Choosing the right curriculum for your homeschool can be a source of inspiration or a daunting task.
While the homeschool community is blessed to have a wide array of curriculum products available, sorting through the abundance of choices can also be overwhelming, even for the seasoned homeschool parent. With the right tips and tools you can navigate the world of homeschool curriculum with confidence.
My recommendation when you first begin your search is this:
Know your teaching style and your child’s learning style.
Do you have time to prepare materials or do you need something that is open-and-go? Is your child a visual learner, auditory, or more hands-on? Maybe a mix of styles? If you’re just starting out and not sure, or if interests and situations have changed as they’ve grown, don’t worry. With the following research tips you can uncover your homeschool philosophy and find the curriculum that will be a successful educational tool throughout your homeschool year.
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My go-to resource each year is Cathy Duffy’s Top Picks
By answering simple, survey style questions on a scale of low to high, you will be able to zone in on your educational philosophy and discover how your child learns best. With that information, you can compare and match it to the reviews that Ms. Duffy has compiled on hundreds of curriculum both in the book and at her site.
Once you’ve narrowed down some choices there are a few places you can then go online for reviews from other parents:
- Enter the curriculum followed by the word “review” in your internet browser
- Search the name on YouTube, many publishers and bloggers offer in-depth video reviews
- Search the name on Pinterest for links to reviews
- Join Homeschool groups for your city and state on Facebook and tap into your local homeschool community for advice
- Check the publishers website, many offer a generous amount of sample pages to download so you can try-before-you-buy
- Rainbow Resource Center and Christianbook often have sample pages of products available to view
Partner with your child as you research.
- Ask them what they are interested in learning this year.
- Write down some goals together for the year ahead.
- Show them some options and see which curriculum appeals to them too.
Sometimes browsing around will spark your child’s interest in a particular subject or book. In this way your child will get to experience one of the unique benefits of homeschooling, the opportunity to take ownership of their education.
To help you organize your research, I’m sharing a free printable that you can download and print out.
I like to have several pages in a binder with divider tabs organized by child as well as a folder to store receipts. Just click the link or picture below to download.
Another important aspect of the selection process is Budget. With multiple ages and grades in my homeschool, I know how the costs of curriculum can add up fast. Check back in or subscribe for a follow-up post where I’ll share my tips for finding the best prices on materials to help stay on budget.