The decision to homeschool comes with the daunting task of how to choose a homeschool curriculum. Maybe you tried something last year and prefer to shop around again.
Deciding to homeschool was a huge choice to make. How to choose a homeschool curriculum was even more difficult.
Below I’m going to discuss some personal challenges and tips for how to choose a homeschool curriculum.
1.Consider Your Budget
This was one of my biggest obstacles. We had very little wiggle room if any at all. The local homeschool community around me including lots of close friends all used the same curriculum that met once a week. It was $500 per kid, per year. This cost was absolutely unmanageable for us.
I talked to a ton of people with no luck. Then one day just searched the web for “free homeschool curriculum.” I found a legitimate curriculum written by a missionary mama who felt guided to offer what she created for free. And have even converted some friends this year. Check it out here.
2. How To Choose A Homeschool Curriculum Method
If you travel a lot you might not want a ton of books to carry around. You might want to utilize something mostly online that doesn’t focus on worksheets.
Perhaps you are a low tech family who limits internet usage or doesn’t own a computer. You will want to look for the workbooks, written curriculum and teacher guides.
3. What’s Your Teaching Style?
When considering how to choose a homeschool curriculum think about your abilities. What are you good at and how can you use that? What do you not enjoy and want to avoid as much as possible?
One of my favorite things about homeschooling is the creative outlet for myself. I get to come up with crafts and fun activities. A lot of my friends don’t enjoy being crafty, or would rather be provided with templates. Some families prefer more learning outside the home with field trips.
4. What’s Your Child’s Learning Style?
Are they visual learners or auditory learners? Can they see something and remember it or do they need something hands on? Do they thrive with more movement or prefer worksheets and coloring?
How to choose a homeschool curriculum is mostly about your children. If they need to read something before they retain it, then reading a lot out loud to them isn’t going to be the best way to teach them. Figuring out how they learn best might take trial and error.
5. How To Choose A Homeschool Curriculum Schedule
Your schedule is also going to be important when shopping curriculum. We focus on reading, writing and math right now. I prefer our formal schooling time to be limited. We will add electives as they get older and more independent.
You might want to start electives young and get them acclimated to a longer time commitment early on.
Do you work? How many free hours do you have? Some curriculum is done in an hour and some will take half a day.
6. Consider State Requirements
This is really important in determining how to choose a homeschool curriculum. Some states are very open. We have minimal requirements in Texas. Texas homeschool requirements are as follows:
- The instruction must be bona fide (i.e., not a sham).
- The curriculum must be in visual form (e.g., books, workbooks, video monitor).
- The curriculum must include the five basic subjects of reading, spelling, grammar, mathematics, and good citizenship.
Some states have daily hour requirements, mandate how long the school year is, and require state testing and reporting. Make sure what you choose is in alignment with state laws where you live.
7. How To Choose A Homeschool Curriculum Value Foundation
We are a Christian family. It was important for me to find something that reinforced and integrated those ideas.
But if you’re not, then you might prefer something that is not biblically based. There are plenty of options out there for any foundation or value system.
8. Be Easy On Yourself
Don’t be stressed about making the wrong choice. Homeschool allows flexibility. You can always switch it up later.
Finding what works best for your family might take some trial and error. Mistakes are okay and should probably be anticipated.
Be easy on yourself and on your children and enjoy the journey.