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Choose a Homeschool Curriculum That Fits

or if I knew then, what I know now…

The question of curriculum choice has been a big one with our homeschool. We’ve made a few mistakes along the way, costing us both in time and money. If I could do it all again, I’d listen to my gut more and not jump on the latest rage in the forums and the blogs.

For a homeschooling family starting out, here are some tips to help narrow down your choices and guide you to the best curriculum choice.

What is important to you?

Think about why you chose to homeschool your child. What is the most important benefit in your opinion? Are you concerned about the quality of your child’s education? Do you want to combine your child’s education with religious and/or moral instruction? Is it important to you that your child be accepted into a good college, or are you more concerned with teaching your child to be financially independent or to have respect for the environment? Are you uncomfortable with self-directed learning or do you want your child to have freedom or more involvement in their education?

What is truly important to you and how do you want to impart that knowledge to your child?

Answering these questions can help lead you in the right direction in regards to what curriculum to choose. Also keep in mind the legal requirements of the state you live in.

Consider your family situation

Do you have several children or are you pregnant or caring for elderly relatives? Do you work part time or have little support with homeschooling? Are you a single parent?

If you have a complicated situation it’s going to be especially challenging for you to spend a lot of time educating your child. A curriculum that requires minimal teacher preparation and supervision might be best, for instance the ‘All in One’ style of homeschool curriculum that operates like ‘school in a box’ versus unit studies that require more prep work on your part.

What about your financial situation? If you are short on funds, you may lean towards an eclectic or unschooling style rather than a conventional curriculum. 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 involves 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 hemmed in and frustrated and likely your child will be unhappy with the choice too.

There is no one best choice for homeschooling your child. I congratulate you for being willing to invest the time and energy to educate your child at home. Don’t stress out too much about curriculum choices. As a home schooling parent you are free to change things whenever you want or need to. Finding the right curriculum for you and your child isnít that hard once you know what you truly want from your home schooling experience.

How have you made your curriculum choices?

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