When you make the choice to homeschool your children, it’s important to make sure you’re prepared. One of the best ways to ensure your children are learning what they need to learn is by finding an inclusive homeschool curriculum that is right for your family. How can you do this? Here are a few questions you should ask when picking a homeschool curriculum.
Tips for Picking the Perfect Homeschool Curriculum
Does It Align with Your Purpose?
Parents choose to homeschool their children for a variety of reasons. Oftentimes, it is because of religious or educational reasons. No matter what reason you choose to homeschool, make sure your homeschool curriculum aligns with your purpose. If you believe in creationism, you wouldn’t want to pick a curriculum that supports evolution. The best way I have found to make sure the curriculum works for you is to go to a homeschool conference or homeschool curriculum show. These have a huge expo hall of homeschool curriculum you can see hands on and touch feel and ask questions bout. As a bonus, many companies will offer a discount if you buy from the conference or show.
What Are the Standards?
In addition to aligning with your purpose, you’ll also want your homeschool curriculum to align with your state’s educational standards. What does your state require children learn each year? Will the curriculum you’re considering live up to these standards, or better yet, exceed them? If you choose to send your children back to public schools at some point down the road, you’ll be glad that you chose a curriculum that prepared them.
What Does It Include?
When picking your homeschool curriculum, you’ll want to ask what it includes. Some curriculums come as a set and include everything you need for the year, while others have supplemental materials that you need to purchase at an extra cost. Although it might be easier to purchase an all-inclusive set, you should also keep in mind that it might be nice to pick and choose what you buy based on what you need.
What Does It Cost?
Although you shouldn’t pick your curriculum solely on the price, the total cost of the curriculum should play an important part in your decision. Once you have a few curriculum options, add up the total cost for all curriculum materials, including workbooks and answer keys, and decide if it is within your budget or not. You can usually use the same curriculum for multiple years, purchasing new workbooks as needed, but you still want to pick a curriculum that you can live with the cost. What parts of your curriculum can you buy used and save some money such a teacher guides, reading books etc.
If you have no clue where to start I suggest 101 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum: Choosing the Right Curriculum and Approach for Each Child's Learning Style by Cathy Duffy this book is what I used to get started. You can take a test and find out what curriculums will work best for your teaching style AND your kids learning style. Then the books covers hundreds of curriculums with info on each.
Once you know what to look for in a curriculum, it is simply a matter of finding one that matches all of your criteria. What do you consider when choosing a homeschool curriculum?