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Sunday, January 17th
Alpha Omega Publications, or AOP for short, was founded over 40 years ago and provides Christian curriculum to home educators and Christian schools around the world. As a winner of homeschooling expert Cathy Duffy's 102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum, AOP is worth considering if you're trying to decide which plan to use for teaching your children.
4 homeschool programs
AOP has four main ways of delivering a homeschool education:
There are helpful placement tests available, so that you can choose not just the right platform but also the correct grade level. For instance, your daughter might be at a 5th grade level in math but a 3rd grade level in reading - and the beauty of homeschooling is that she can be taught exactly where she is without feeling constantly behind. No matter which plan you choose, shipping is always free if there's a physical component to be delivered.
Not religious enough?
Like the other homeschool curriculum publisher in our review that emphasizes a Christian worldview, AOP gets some flack - but for not being "Christian enough". You'll see that reflected in their more-inclusive belief statement as well. We found some users who said that there was very little mentioned about God or the Bible, even in places where it would have been extremely relevant. Another person specifically criticized a text's use of fossils as a way to learn about "the beginnings of life", instead of referencing a creationist worldview. For some that may come off as a flaw, but for homeschoolers who prefer a more scientific approach (or at least, not a fundamentally-bent Christian one) Alpha Omega might present a more palatable option.
Some subjects could use freshening
A bigger challenge may be AOP's lack of updates to their materials. For some subjects, that's not a huge problem - learning Spanish doesn't change much no matter what year it is. But with a class like Economics that depends on relevant, current examples, having materials that are 6+ years out of date could mean a less-than-robust education. However, this is likely to have the biggest impact at the older grade levels, so don't lose too much sleep over it if you're deciding how to teach a 5-year-old to read. And no, you also won't find homeschool supplies beyond curriculum here. You'll have to go elsewhere for those arts and crafts projects, science experiment equipment, and so on.
Overall, Alpha Omega Publications has a solid reputation within the homeschooling community, and we like that they deliver curricula across a spectrum of delivery methods - so whether you want your student to be at a computer or strictly pencil-and-paper, you'll find something that works with AOP. Still, their limited focus on a Christian curriculum and lack of other materials keep them from being one of our highest-recommended sources of homeschool supplies.
Homeschooling is on the rise in the United States, with an estimated 2.5 million students - and those numbers growing anywhere from 2-8% every year.
Whether you're a seasoned home educator looking for new and innovative curricula and materials to work into your plans, or you're brand-new and need all the help you can get, you'll definitely need a reliable, affordable source of homeschool supplies.
Fortunately, all of the books, worksheets, science equipment and anything else you could possibly want for teaching your child(ren) at home are easily found online. The top retailers of homeschool supplies can help you narrow down what you need - A single curriculum or mix-and-match? Digital platform, parent-taught, or a hybrid? - and get it to you at prices you can afford.
Plus, it can take some trial-and-error as you determine which approach to homeschooling works for your family. What went well in your first year may need to be switched up in the second year, as you get more comfortable or as your learners' ages and needs shift with time. That's normal! While no homeschool supply store is going to let you return used workbooks and art supplies, the best retailers do have generous policies for items you get home, take one look and say "This is NOT what I thought I was getting!"
No two retailers of homeschool supplies are exactly the same. Some sell curricula from just one publisher, while others offer choices across multiple companies. Other stores give you an eclectic array of workbooks, musical instruments and other items, so that you can piece together a custom approach to your kids' studies. Finally, you'll find some sites that only sell online home education programs, from self-paced to remote learning with a certified teacher. The sky's the limit!
So, what should you look for when deciding where to buy your homeschool supplies? Naturally, that will depend on what you're hoping to find, whether that's a new curriculum or just some fun extras to supplement what you're already doing. However, here are a few criteria that can help you choose:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best homeschool supply providers available today. We hope this information helps you find the right curriculum, program, or supplemental materials to confidently educate your children at home!
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