While you might plan on homeschooling forever, you never know when plans will unexpectedly change. You might have to enroll your child in a traditional public or private school at any moment, so you should keep their homeschool curriculum on track with what other schools are covering just in case. Even if you never enroll your kids in a brick and mortar school, they will need to be prepared when it comes time to go to college. Keeping your kids on track with kids in traditional schools will ensure they have all the tools necessary to take on difficult college classes.
There are many resources that show you the standard for what kids in public school in your area should be learning. But teaching your child according to the standard might not be what you want to do. Some people homeschool because they want to personalize their child’s education, in which case the standards might not be the best guide for keeping your child on track.
There are also standardized tests your kids can take to see how they measure up in comparison to kids in a traditional brick and mortar institution. Two examples of this are DORA and DOMA. DORA covers phonics, reading, vocabulary, comprehension, and spelling. DOMA covers math, specifically. These tests are unique because they show exactly what subjects the child needs to improve upon, which gives you a guide for improvements in your curriculum.
You should not stress that much about covering everything exactly as it is covered in your area’s traditional public school, as every teacher in every school teaches differently. The recommended curriculum per grade is so extensive that teachers are tasked with choosing which topics they spend a lot of time on and which topics they gloss over. Therefore, every student will have gaps. Teachers know this, which is why they often offer a quick review before jumping into a new subject.
The main thing you should worry about when it comes to preparing your kids for the traditional school system is creating a solid foundation. You can do this by making sure they understand the language well. They should be able to read at or above the recommended reading level for their grade. Knowing how to write well will take them far in most subjects. When it comes to math, give them a solid foundation by making sure they know basic math operations and formulas. Knowing the basics in math provides the foundation necessary to learn more complicated formulas later on.
Whether you are preparing your kids to enroll in traditional school or simply making sure they will be prepared when it comes time for college, keeping your kids on track is an important part of homeschooling. While you do not have to keep your homeschool curriculum perfectly in line with what the traditional schools are teaching, you should make sure your kids have a good foundation to take on future educational opportunities.