Picking the right homeschool curriculum can be time consuming and sometimes even a little frustrating but it is well worth the time and energy you put into researching it.
It can also be hard if you follow a lot of homeschooling blogs or pinterest boards as the information can be overwhelming. (And yes, I know that I am a homeschooling vlog but thank you for watching.) There are some AMAZING homeschoolers out there that are doing a phenomenal job and it can be hard to not compare yourself to them. I know that I see these amazing homeschool rooms with libraries and amazing art work and doing the most wonderful lessons and I start to feel bad about what we are doing. But I come back to my whys and how my girls are happy and I remember that I don’t have to be them.
As I have mentioned before, we only use a math and German language curriculum and don’t really use others (though I might take a few things here and there from other curricula as the need arises). But maybe you want a full curriculum to cover all the subjects, so how do you choose?
5 WAYS TO HELP PICK CURRICULUM
1 – Know your child’s learning strengths and weaknesses
No one child is really one grade level. They can be working ahead in one subject but need extra time or work at a lower level for another. Knowing any learning weaknesses they might have is important. If they are easily overstimulated then you don’t really want a curriculum that is active and very hands-on that could overstimulate them. By knowing any weaknesses, you can use their strengths to support them and make them feel successful.
Do you know your child’s strengths? Here is a post that talks about that. When we know our children better, we support them in a way they need. And that definitely has the potential to make for a better schooling experience.
2 – Know your child’s learning style
Does your child learn best by seeing, hearing or doing? When you know that can help you narrow down your options. I get that if you have several children and want to reuse a curriculum that you might not want a number of different curricula laying around but you could adapt what you have to make it work for each of your children. Therefore find a curriculum that can be adapted.
3 – Know how much you want to “teach”
There are different levels of “teaching” in different curricula. Do you want to be teaching full time? Do you want your children to be more independent in their studies? There is everything from full time teaching to zero teaching and everything in between. Do you want a script you can follow? Do you want something with less preparation time? There are curricula that do that too.
4 – Know your child’s interests
When you follow your children’s interests, it is fun for all. This is a great time to do unit studies but you can also find a curriculum that works for what they want to learn. Maybe they are interested in history or science. Do more on that. Find something that grabs their attention.
5 – Do your research
This is the time consuming part. You do need to do research and read reviews. Just because it works great for your friend, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is right for you. If possible, get samples from the publisher or borrow from friends to peruse it. Write your list of pros and cons.
There are other aspects we could look at for choosing the right homeschool curriculum, but these are what I believe are the key points.
WHAT IF I PICKED THE WRONG CURRICULUM?
If you feel that you chose the wrong curriculum, you can stop using it. There is nothing to say that you have to stick with something that makes everyone miserable. If you decide to stick it out, then adapt it. Add things of interest to your child. Don’t do parts of it. You have flexibility.
I know that there will be the right homeschool curriculum for you. It might take some time to find, but you will find it.