Finding the Perfect Curriculum

Posted by on May 20, 2015 | 0 comments

Does the idea of picking out a year of homeschool curriculum feel as daunting as wrestling an alligator?  Do you feel like every purchase you make is going to be the wrong one and you will be shackled to something you hate? Wouldn’t we all love to wake up one morning to find the curriculum fairy dropped off the perfect books wrapped in smart ribbons?

How do we go about finding the perfect curriculum?

First we need to realize that our homeschool is different than our neighbor’s homeschool and it’s different that our best friend’s homeschool too. What might be the perfect fit for them does not mean it’s the perfect fit for you. One size curriculum does not fit all.  The reason is simple ~ our children are different.

finding the perfect curriculumfinding the perfect curriculum

My boy’s best friends like the same things they like. They get along because they all love Minecraft, being loud, running fast, and getting dirty. But not all boys learn the same. I can generalize that most young girls like princesses, books, cooking, and tutus.  Yet I know not all girls learn the same.

Tips to Finding the Perfect Curriculum
1. Know how your child learns best.
Be an observer of your child and understand how they process information.  Keeping their “learning style” in mind as a filter to sift through the endless amount of curriculum choices.

Questions to ask ….
If your child is visual: does this curriculum offer enough images, maps, graphs, etc.? Will I have to find, print, or buy additional visuals? If so, do I want to do that?

If your child is tactile: does this curriculum offer enough hands-on activities? Will I have to find, create, or buy manipulatives? If so, do I want to do that?

If your child is auditory: does this curriculum offer enough music, books on tape, read-alouds, etc.? Will I have to buy music, read-alouds, or other supplements? If so, do I want to do that?

If your child is kinesthetic (mover): does this curriculum offer enough opportunities to move, play, or act out lessons?  Will I have to search for creative play ideas to incorporate into lessons? If so, do I want to do that?

2. Know how you like to teach.
Do you like creating your own lessons? Do you want something complete? Do you need a strict schedule? Do you like piecing it all together?  These are important questions to ask because you are the teacher.

3. Read curriculum reviews.
Homeschool blogger reviews are a blessing to the homeschool community. These bloggers have taken the time to use the products and share their honest opinions.  After you narrow down your curriculum search be sure to read more than one review on that product.  Make sure the reviewer has shared how the curriculum worked for them and any ways it did not.

4. Know your budget.
I believe it is imperative to know how much you are willing to spend on curriculum before you purchase one book. When you find curriculum you love price it out. Is it cheaper online or at your local convention? Can you find it cheaper through a distributor {Amazon, Christian Bookstore, Educents, Rainbow Resources, etc}?  Contact the curriculum company and ask if they offer any sales throughout the year. Purchase curriculum during their sales.

Finding the perfect curriculum is not impossible when you observe how your child learns best, know how you like to teach, have read valuable reviews, and set your curriculum budget.

Stef Layton
Stef Layton started homeschooling in 2008. Her heart is set on intentional parenting and building strong family relationships. She is a columnist for Homeschooling Today Magazine.

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