It’s homeschool curriculum shopping time! Whee! I am a complete planning nerd. I’ve probably spent thousands of dollars on curriculum over the past few years. But, even though I plan and purchase in advance, I generally end up with a problem.
The curriculum was either too boring, too complicated, too easy, or too much work. I got so frustrated that I started just giving away materials to try to thin out my “stock” so I could decide what I actually needed to buy.
And that’s when I realized that I had been going about curriculum shopping all wrong. So, I’m sharing three tips for choosing homeschool curriculum with you all today! Maybe you’ll learn from my mistakes.
3 Tips for Choosing Homeschool Curriculum
1. Consult your kids.
Before I go any further, let me clarify what I do not mean. I do not mean that your kids should decide which curriculum you purchase. But, as we talked about in our homeschool planning post last month, our kids do have valuable input to share. And since they’ll be the ones actually using the curriculum, it’s good to find out what they like and what they hate so you can consider those things as you shop.
2. Consider your teaching style.
Another important tip for homeschool curriculum shopping is to think about the way you teach. Are you a lecturer? If so, you might not love a program that includes a lot of hands-on activities. Do you hate assigning worksheets? Maybe you could look for a curriculum that uses other ways to retain information (projects, manipulatives, oral reports). If you hate teaching a program, odds are you won’t stick with it for long.
3. Think outside the “box”.
It can be very, very tempting to purchase a packaged curriculum for your homeschool. These are generally “all-in-one” boxed programs that include books and materials for every school subject you’ll teach. And I’ll be honest – having everything already planned for you is a huge time-saver.
But it can also be limiting, especially if you like your kids to experience a relaxed way of learning. If boxed curriculum works for you, by all means go for it! But if it’s a bad fit, feel free to piece subjects together using resources that are a better match for your kids.