Choosing the Best Homeschool Curriculum

Top 10 Tips for Choosing a  Homeschooling Program

When you start choosing a curriculum then there are certain things you should consider before making an expensive purchase.

Finding the best homeschool curriculum can be a minefield - especially if you are new to homeschooling. It is easy to pay out a fortune and end up with a dusty pile of books that everyone hates!

So before you start, work through my ten tips and really get a handle on what would work for you.

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Choosing the Right Homeschool Curriculum

Here are my top 10 things to think about before deciding which would be the best homeschool curriculum for you. Taking time now will save you money in the long run.

  1. How long have you been homeschooling?
    When you first start homeschooling then you generally think that a pre-packaged program is the answer to everything! But finding the best homeschool curriculum for your family can be tricky.

    I would recommend that you hold off making any expensive purchases for 6 months. Spend the time deschooling and trying out different methods of homeschool. You will be amazed at how your views about learning at home change and develop. You may find you don't need a set program after all. If you are new but still feel you need a guide, then try using a free homeschooling curriculum for a while - this will really help you to understand what you want from one.
  2. Take time to consider if a curriculum is really for you.
    It may seem like the right thing to do - but there are many ways to homeschool. Think about the disadvantages of a curriculum before deciding.
  3. What are your homeschooling goals
    You may want to help your children develop a love of learning. Is it important to you that they have a classical education? Do you want to help them pursue their passions? Thinking about your goals for your children will help you develop an idea about what is needed.
  4. What are your learning styles - not just of the children but you too.
    Is a set program going to bring you the structure you all need - or tie you to a treadmill that you will find impossible to keep to. Be realistic - everyones homeschooling styles are different. If you know you will have trouble keeping it up, then choose a more flexible method of homeschool such as lapbooks or unit studies.
  5. Your faith.
    If you have strong religious convictions then you are best finding a program that works with this. It may be easy to add an element (such as bible reading) but trying to adapt (say, science) modules is going to give you a lot of work.
  6. Always check out your homeschooling requirements before purchasing a program.
    If your state has stricter regulations then some programs may be unsuitable.
  7. Your knowledge and comfort level.
    Your children are going to need some help in their education. I do think that it is ok for us to learn alongside them, and in most cases this works very well. But don't launch on a high-brow educational program if you don't feel you can all keep up. Stick to something you feel you can manage - you can always add extra modules in areas you all get good at.
  8. What subjects do you need to cover?
    Packaged curriculum differ, so check how complete a program it is. Make sure it covers the core subjects you need.
  9. Your budget.
    This is a big one! Purchased curriculums can be expensive, so make sure you explore all options before you buy. Try a free homeschooling curriculum first, or write your own. If you do decide to buy check if it can be used for multiple children, or you can mix and match grade levels. And do think about buying a used homeschool curriculum if you can get one.
  10. Try before you buy.
    Always make sure you get to view your chosen program before you commit yourself. Even little things like the font being too small for your child can make your school-term miserable! If there is no other option, try to buy from a supplier that will let you ship a program back - at least you will have only lost shipping costs.
Taking time to ponder your requirements will really help you focus on the best homeschool curriculum for you and your family.


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