Over the last few weeks I have been answering some of your homeschooling questions. This week I am excited and a bit nervous to answer one of your questions. “What curriculum should I use?” For me this question has two parts that are implied. The first question really should be, “should I use a curriculum?” If the answer is yes, then you focus on which one you should buy. I am going to answer both questions to the best of my abilities right now.
Should I use curriculum?
– What kind of person are you? – Are you the type of person who will build a curriculum based around an interest your child has? Will you invest the time in to building materials that will work for educating your child? If the answer to these is no, a curriculum is probably a good idea to start with.
– What homeschool method are you using? If you intend to unschool a curriculum is completely unnecessary. However, if you intend to do other schooling methods it may be necessary or helpful. Some of the curriculum I have is used as a supplement and not a complete education.
What curriculum should I use?
This is one of the hardest questions to answer in my opinion. There are so many different curriculum options out there. In fact, I am switching out curriculum again this year. I will give you a few pointers to help you figure out what will work best for your family.
– Will you be part of a co-op or group learning program?
Things like Classical Conversations will offer many of your curriculum choices and have suggestions for the subjects they don’t cover.
– What kind of learner is your child?
Make sure to account for your child’s learning style. We used Saxon for years with R. While she was able to do it she didn’t enjoy it. This year we are switching to Teaching Textbooks to try a different approach with her based on how she learns best. Look at the way your child learns and then shop accordingly.
– Will you be joining a homeschool group?
If so, do they have a curriculum swap at the end of the year? Ask about dates. It helps to pick up a curriculum and see how you like it and whether it will work for your child.
– What subjects will you be teaching?
Not all subjects need to be taught on a daily basis. Some subjects are even learned better from a unit study or unschooling approach. Single out which ones these are. This will help you to decide if buying an all in one curriculum or buying by subject is better for you.