society, national identity, etc.
The third-grade curriculum capitalizes on improved writing and reading skills. Moreover, students get to explore the core subject areas with more depth and complexity. The core subjects include math, science, language arts, and social studies.
The language art skills for third graders include comparing themes, plots, and settings of stories, drawing connections within the text, etc. Furthermore, there are topics like describing events, correcting words, writing opinions, and reading multisyllabic comments.
The third-grade math curriculum includes:
- Solving two-step word problems.
- Identifying math patterns.
- Using graphs and rulers.
The science topics include various ecosystems, properties of matter, the life cycle of plants and animals, and the solar system.
The social studies curriculum for third-graders is relatively vast. Students learn about the 50 states and their capitals, read maps, difference between rural, suburban and urban regions. Moreover, they read about the Native American Communities, the history of migration, and other economic concepts.
The fourth-grade curriculum focuses on developing math fact fluency among students. Also, it builds in higher problem-solving skills and promotes higher levels of reading comprehension. Like the primary grades, the fourth-grade curriculum also focuses on a set of core subject areas. These subjects include math, science, language arts, and social studies.
The language art skills curriculum for fourth-graders covers many topics focused on enhancing reading and writing skills. The issues generally include producing narrative pieces, summarizing a text, and decoding multi-syllable and irregular words.
On the other hand, the math curriculum includes converting measurements, classifying and analyzing geometrical shapes, etc. Animal adaptations, force, and motion, phases of the moon make for most of the science curriculum. For social studies, fourth graders learn about the geography of different locations and the culture of other regions.
The fifth-grade curriculum consists of all the elements that prepare elementary schoolers for the challenges of middle school. The language art skill curriculum includes participating in group discussions, understanding similes, and metaphors, etc. Moreover, students learn to use quotes to back up assertions, follow appropriate grammatical rules and analyze different texts.
As part of the math curriculum, fifth-graders learn to multiply and divide fractions, measure volume, and plot graphs on the coordinate plane. The science curriculum includes plants and animal cells, the periodic table, and plate tectonics. Fifth-graders read about westward expansion, European exploration, and the American Revolution as part of their social studies curriculum.
What are the best online elementary homeschool programs in 2021?
The K12 academy combines an engaging, interactive curriculum along with online sessions and activities for elementary schoolers. Students get to learn under the guidance of a supportive school community. The K12 powered schools give students exposure to extracurricular clubs and activities by connecting. Moreover, stride K12 has over 50 national online clubs, letting elementary-schoolers engage and learn with their peers.
Talking of the curriculum, the K12 powered online elementary schools offer a solid foundation in the core subjects. Furthermore, students may also choose courses in music, arts, and world languages. The full-time annual fee for elementary-schoolers in the Keystone School (K12 powered school) starts at around $2000.
To enroll, the parent has to create a parent portal account and provide basic information. After that, they can choose a school from a list of different K12 powered schools and answer admissions questions. For the last step, parents will have to submit the required documents.
ABCMouse is an online learning tool that provides educational resources and material for kids ages 2 and 8. The platform features more than 10,000 activities and offers a step-by-step curriculum designed by well-qualified teachers.
The platform consists of ten levels of activities based on age appropriateness and difficulty. While level one is ideal for 2-year-olds, level 10 is suitable for 8-year-old kids.
All the activities on ABCMouse cover concepts of math, reading, social studies, science, and health. Each of the levels has specific goals under each subject area. These goals might include recognizing sound, colors, and counting numbers. The cost is around $9.95 for a month, but parents can avail of discounts for paying upfront.
The online elementary curriculum at the Connections Academy helps young minds acquire study skills and develop a love of learning. The curriculum focuses on building fundamentals in the core subjects—math, science, reading, writing, and social studies. The platform provides course content in print, supplemented with online content.
Not only that—the educational platform also the online elementary talented program. This program is available for students who qualify, beginning in third grade. However, younger students can also be eligible and advance their learning pace to a higher grade level.
Talking of the costs, Connections Academy is tuition-free, like online public elementary schools. The only prices are for the optional field trips and the standard school supplies.
Time 4 Learning offers an elementary curriculum suitable for homeschool, summer study, afterschool, and skill-building. The program consists of various grade levels and covers core subjects like math, language arts, social studies, and science.
Apart from the core subjects, Time 4 Learning also offers foreign language courses for elementary schoolers. However, these courses require additional fees. What sets Time 4 Learning's elementary school program apart from others is, it is customizable. Parents get the freedom to mix, match and merge different elementary homeschool programs and educational resources.
The tuition fee is just $19.95 monthly for grades PreK through 8th. Parents can opt for Time 4 Learning's elementary school program either full-time or as a supplement. Also, the lesson plans are printable, and parents get support through the online parental forum.
The Laurel Springs School is an online private school with an exceptional curriculum for elementary schoolers. The school focuses on nurturing a child's learning journey with well-qualified and caring teachers. The program at the online elementary school encourages exploration, fosters positive learning experiences, and focuses on emotional growth.
The curriculum for elementary school students at Laurel Springs includes English, Maths, Science, History, and World Language. The school emphasizes the importance of touch, listen, talk and move while learning at an early age. Thus, the combination of curriculum and teacher guidance nurtures young minds and helps them manifest an early love for learning.
The program comes with a flexible schedule and uses the asynchronous learning model. Also, Laurel Springs suggests a plan for students that acts as a guide for completing the assignments and coursework. Moreover, students from kindergarten through grades K2 learn Chinese, Spanish or French in online courses.
Talking of the tuition costs, it is $425 and $625 respectively for a semester and full-year courses for grades K-2. Also, the Physical Education course costs around $160 and $320 for a semester and full-year period.
For grades 3-5, the tuition fee is $685 and $935 for a single course semester and a single course full year. It is $200 and $400 per course for Physical Education and health for a semester and a full year.
The online learning scenario has seen rapid growth since the last decade. Parents are now considering online educational platforms over traditional ones. And what would be better than starting as early as kindergarten?
Enrolling in an online elementary school provides the nurture and care a child needs as part of their early education. While some online elementary schools have adopted the blended learning method, others are asynchronous and entirely online. However, students can always access resources and get instructional help in the online learning system.
Most private and public online elementary schools have designed their curriculum according to the state's guidelines. The elemental school core subject generally includes math, science, social studies, and language art skills. However, some schools also provide World Language courses as early as in grade 2.
There are many factors that parents need to consider before enrolling their child in an online elementary school. Some of these factors are— affordability, qualification of teachers, and accreditation. Also, before getting your child enrolled, try getting information about the LMS system the school uses.
To make the daunting task more accessible, we have included a list of the five best online elementary schools, along with their tuition costs and upsides. So, which elementary school has you selected for your child? Comment down and let us know.