Homeschool Curriculums: Finding The Best Choice For Your Family

If you’ve chosen to homeschool your children, you’ve likely dealt with feelings of inadequacy, frustration and confusion.  With so many choices available, many parents feel overwhelmed when they sit down to choose the right homeschool curriculum for their children.  Homeschool conventions are helpful, but may provide you with options that leave you with even more questions.

You may choose to forego attending these conventions because you prefer to create your curriculum from a variety of different sources that come over the Internet or in the mail.  In this way, you can choose curriculum providers that meet the specific needs of your children.

There is a third group of homeschooling parents that love to surf the web and sort through the huge list of curriculum that is advertised on the Internet.

Regardless of the type of parent you are, the best way to find the right curriculum for your family is to start with a well thought-out plan or strategy.  The following tips can help you sort through the mess and come away with a successful plan.

Know Your Children

All children learn in different ways, and knowing their learning style is important.  However, it’s also important to know what they are interested in, what they are passionate about and what they hope for their future before you choose a curriculum.

Know Your Family

It’s also important to consider the type of family you are, and where your focus is placed.  Does your family have children with special needs, are you passionate about teaching your children to serve others or do you want to travel the world together one day?

Know Your Learning Styles

Children learn best in certain ways, and learning styles are an important part of your curriculum.  Also consider your teaching style and how you prefer to teach your children.

Know Your Long Term Goals

What do you hope to accomplish from homeschooling your children, and what are your future goals for your family?  You should also consider your children’s goals and what they want for their lives.  This may be easier to decipher as children get older, but you can always start early.

Know Your Budget

You may feel right about borrowing material or copying from another book, but many feel it necessary to purchase their own copies of books and materials.  Consider your budget before you start searching for a curriculum.  This will help you to narrow down your search quickly and effectively.

 

Know Your Educational Philosophy

 

Do some research to define your homeschool philosophy.  Many different schools of thought have been created, including but not limited to:

 

  • Unit Study
  • Textbook
  • Accelerated
  • Catholic
  • Classical
  • Charlotte Mason
  • Delight Directed
  • Literature Based
  • Unschooling

 

Know Your Schedule

 

Your schedule plays a huge part in how you homeschool your children.  Do you work part-time, or have many children that need your attention?  Do your children participate in many extracurricular activities that keep them busy?  Consider all these things before choosing a curriculum.

 

Know Weaknesses and Preferences

 

A big part of homeschooling is to find your child’s weaknesses and build them into strengths.  If you haven’t identified these issues, it’s tough to find a curriculum that allows you to meet this goal.  Choose things your child is interested in to encourage success.

 

The following tips were brought to you by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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