Best Homeschool Curriculum
Is there really such a thing as the best homeschool curriculum? Wouldn't we all want to use it! Although it would be nice to have the secret formula for homeschooling, the fact is that it doesn't exist. The best thing to do for homeschooling, though, is to set goals and work at meeting those goals. These goals will look different for each family, but they are still important to set and pursue.
Here are my best tips on finding the best homeschool curriculum/resources for your family:
1. Think about whether you really need a packaged curriculum or if you can possibly use some good tools and resources instead. Ask yourself some questions about curriculum to see if it would be a good fit for your family.
2. Know your child's learning style - Beyond the usual visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning styles, you can have your child go through a homeschool learning style assessment where you find out even more about them. You will find out more about how they learn best, whether they like quiet or loud, what type of things they are passionate about, and much more. My readers get a $5 discount when they get a homeschool learning style assessment here. There is a great interview on that page with the creator and author Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis who has worked with thousands of children and parents on learning style. If you have a learning style assessment in hand for your child, you will have a better chance of choosing the best homeschool curriculum and resources specifically for that child.
3. Know your budget - Staying within your homeschool budget is very important. You weren't called to homeschool just so that you can go into debt paying for your child's books and resources. If the program you are looking at is $500 and you only have $100 to spend, then that is not the program for you. You can possibly sell some things to raise money for homeschool books, or you can spend some time gathering resources instead of spending money. I have always homeschooled on a limited budget and have lots to say about how to homeschool for free.
4. Ask questions - Whether you attend homeschool conventions or just talk to an individual homeschool mom, be sure to ask lots of good questions, like, "What has worked for you?", "What has not worked for you?", "What do you recommend for our situation?". I have to throw in a big caution flag here though! Although it's good to get advice, make sure you don't get a curriculum based solely on what someone else tells you to get. Get advice, but, in the end, make sure you trust your own judgement. God knows you and your child better than anyone else. Make sure you prayerfully consider any major purchase of homeschool books before you place that order!
5. Look at lots of books to know which one will help you meet your goals. If you want a packaged curriculum, there is Sonlight, Alpha Omega, Switched on Schoolhouse, Horizons and others. Spectrum are good workbooks to get and Christian Book Distributors is a wonderful resource for finding reasonably priced homeschool materials. You can also take a peek at my favorite homeschool resources. The more you see what is out there, the more you will be able to evaluate books and resources that you see. Trust your judgement and don't worry if you purchase something that is not the best homeschool curriculum. It's okay! We all make mistakes, but realize that you don't need to have 4 years of college to be able to pick out homeschool books. It's not rocket science. Sometimes it's more trial and error.
If you are confused by all the curriculum options out there, maybe you need a homeschool coach who can help guide you through the maze of choices. Feel free to contact me with simple questions or hire me out for an hour on the phone (which includes a month of email access after that). I've been homeschooling for 14 years and have looked at many different programs over the years.
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