If You Are Trying To Find A Great Homeschool Curriculum You Are Not Alone

You’ve made the huge decision to homeschool your children. You are positive this is the right move for you and your child(ren), but what should you do next? You may have never taught a lesson in your entire life and the thought of choosing a curriculum and writing lessons plans is mind-boggling and intimidating. Do not fret – millions of people have been in the same place before you and have paved the way for you with a host of resources to help you make your decision.

The very best homeschool curriculums come in a variety of styles and varieties, and vary by subject. Spelling, math, social studies, science, health, foreign language and even religion are popular subject areas with various curriculums available. Some curriculums are written and geared toward a Christian centered education while others are traditional non-religious based curriculums.

When reading reviews, you may consistently see the same programs ranked among the best homeschool curriculums. These are curriculums that have been around for a long time and are widely used by homeschooling teachers. There are so many options for curriculum with each subject area, it is impossible to rank them all in just one place. The best approach is to first decide on your child’s learning style and what objectives you want or need your child to master. Next, focus in on those subject areas you wish to focus on and research these subjects and their associated curriculum. Your child may learn math differently than they he or she learns science or writing, so you may need to cross-pollinate and introduce a few different curriculums and methodologies depending upon the subject matter.

Books are available on the homeschool curriculum reviews with various authors focusing and reporting on the many available homeschool curriculums. Often times these authors use consistent criteria to rank curriculums and present the date in easy to read charts, making it easy to compare and contrast competing curriculums. Core subjects such as mathematics, science and history will have many more available homeschool curriculums than more specialized subjects such as economics, financial literacy or government studies.

Depending upon your child’s learning style and interests, homeschooling curriculums provide the flexibility to make learning fun for YOUR child. For example, a 4th grade curriculum helps students learn division and multiplication facts through audio repetition and songs. Everyone learns and retains information differently. That’s why the best homeschool curriculum is what will work best for YOUR child’s learning style. Some popular math curriculums incorporate everyday, practical exercises such as trips to the grocery store, to reinforce core mathematical concepts.

When selecting the best homeschool curriculum, be sure to first check any specific state criteria or curriculum that will be required for mandatory testing. You want to make sure your student is on par and equally prepared (or more prepared) than those in the public or private schools.

There certainly is no shortage of available information on all the best homeschool curriculums, but it can be overwhelming for the first time homeschool teacher. What works for one child may or may not work for yours, so look at specific ranking criteria rather than just popular opinion when evaluating best homeschool curriculum options. Again, the best approach is to focus on a subject or two at a time and think about your child’s specific needs and learning style. Once you decide on methodology for one subject, your research and knowledge will be easily transferable to other subject areas, and choosing a curriculum should become easier for you.

Choosing the Right Homeschool Curriculum For Your Family

Any first time homeschooler can recount the details of their first homeschool convention. Some may have wonderful experiences, but the many that I have come into contact with, come away feeling hopelessly overwhelmed and confused by the availability of choices. The families who go to homeschool conventions and come away with the right fit or mix of curriculum normally have a well thought out plan.

Perhaps you are the type of homeschooling parent who does not attend homeschool conventions. Possibly you prefer to order your homeschool curriculum from various catalogues that you request by telephone, mail or over the internet. Here you are selectively contacting those curriculum providers that you feel will best suit your needs.

You could possibly be part of a third group – the homeschooler who enjoys surfing the web and sifting through the maze of homeschool curriculum advertised on line. This was where I found myself about 10 years ago. Not being in a country where annual homeschool conventions were the norm all those years ago, I needed a strategy to survive the curriculum hunt.

Here are my top 8 tips for choosing the right curriculum for your family, whether online, via catalogue or at a homeschool convention.

Tip no 1 – Know your children well.

Here I am not talking about learning styles. This is knowing their particular bent – their interests, their heart, their hopes and dreams.

Tip no 2 – Family focus

Here you consider what you as a family are about. Are you a missionary family? Are you a family with special needs children? Perhaps you want to travel more. All these issues need to be taken into account.

Tip no 3 – Learning styles

Knowing your children’s learning styles (and your teaching styles) is an important consideration but it should not be the only thing that you consider when purchasing curriculum.

Tip no 4 – Long term goals

What are your long term goals for your family? What are your children’s goals for their own lives? The answer to this question may only become clearer as your children get older. But if you desire that your children are self employed then you would look for curriculum and resources that aid you in this goal.

Tip no 5 – Cost

This is an important factor. While there are many homeschooling families who feel alright with photocopying and borrowing material, I have never thought it fair to “rob” others of their income. This does not mean that buying a homeschool curriculum need to bankrupt you, but planning in advance can make all the difference if you know what your budget is.

Tip no 6 – Philosophy

Research what homeschool philosophy appeals to you. There are a large number of differing schools of thought. Briefly they are: Literature Based, Unit Study, Textbook, Unschooling, Accelerated, Catholic, Classical, Delight Directed and Charlotte Mason.

Tip no 7 – Time available to mom

This is an important factor to take into consideration. Do you have lots of children? Perhaps you work part time? Do your children pursue lots of activities and have other co-op classes? These need to be thought through as you prepare to purchase any curriculum.

Tip no 8 – Know your child’s preferences and weaknesses

Part of choosing curriculum is finding the right tools to build up your children in their weaknesses so that they achieve an acceptable standard. It is also good to have a general knowledge of all scholarly disciplines, but this is not necessarily the only goal. Make sure you also choose things in which your child can delight in.

Finally before starting out to the homeschool convention, surfing the net or sending out catalogue request, be sure that you have prayed about your choices, sought your husbands counsel and that you have your guidelines in place. Happy curriculum hunting.

Homeschool Curriculums – Which One Is For You?

Which homeschool curriculum is for you?

Next to the act of parenting, there is no greater privilege than to be given the opportunity to educate your child in the privacy of your own home, and the freedom to select the information you choose to teach your child. Fortunately, we live during a time when the amount of curriculum that is available at our disposal is virtually limitless. One of the biggest perks of homeschooling a child is the simple fact that no one knows your child better than you do. If your child happens to be a strong reader, then you, as their primary educator, can customize what your child will learn at home during the school year, and include lots of read-alouds, historical fiction, Christian missionary biographies, and so on. And because you know your child so well, choosing a curriculum for him or her may actually mean not following any given curriculum, but by taking bits and pieces from the many different programs available. Whether you prefer the structure of a textbook, concentrated unit studies, consumable workbook studies or interactive web-based programs, the goal of any Christian educator should be to keep God central to all that you are working on with your children.

Below are some of the various homeschool curriculums:

Monarch: Monarch is a new Christian, internet-based homeschool curriculum that is targeted for grades 3 through 12. Monarch’s curriculum encompasses core subjects as Bible, history and geography, language arts, math and science. Additionally, this homeschool program offers 35 elective courses to round off your child’s school day. Monarch uses interactive web-based lessons interspersed with fun graphics, engaging learning games, web-related links and much more.

LIFEPAC: This curriculum is a work text program that weaves Scripture into each core subject and elective and includes chapter lessons, activities, quizzes, tests, and fundamental truths necessary for daily Christian living.

Horizons: Horizons is a best-selling Bible-based curriculum in a consumable workbook format that is sure to engage learners of all ages. Horizon’s curriculum integrates the truth of God’s Word into each subject, and is an award-winning reading-based program.

Sonlight: If you have a child who loves to read and be read to, Sonlight offers a great selection of quality, age appropriate literature for your homeschooled child. Sonlight can be purchased in customizable units or in pre-made all-inclusive packages.

Switched on Schoolhouse: This multi-media based curriculum includes the core subjects and up to 35 electives. Switched on Schoolhouse can be customized to meet your student where he or she is at. This program is also geared towards grades 3 through 12. Scriptural truths coupled with Christian living applications make this curriculum a good foundation for your child.

The Weaver Collection: The Weaver Collection is a Bible-based unit study that uses God’s Word as its core. This collection is ideal if you have multiple grade levels in your family because you (the teacher) can formulate each study to be simple for your younger grades or more intricate for your older children.

Choosing the correct homeschool curriculum is really done by trial and error, and what works for one child in your family may not have the same desired effect on the other children in your household. But choosing a curriculum should not stress you out; it should be lots of fun. Remember, you know your son or daughter better than anyone else in the world. Selecting a program that you know will speak to your child’s heart in terms of having a strong Biblical foundation is key. So, as you are considering curriculum for your child, envision how your child would react to certain manners, methods and modalities of teaching, pray about whether a certain curriculum will build your child up and encourage him or her in his daily walk, and ask seasoned homeschool moms what curriculum worked best for their family. If you are shopping around for curriculum for an older child, include them in the selection process. Not only will you wind up with a more suitable match, but having that little say-so in choosing curriculum may prove to be very meaningful to your child.