Now that you’ve made the choice to homeschool your child, you’re faced with thousands of curriculum choices. How do you know what is right for your family? Here are some tips to help narrow down your choices and guide you to the best curriculum for your child.
Consider your objectives
Think about why you chose homeschooling. What is the most important benefit in your estimation? Are you concerned about the quality of your child’s education? Do you want to mesh your child’s secular education with religious instruction? Is it important to you that your child be accepted into a good college, or are you more concerned with teaching your child entrepreneurialism or respect for the earth? What is truly important to you and how do you want to impart that to your child? Answering these questions can help lead you in the right direction in regards to what curriculum to choose.
Consider your situation
Do you have 3 or more children? Do you work part time or have little support? It’s going to be especially challenging for you to spend time educating. A curriculum that requires minimal teacher preparation and supervision might be best, for instance the “All in One” style of homeschool curriculum versus unit studies.
What about your financial situation? If you are short on funds, you may lean towards an eclectic style. You can find homeschool materials cheaply or even free via the Internet, and even yard sales, thrift stores and online auctions. Conversely, if money is no object, you can go all out and pick a curriculum that includes all the craft and science project materials as well as hard bound books your child will be reading during the year. Teacher support via Internet or phone may be available also.
Consider your philosophy
Do you believe in a classical education philosophy that dictates a lot of copywork and memorization, or are you a proponent of a more experiential, hands on or informal style of learning? If you choose a curriculum that doesn’t mesh with your beliefs about education, you’ll find yourself frustrated and likely your child will be unhappy too.
There is no one “best” choice. You should be congratulated for being willing to invest the time and energy to educate your child at home. Don’t stress out about curriculum choices. As a home schooling parent you are free to change things whenever you want to. Finding the right curriculum for you and your child isn’t that hard once you know what you truly want from your home schooling experience.