Next to actually making the decision to homeschool, choosing a curriculum is one of the hardest decisions you will make. The worst part about it is that you will not just make this decision once, but every. single. year. after you begin homeschooling.
The first thing I recommend when it comes to choosing a curriculum is to go through Cathy Duffy’s book, 101 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum. This book breaks down learning styles for you and your child. Then, offers you some examples of curriculum that may work for your family.
The next thing I recommend is to find a way to actually “look” at the curriculum you are interested in. Find someone who uses the same curriculum or go to a curriculum fair or homeschool convention. If none of these options work then order just the teachers guide from the curriculum you are considering. This gives you the opportunity to look at it, and decide if it is right for you. If you don’t like it, you can send it back (most of the time).
It is important to remember one thing when you are choosing a curriculum. No curriculum is perfect. Not the one I use, the one you use, or the one your homeschool friend uses. Also, what works for one family, may not work for yours. What works for one of your children, may not work for the next child. If the curriculum you decide on doesn’t work, ditch it! Don’t torture yourself, or your child with something that doesn’t fit your family’s needs or learning styles.
Curriculum shopping will be one of the most difficult things you do as a homeschool mom. Just remember to relax, find out your child’s learning style, look at curriculum in person, and remind yourself there is NO perfect curriculum!
Author: Misty Bailey
Misty is a homeschool mom of three and has been homeschooling for over 4 years. You can read about her homeschool journey and more on her blog, Joy in the Journey.