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.
What curriculum should I use?
Are you the type of person who will build a curriculum based on an interest your child has? Will you invest the time into 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. There are many options for curriculum so let’s look at some of what you need to ask yourself as you pick your curriculum.
What homeschool method are you using?
The method for homeschooling will strongly dictate what curriculum you choose. You will not want to get a huge pile of curriculum if you plan to unschool for instance. However, if you intend to do something like Classical Conversations, your curriculum list will be mostly spelled out for you. It is important to look at what type of homeschool mom you want to be and look at what curriculum falls under that umbrella.
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. We made the move to Teaching Textbooks and it changed everything. Look at the way your child learns and then shop accordingly. If you have a hands-on learner you may want to stay away from curriculum options that involve mainly book work with minimal hands-on learning.
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. I found that these were great in the beginning because I could really ask what they loved and didn’t love about the curriculum to see if it would be a fit for us.
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.
Research, research, research. I highly recommend spending some time watching youtube reviews and reading blog reviews for the curriculum you are considering. It might also be wise to ask other moms in the More Than a Homeschool Mom Homeschooling Group on Facebook what they think of a certain option.
Looking for more?