Choosing A homeschool Curriculum

It’s that time of year again.It’s the end of the school year, you have filled out paperwork for next years homeschooling approval and made your portfolios. It is time now to choose your curriculum for next year.

My thought used to be the same as yours, “How can I possibly think of new curriculum when I am still working to finish this year still?”

The possibilities are almost endless, and it becomes tireless hours searching online. How can you possibly decide on one? To say it is overwhelming is an understatement. I have been there too!

So lets break this down into a few manageable steps and get you on the right track to choosing the best curriculum for your homeschool students.

Figure out what your goal is

– Do you want a faith based curriculum?
-How much time you want to spend homeschooling?
-do you want to free up some time during a homeschool day and do some online classes? DVD curriculum?

There have been times that I have switched curriculum in the middle of the school year because it just wasnt working for us. Be mindful and think about the curriculum that has worked and what hasn’t. A lot of times some curriculums follow the same pattern.

What Worked and What Didn’t

– Decide what curriculums you liked and disliked and think about why so you can avoid that when choosing the next curriculum.
– Things that you couldn’t find time for?
– This year my son was becoming more independent, it made me wish I had considered a DVD curriculum so that he could work and learn on his own for a few subjects, freeing up my time during the day for other things. This may be something that could be helpful to you, especially if you homeschool multiple children.

Education Budget

The next step is determining how much you are able to spend on curriculum and how much time you have to look for free curriculum. For some people the cost doesn’t matter. For others they like to be very frugal with their purchase saving where they can, finding free items, and utilizing online and local resources. If you are like me, I like to save money when I can so making a plan and finding free or low cost resources is a priority for me all year long.

Time Management

Usually I make a preliminary plan for the year writing down all of the resources and books I plan to use. This helps to see where we will be throughout the year. I map out on my calendar about how long it should take and make a “routine” not a schedule– to keep us on task.

I also get a planner for the new year and mark down all of the vacation days, doctors appointments and any other trips I may have planned so that I can plan our school year around those days without falling behind.

Tips for families just starting to homeschool

It can seem like an overwhelming process finding curriculum when you are just starting. Take a deep breath… and Keep in mind that your child is young. Learning from the environment around them will teach them more than sitting at a table and counting stars ever will. You can teach your child their letters, sounds and numbers as well as simple addition before they are of school age without purchasing an expensive curriculum. Talking to them about animals your see and telling them facts about them, looking through a telescope, learning about bugs and fish… all of these things can be done without a book. If your child does well with sitting and wants to learn along with siblings, simple dollar store workbooks teach just about everything that a big curriculum will.

Hopefully these few small tips will help as you choose your next curriculum this coming school year. Let me know in the comments below what your favorite homeschool curriculum choices are!