How to Choose a Homeschool Curriculum That is Right For You
Congratulations! You've made the choice to homeschool your child; that was the easy part. Now comes the hard part, deciding on a homeschool curriculum amongst the thousands of choices! Think of your curriculum as being made up of all the subjects you will teach to accomplish your child's and family's goals.
How do you know what is right for your family and, most importantly, your child? Here are some tips to help narrow down your choices and guide you to the best homeschool curriculum choice.
Why Homeschool? What is important to you?
Think about why you chose to homeschool your child. What is the most important benefit in your opinion? Are you concerned about the quality of your child's education? Do you want to combine your child's education with religious and moral instruction? Is it important to you that your child be accepted into a good college, or are you more concerned with teaching your child to be financially independent or to have respect for the environment? Do you want your child to have freedom or more involvement in their education?
What is truly important to you and how do you want to impart that knowledge to your child.
Spending some time in determining the reasons you decided to start homeschooling and answering these questions can help lead you in the right direction in regards to what homeschool curriculum to choose. Also keep in mind the legal requirements of the state you live in.
Consider Your Family Situation
Are you homeschooling multiple kids or are you pregnant or caring for elderly relatives? Do you work part time or have little support with homeschooling? Are you a single parent? Click here for some tips on how to homeschool your child as a single parent.
If you have a complicated situation it's going to be especially challenging for you to spend a lot of time educating your child. A curriculum that requires minimal teacher preparation and supervision might be best, for instance, the "all in one" style of homeschool curriculum that operates like "school in a box" versus unit studies that require more prep work on your part.
What about your financial situation? If you are short on funds, you may lean towards an eclectic or unschooling style rather than a conventional curriculum. You can find homeschool materials cheaply or even free via the internet, and even yard sales, thrift stores and online auctions. If money is no object, you can go all out and pick a curriculum that includes all the craft and science project materials as well as hard bound books your child will be reading during the year. Teacher support via the internet or phone may also be available.
Consider Your Homeschooling Method/Philosophy
Do you believe in a classical education method that dictates a lot of copywork and memorization, or are you a proponent of a more hands on or informal style of learning? If you choose a curriculum that doesn't mesh with your beliefs about education and your child's learning style, you'll find yourself hemmed in and frustrated and likely your child will be unhappy with the choice too.
There is no one "best" choice for homeschooling your child. I congratulate you for being willing to invest the time and energy to educate your child at home. Don't stress out too much about curriculum choices. As a homeschooling parent nothing is set in stone and you are free to change things whenever you want or need to. Finding the right curriculum for you and your child isn't that hard once you know what you truly want from your homeschooling experience.
For a basic, six-step process to help you find the best homeschool curriculum for you, click here.
I would also like to recommend the ABC's of Homeschooling Class by Terri Johnson. This class will be of benefit to newbies, veterans or if you are feeling somewhat overwhelmed or discouraged. Terri's class will help get you started without a firm curriculum choice in place. I was homeschooling for years before I discovered and took the class, but I'm glad I did. There are 26 lessons; the class covers homeschooling from a to z. I learned something from each and every lesson and got some new ideas to apply in my own homeschool. You can find out more about the ABC's of Homeschooling Class by clicking here.
Click here for homeschool art tips.
Click here for some homeschool Bible curriculum tips.
Click here for some homeschool history curriculum tips.
Click here for some homeschool math tips.
Click here for some homeschool reading tips.
Click here for homeschool reading curriculums.
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As an added bonus, we are including my e-book "Family Holiday Memories" that will give you some ideas for making your own family's holiday special and creating your own memories your family will cherish forever. This is also a great resource to help you homeschool holidays.