Choosing curriculum can be overwhelming, daunting, and exhausting. You can spend next to nothing or you can spend thousands. Most parents fret over this aspect of home education and often move from one to another before settling on a curriculum which meets the needs of their family.
A homeschool mom said to me early on, “you can get a pen and paper and create a math sheet”. And she is right. Any one of us can write down a page of math problems. I do think this makes a great point. Curriculum is one area that can be simple or very complicated. When thinking about curriculum, keep in mind:
- First hand experience with a curriculum is helpful. Ask your friends or support group what has worked for them.
- Look before spending. Ask friends if they have the curriculum you are considering. Look through the curriculum to determine whether it will be a good fit for your family. Remember copyright. Be sure to honor the author.
- Remember curriculum is usually written to the age-specific needs of a specific grade or age level. Consider adapting to the individual needs of your child.
- Consider the worldview of the curriculum.
- Curriculum is a resource. Adapt it to the needs of your child. Add supplemental materials as needed.
- Consider a curriculum which spans more than one grade level. Doing so will allow your child to grasp concepts at several levels simultaneously.
- Remember, two friends can have the same philosophy or the same curriculum and have two very different homeschooling days.
Here are a few posts that might help start to sort out and link to choices out there:
There are several “review” sites to give you some information about the specifics of popular curriculum, how they compare to others and how they may align with the Common Core Standards.
Here are links to review sites:
If you clicked around even a little on those pages, you quickly see that are many fun looking choices but do not get bogged down!
In the meantime, pick something and get started. Even if you just start by googling stuff and printing, or by going to the library and putting together your own thing. Or you could do Unit Studies and Lapbooks. I liken it cooking pasta – get cooking, throw something at the wall and see what sticks.
I can guarantee you this, almost all of us have changed what we are doing. In fact, some of us change every “year” and a lot of us change mid year. And that is O.K. When it comes to this subject, I give you these two encouraging words: Freedom and Flexibility.
Homeschooling gives you the freedom to try something and then try something else. And you are going to give your family the flexibility to make a change when something is not working.
There are plenty of homeschoolers out there willing to give you our opinion and feedback on what worked and what did not and why.