If you feel like your child's education has been compromised because of one reason or several factors at play, and you want to do something to help improve your child's academic success, keep reading.
As an ex-public school teacher and homeschool mom, making sure my child has a good education is important to me.
Last year, I was homeschooling a child (not my own) through Senior Kindergarten.
If your child is under the age of nine and needing help academically, the main focus should be on Reading, Phonics, Writing, and Mathematics.
To help a child learn to read, I have used and love Hooked on Phonics. I use it after a child can confidently identify each letter sound (short sounds). It is fun for kids to use and comes with little readers and a reward system. You can see a review of Hooked on Phonics here. I used the Kindergarten level.
To get them to learn their letter sounds, using simple flashcards daily will help them learn and remember. There are also cute songs online to help them learn each sound.
Another great reading program is Alpha-phonics but it's a little more advanced. It takes a student from not reading to about a 3rd grade reading level in two years.
You don't have to be a homeschooler to use these resources I use. They are great for any student needing to increase their skills. Of course they need to be used consistently to see results. Taking a few minutes daily to work on something is better than 1-2 hours sporadically.
You can let your child fall behind in a subject but you can't let them fall behind in reading. If they fall behind in reading, then all other subjects will suffer since it is the foundation for learning all other subjects, except perhaps, in Mathematics.
For Math in the younger grades, the two curriculums that I recommend are Horizons Math (colourful) and Saxon (black and white). Horizons are for students that naturally do well in Math since it is a little advanced. To see if it's a good fit for your child you may want to read this Horizons math review.
For a slower and thorough approach to Math, you may prefer Saxon Math, another well respected Math curriculum.
Horizons and Saxon are very different so it's just a matter of choosing what's best for a particular child. There is no one-size fits all.
If you can ensure your child doesn't fall behind in reading, writing, and mathematics by supplying some supplemental material even if your child does go to public school, this will be highly beneficial.
If you're considering having your child homeschooled, here are some homeschooling quotes to get you inspired.
Even if you feel that you don't have the time to help your child with their education, if they are past those primary grades, they can work independently if they have the right resources, either in book format or online.