Friday, December 30, 2011

About Curriculum

For any parent embarking on homeschooling, "what curriculum to use?" is a daunting question. Here's a overview on some curriculum options:

- Textbooks:
Most families begin their journey with textbook used in most schools. This is easy to do in Karachi at least where one can go to any stationary shop and ask for the textbooks of your chosen subjects at a chosen school. Most textbooks also have an accompanying teachers guide. This allows you to view a large selection of books and chose which is appropriate for your child. Its usually a good idea to speak to relatives with schooling going children to view their books prior to visiting a shop.
Paramount Publishers allows you to view and purchase books from their website (  Oxford textbooks ( can be bought online but unfortunately their entire book list is not available for viewing online and they are slow at delivering. Both places have a cash on delivery option for Karachi.

- Curriculum  in a box: This is an option used by many homeschoolers who would like a structured curriculum where textbooks, worksheets and even day to day activities and study plans are provided.The providers of this are abroad so it helps if you have a way to receive them at a relatives house and then brought to Pakistan (so it can be very pricey) To use these one must register online and pay a fee and the box is delivered to
you. Some of the more popular providers are :

Calvert School;

Kinza Academy (Hamza Yousuf):

(I am not recommending either, but simply letting you know what's out there). Be aware that many online curriculum in a box is Christian based and often made in accordance to state regulations; in many countries there are laws where homeschoolers have to make a portfolio of their children which is evaluated by Councillors and must sit for state funded standardized tests. In Pakistan we have the freedom to chose our curriculum of our younger children and for matric or cambridge papers we can register as private candidates to purchase syllabi and for examinations.

- Online resources
: Alhumdulillah the internet has allowed us access to a variety of online resources- free and some at a cost. Its hard not to get overwhelmed, so do try to focus on your child's abilities and needs when selecting what to use and try your best to ignore the rest!

Some popular sites are:

Most of these sites provide curriculum, free online books, links to useful sites as well as advice on how to get started.

-D-I-Y curriculum: Most families begin by buying a host of textbooks and then eventually settle for a mixture of books, online resources as well as sending their children to tutions and afternoon classes for more tricky subjects. Often informative story books, nature study, kitchen chores and outdoor sports all come together to build a families holistic curriculum. Families also adopt a number of homeschooling approaches or a mixture of several approaches to suit their children, family values and even lifestyle and that's the beauty of homeschooling, its flexibility.

To learn more about homeschooling approaches, websites, articles on curriculum and those worrying questions such as "how will I know my child is learning?", "what about tests?" "socialization?" you can browse through the various links provided by our list at :

and to read more about how various families are homeschooling do look out for Homeworks magazine as well as read up on our blog:

Its important to stay focused on your child and families goals  when planing your homeschooling life, there's a wealth of information out there so make lots of dua, stay focused, research and enjoy the experience.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Homeschooling Parent admits she misses school!


Yes its true, as a homeshooling parent I miss school!!! There i said it! I've revealed my guilty secret..... " But what could you possible miss?" you ask.....well .....

- sleeping in once the kids have left for school (though isn't it wonderful to sleep off that time used for rushing the kids off to school?)
- not having to argue with one's daughter about what she will wear the next morning... no arguments involved when having a uniform (admitted she's now developing a fashion sense of her own rather than simply going with the flow)

- when a teacher appreciates the effort you put into improving a child's reading/ writing skill (though you feel guilty knowing that you didn't do anything; your child just seemed to take the initiative because he was now ready for it)

- when mothers of schooled kids complain about current school trends/ teachers/ curriculum now you don't have anything to complain about!

- when your child says something unexpected you can't blame his classmates!

- you can't blame a bad teacher for something your child doesn't know because guess who his teacher is?

- watching your kids march around a stadium for sports day (though your friends envy the fact that you child doesn't have to spend the weeks before sports day in chilly winds or the hot sun preparing for sports day along with term assessments and class assignments)

- attending library day (though we have now further developed our own library without trashy novels cluttering the shelves and my hubby loves the fact he doesn't have to rush to school to attend it and we can read to the kids at anytime instead of being compelled to do it at a given time with a cranky baby along side and i'm glad i don't have to polish white shoes which don't stay white till the end of the day or having the kids bring home unfinished snacks in their lunch boxes, or worry about school bags which look like ragged sacks before the school year is out or...... I guess i don't miss school as much as I thought....)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

HomeWorks at Karachi Book Fair

Alhamdulilah, HomeWorks quarterly will be available at the Karachi International Book Fair at the following location:
Dawah Books
Hall no. 2
Stall no. 38 and 39

All four issues of 2011 will be available individually at a 10% discount.
You can also buy an annual pack that will be at a very special price: four magazines for the price of three - Rs. 300 instead of Rs. 370!

Here are the details for the book fair:
Karachi International Book Fair 2011
Venue: Karachi Expo Center (Hall # 1,2 & 3)
Dates: Friday, Dec. 16 - Tuesday, Dec. 20
Timings: 10 am - 9 pm