Homeschool supplementary materials are used to add variety to your curriculum and are often chosen to focus on a specific subject. This focus may target the needs of a struggling student to better understand a specific element of a particular subject, or can be implemented to reinforce what they've already learned, or may even be used to keep one child busy while another finishes their work. In any case, these materials are learning aids designed to help your child master the subject matter.
Types of Homeschool Supplementary Materials
The first thing that comes to mind when you hear "homeschool supplementary materials" is likely worksheets and other handouts used to reinforce a given subject area. Worksheets are a widely used as supplemental materials, but aside from them there are other types of supplementary materials available to enhance your child's homeschool education. They include things like:
- Electronic learning games
- Non-electronic learning games
- CD ROMs
- Entire workbooks
- Free material on the internet including learning games
Learning games are interactive and often let your child work independently. Games are available for every subject. Here are a few sample games and activities to help give you a feel for the possibilities available:
If you're searching for something to supplement your math curriculum for your middle schooler up to pre-calculus students (grades 7 to 11), Mathematical Quilts might just be what you're looking for. It's ideal for supplementing geometry and the activities don't require sewing. It's a unique, practical approach that improves visualization skills and explores:
- The Pythagorean theorem
- Fibonacci sequences
Other activities geared toward learning math include:
The Internet provides a vast assortment of educational videos. If you don't want to spend the money to have a video library your child will outgrow, you can find everything you need online and often at no charge. For example, the following science videos are available at no charge:
Where to Find Supplementary Materials
As you can tell by the links in this article, the Internet holds a wealth of supplemental resources for homeschoolers. However, if you're a hands-on kind of teacher, you can also stop by your local teacher supply stores to see what they have to offer in the line of supplementary materials for science, math, and language arts. These stores are also a great place to stock up on things like paper, pens, paints, etc.Another resource worth checking into are the various catalogs aimed at homeschooling. There are more of these catalogs available today than ever as homeschooling has increased in popularity.
How to Choose Your Materials
When buying your supplementary homeschool materials, take into consideration your child's learning style. Determine whether your child is a:
- Visual learner - learn by seeing
- Auditory learner - learn by hearing
- Kinesthetic learners - learn by doing
This is an important factor when choosing curriculum as well as any materials you plan to use to supplement your curriculum. If your child is a kinesthetic learner, they most likely won't learn from sitting and watching a video. However a game that involves them should have much more success.
Places to Visit to Supplement Your Curriculum
Along with the Internet and companies that supply homeschool materials, the real world offers a variety of places you can visit to further supplement science, math, and geography lessons. Take the time to schedule visits to places like:
- Academic gatherings
Learning is a lifelong process. Visiting institutes like those above will lay a foundation that makes learning interesting and relevant no matter what type of learner your child happens to be.