There are two types of homeschoolers right now – those who have planned for this life and those who were more or less “forced” into it due to circumstances. But no matter which one you are, you still have to choose your homeschool curriculum.
So many questions run through your head. How do you know which one to choose? Will it work? Will they love it or hate it? Will you love it or hate it?
I hate to be the one to tell you this but this won’t be the last time you question your curriculum choices. Some will work and some won’t. Over the course of the last decade, we have changed our curricula several times – sometimes even in the middle of the year. Sometimes what works for one child doesn’t for another. And what works one year, doesn’t the next.
The important part is to make sure you are aware of your choices and watch how it works with your children. But there are a few key components to choosing your homeschool curriculum that you can follow for success!
Find Your Child’s Learning Style
This is probably the biggest, most effective factor when making your curriculum choices. Choosing a curriculum contrary to your child’s learning style will cause tension and frustration in both you and your child. Try taking this quiz to figure out your child’s learning style and how you teach. Taking both into account when choosing a specific curriculum will make a world of difference.
And once you know your child’s learning style, you can begin to incorporate learning into your everyday life. You can even take a vacation based on their learning style to maximize the benefits!
Read more about finding your child’s learning style:
6 Tools to Determine Your Kids’ Learning Styles | Feels Like Home
Decide your Homeschool Method
After you have discovered your child’s learning style (and your preferred teaching style), it’s time to choose a homeschooling method. When I first started homeschooling I did what I knew – school at home. That worked for about two weeks when we had to completely throw it out the window and change everything. Since then, we’ve changed and adapted our homeschooling method to fit our family’s needs and lifestyle.
There are pros and cons to every homeschool method. Your chosen homeschool method directly relates to your children’s learning styles. They must work together, not against each other. So it is important to understand both when making your choices.
Set your Homeschool Budget
Another important factor to consider when choosing homeschool curriculum is your budget. Homeschool curriculum can be pricey, but it doesn’t have to be! Many homeschoolers operate on one income, so it is definitely possible to homeschool on a tight budget. Here are some ideas on how to create a homeschool budget.
More homeschool budget helps:
16 Ways to Homeschool on a Budget | Six Dollar Family
Read Reviews & Talk to Homeschool Moms
You have probably already done a lot of research about homeschooling and now you’re feeling overwhelmed. Don’t worry…that’s normal! After I did some research into homeschool curricula and companies, I found it most helpful to talk to other homeschool parents and read reviews on the specific products.
It can be hard to find objective reviews on curricula because, like me, we view the product from our perspective. How it worked for our child and our family. That’s what I love about Cathy Duffy Reviews. They are unbiased and give a wealth of information based on the product, not how it works for a learning style or particular family.
If you have a local homeschool group you can attend, many of them have open houses when you can go and just talk to other homeschool moms. Join your local homeschool group online and ask questions! Seek out homeschool groups for the curriculum you’re researching and ask in there! Yes, you can find a barrage of comments to weed through, so be specific in your question and you should get the answers you need.
Attend a Homeschool Convention (online or in-person)
I will be honest, I am not a convention or even a large group type person. However, attending homeschool conventions are where I found a wealth of knowledge on the homeschool curriculum I was researching. I have also found some wonderful hidden gems that became our favorite curriculum!
It was extremely helpful to see some of the curricula in person and talk to the publishers themselves about any questions we had. When we’ve attended conventions, my husband and I chose to divide and conquer with the sessions to gain insight that might help us with any struggles we were having at the time. Then we mapped out the booths we wanted to visit and took off for the day.
Homeschool Convention helps:
Don’t make it stressful
Choosing your homeschool curriculum can be a daunting task but it doesn’t have to be stressful. By making a plan of action and knowing what to look for, you can make a well-informed and budget-friendly choice for your family.
Annette has been married to her husband and best friend since 2003. Together they are raising their six children to follow the Lord’s will, no matter what. Annette longs for the day when she will meet her angel babies who have entered heaven before her. She enjoys creating UNIT STUDIES and FREE PRINTABLES for homeschool families. You can follow her crazy life at In All You Do where she blogs about homeschooling, homemaking and marriage while trying to maintain her sanity. She is also the owner of Thrifty Homeschoolers where she shares her tips on homeschooling without breaking the bank.