Choosing the best homeschool curriculum for your child can be a challenge. Especially if this is your first year homeschooling, you will find that you have so many options and so many people trying to give you suggestions. All of these people mean well but really you are the expert on your child and only you can know what will work for you and your child in the homeschooling year to come.
Here are a few thoughts on what to look for in looking for the best homeschool curriculum to meet your needs:
- Cost – depending on how much you want to spend there are homeschool curriculums that vary in cost. You can do free homeschool curriculum with very few incidental expenditures. Then there are boxed curriculums and online homeschool programs that can be thousands of dollars, per student, per year.
- Academic needs – If you have a child who is very gifted in art or history (or any other subject) you will want to search out curriculum that has an outstanding program in the corresponding subject. You don’t have to just use one method or one company, you can piece together what works best for you and your child.
- Statistics – when looking for something like a math curriculum you may want to ask each company for test score percentages of the student’s that use that particular curriculum. Some methods are more “proven” than others.
- Time – Depending on the age of your child and the time you have to spend you may want to alter your curriculum to fit your needs. Naturally younger children need more in the way of time and one on one instruction. As children get older they can be more “in charge” of their education. Just make sure you keep clear expectations of what the older child needs to accomplish in any given week.
- Support – some homeschool curriculums that you buy are through an actual school where you would have resources available to you such as teacher consultations and testing. Some homeschool parents love this option and some shun it. There are always the people who just want to be left alone to do as they wish and that is fine. It is the beauty of homeschooling that we all get to decide what is right for our families.
If you are new to homeschooling we suggest that you keep it simple. Cover your state requirements, add one or two extra activities for your child each week but don’t over do it. Becoming overwhelmed as the parent and teacher is a very real problem and you don’t need to sign up for a curriculum or get so ambitious that you immediately feel like you have failed.