So you’ve figured out which homeschooling method will work out best for you and your students, but within the method you have lots of curriculum choices. How do you find the perfect fit?
I have to admit I am something of a curriculum junkie. I love trying new curriculums and I usually share what I learn on my blog. So you could always start by reading curriculum reviews on my blog. 🙂 All playfulness aside, blog reviews and review books like 101 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum by Cathy Duffy are both great places to start.
Questions to Ask When Considering a Curriculum for your Homeschool
Does it fit my student’s learning style? If you have a kinesthetic learner, you should be looking for something with a hands-on focus. If you have an auditory learner, you should be looking for a focus on read-alouds or recorded content. Visual learners will enjoy notebooking and spatially organized material with clean illustrations. You can read more about learning styles here.
Does it fit our lifestyle?
If you have lots of doctor and therapy appointments, you will need something portable. If you like to have Fridays off you will need that flexibility. If you are structured in nature you will want a clear plan for each day.
What do my children think?
My children don’t have final say, but the older they get the more input they have. If you value a child’s input, he will have an investment in making the curriculum “he picked” work. Often I find that if I narrow it down to two choices and can’t decide my children have keen insight and see something I have overlooked.
Does this curriculum mesh with your values and goals?
Choosing a curriculum that teaches evolution may be an appropriate choice for you – even if you believe in creation. However we should scrutinize carefully any curriculum we consider to make sure it meshes with our goals and values OR allows us to teach the opposing side’s view so that our children can stand up against that view. It’s important to think about this before you are six months into the year with a curriculum your child reads on his own – before you realize that it contains blasphemy, mature information, or otherwise.
Where can I look at Homeschool Curriculum?
1. Go to conventions.
One great way to compare and consider a wide variety of homeschool curricula is to attend a homeschool convention such as Teach Them Diligently. Each convention has a variety of curriculum vendors with samples and products on hand so that you can get a good luck at your choices and often make purchases at a discount.
2. Ask Your Friends.
If you have a local homeschooling group or other homeschooling families in your church, ask the question. Does anyone have this curriculum I can look at? Or maybe you could organize a curriculum show and tell day where you each bring a set of materials you have at home for others to look at.
3. Look at Samples.
Many curriculum providers include samples on their website which you can peruse or even download to get a good look.
4. Find Out if your have a local homeschool store.
I’ve been surprised at how many local homeschool stores exist and how often our local Christian book store has a large selection of curriculum. It’s not a shoe-in, but it’s worth a look.