Wondering how to choose a homeschool curriculum? Next to making the decision to homeschool, choosing a homeschool curriculum will be one of the hardest decisions you will make. These homeschool tips will help you choose the right curriculum for your homeschool family.
Next to actually making the decision to homeschool, choosing a curriculum is one of the hardest decisions you will make. The worst part about it is that you will not just make this decision once, but every. single. year. after you begin homeschooling.
Resources to Help You Choose a Homeschool Curriculum
There are many resources out there that can help you choose a homeschool curriculum. We are going to take a look at some resources that may help.
The top recommendation is to go through Cathy Duffy’s book, 101 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum. This book breaks down learning styles for you and your child. Understanding your child’s preferred learning style is key. I can’t even count how many curriculum choices we have made over the years. Some have worked out very well, and others we never made it through lesson 3! Had I taken into consideration my child’s preferred learning style I could have saved myself, and my child a lot of frustration. After you know your child’s learning style, the book then offers you some examples of curriculum that may work for your family.
The next recommendation for homeschool resources that will help you choose a curriculum is to peruse homeschool blogs. Read as many reviews as possible about the curriculum you are considering. Often a user review will explain more than the sales material from the publisher.
Find a Way to LOOK at the Curriculum You are Interested In
The next thing I recommend is to find a way to actually “look” in person at the curriculum you are interested in. Find someone who uses the same curriculum or go to a curriculum fair or homeschool convention. If none of these options work then order just the teachers guide from the curriculum you are considering. This gives you the opportunity to look at it, and decide if it is right for you. If you don’t like it, you can send it back (most of the time). YouTube will also be a huge help as you can see the curriculum as well and hear from people who have used it.
Remember NO Curriculum is Perfect
It is important to remember one thing when you are choosing a curriculum. No curriculum is perfect. Not the one I use, the one you use, or the one your homeschool friend uses. Also, what works for one family, may not work for yours. What works for one of your children, may not work for the next child. If the curriculum you decide on doesn’t work, ditch it! Don’t torture yourself, or your child with something that doesn’t fit your family’s needs or learning styles.
Also, if a curriculum works for your family to an extent, it is okay to take bits and pieces as you go. Find out what is really important to you, whether that is a Christian base, a spiral approach, or living literature base or whatever. Find a curriculum that’s aligned with what’s important and be flexible on the rest. You are the teacher, and you get to pick and choose what to do, the curriculum is just a guide.
Curriculum shopping will be one of the most difficult things you do as a homeschool mom. Just remember to relax, find out your child’s learning style, look at the curriculum in person, and remind yourself there is NO perfect curriculum!
Author: Misty Bailey
Misty is a homeschool mom of three and has been homeschooling for over 4 years. You can read about her homeschool journey and more on her blog, Joy in the Journey.