Differentiated learning is a phrase that classroom teachers use to describe how they modify their teaching to accommodate students’ learning needs. In homeschooling, we all modify our curriculum and lessons daily to fit our children’s learning styles.
As a homeschooler, how can you avoid having to buy multiple curricula for the same grade level if your children learn differently? You can do two things—you can either differentiate learning using the same books, or you can buy curriculum that has multiple levels already included in it. One good example of this is Evan-Moor’s Nonfiction Reading Practice books (available for grades 1–6.)
It’s easy to build a language arts curriculum around fiction, but learning how to read and understand grade-level nonfiction passages is really important, too. This series by Evan-Moor includes 17 topics in each grade level. There are three leveled passages for each topic, with coordinating questions and a writing topic. The topics are on social studies, science, math, technology, and the arts. The topics are interesting and the books are reproducible, so you only need to copy the pages needed for each child. The writing paper has wide, clear lines for easy writing and reading.
I’m going to be using the grade 6 book from this series this upcoming school year with my middle daughter. I plan on using one passage from this book each week. Here is my lesson plan.
- Monday: Read passage silently and then reread together. Highlight important sentences.
- Tuesday: Paraphrase sentences and write a summary.
- Wednesday: Complete comprehension questions that include a mix of response and multiple choice.
- Thursday: Complete graphic organizer and prepare for written response.
- Friday: Written response.
I’m looking forward to using this book. It will make my life as a teacher easier. I have three children at three completely different grade levels, so it’s a lot to juggle! Books like this series by Evan-Moor make life simpler for me, and I’m very grateful!
Another option that can give more flexibility and save time and money over the long run is to subscribe to Evan-Moor’s TeacherFileBox. A lot of parents find this to be a good solution to meet their children’s different learning styles. There are PreK-6 lessons across the curriculum for a low monthly or annual subscription. (The best deal can be currently found through Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op.) The nice thing about services like this is you can try it out for a month and you even get a free 30-day trial. I think it definitely can be a great thing to check out!
Please note that I did receive a copy of the grade 6 Nonfiction Reading Practice book from Evan-Moor for review, but these opinions are entirely my own.
Suzanne Sniffen is a homeschooling mom of three children. She has taught students ages 3–60 in a variety of settings in the past 17 years. Suzanne has been homeschooling for the past 11 years, after previously teaching in public and private schools. Talking with other parents about homeschooling and how children learn is something she enjoys every chance she gets. She also leads a homeschool chess club and maintains a blog of homeschooling resources. Since her kids were very young, she has been blogging about homeschooling, books, and life at lovetopaint.blogspot.com.