Certainly when we are talking about embarking upon the homeschooling lifestyle it is only justified that we want to think in terms of the long haul sometimes. We want a plan that will help us stay the course should we decide to educate our children through the highschool years.
Your question brings up a nearly universal concern that homeschooling parents face when they begin to prepare to educate their children.
Prepackaged curriculums are not necessary to begin homeschooling. However many families find that there is a certain degree of security in feeling that all the bases have been covered with regards to the requirements for each grade level. Yet there are many resources that can adequately give this information to parents. With just a little research a parent is able to put together a viable curriculum for their children. I have found that the catalogs from various curriculum providers offer an overview of the many subjects that are necessary for each grade level. Whether a parent decides to purchase the books from the particular provider is their choice to make. CHC offers an excellent overview of each grade level. Unlike many providers CHC does not require that the parents purchase the curriculum in its entirety in order to benefit from the materials offered. Some providers, due to the nature of their service, make it a requirement that the parents use only their materials exclusively.
When we begin to homeschool it is very important that we are prudent with regards to the monies that are allotted for materials. Purchasing materials that are not necessary, appropriate, or useful is a waste of money and only serves to frustrate our lifestyle. The highest priority that we had when we purchased materials for use in our homeschool is: 'does this material present the Catholic faith in a truthful and loving way?' When I embarked upon this lifestyle so long ago, I knew that the greatest comfort that I could possibly have would be in knowing that the materials we used would be truly Catholic in content. This has proven to be true in every sense of the word.
When your children reach the highschool level you will find that there are available many options for continuing their homeschooling. However it is important to research the requirements of your state. The state we are in requires that all students entering the college level have a state history course. This is a simple requirement to fulfill. There are other requirements to be sure but this is not a difficult matter to find out. Again, a little research and some time spent reading up on the state requirements are all that are necessary.
I have graduated two of my children from the homeschool highschool. To enter college they needed a viable transcript and ACT score. This was not a problem.
You have the great blessing in taking the time to research carefully the path that you feel best suits your family's needs, budget and lifestyle. I would suggest that you speak with other homeschooling families in your area and find out how they have addressed the issues that concern you.
There are no rookie or silly questions. I admire you taking the leap and asking. Many times the questions that remain unasked are just the very questions that may prove to help so many. Thank you for allowing the Holy Spirit to empower you with the need to know.
Let us pray together a Hail Mary and ask that the good and loving St. Anne intercede for our efforts in this holy vocation. Amen.
Sending out a prayer,