3 Tips for Choosing Homeschool Curriculum

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. :)

Tips for Choosing Homeschool Curriculum

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.

How do you go about choosing homeschool curriculum for your family? Share your tips in the comments!

Selena (11 Posts)

Selena is a homeschooling graduate, a former tax accountant, and a homeschooling mom to four super special kids. She and her husband, Jay, practice eclectic homeschooling to keep their ADHD learners engaged! You can keep up with Selena by following her blog Look! We're Learning! on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google Plus.

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When We Fail in Our Planning

I talk about this some over at my blog, but it’s more personal over there. Here I am going to try to focus on you. Yes, *you*. Actually it’s probably more of a focus on God.

How is your year going so far? Have you and your family reached the goals you’d set at the start of the year? Did you make resolutions or set goals this year?

What if the answer to those questions are a bunch of negatives: Our year is not going well; No, the goals we set have been left behind; No, we didn’t even bother with goal setting this time around.

You know what? It’s alright.

Do you know why it’s alright? God has a plan. And fortunately for us, His plans don’t rely on us to always have it together. Maybe you’ve heard this before, the whole lean on, trust in, give your cares/worries/concerns over to God. Admittedly, that’s the same tune I’m singing here. Yep, it is.

God is bigger than anything in this world. He is bigger than the plans we make {and break}. He is more faithful than we are.

God’s mercies are new every morning. Every hour.

There really is a lack of advice in this post because well, I’m not good at giving advice. In May our church had a wonderful evangelist visit for a few days for a revival. Adrian Burden is a fiery evangelist who cuts no corners. Why do I bring this up now, in this post? Because the advice I will give is the advice he ended with at our church.

This is my paraphrase of Brother Adrian’s “Check it in, or carry it on”. Those are the two choices to make. We all fail at carrying out our plans at times. We even fail sometimes to carry out the plans others have for us, God included. We can stress about those failures {carry it on}. Or we can give it to God and continue on with doing what we need to do {check it in}.

Think about when boarding a plane: The person at the counter asks, “Check in or carry on?” in regards to your luggage. You can carry it onto the plane and be sure you know where it is when you touch down. Sure. It can’t really get away from you then.

But when you carry it on, you have to carry it with you everywhere. What if your connecting flight is on the other side of the airport? Carry that luggage! Need to stop for a bite to eat? Do it, but keep your hand on that luggage! It’s a constant stress on its own to have to carry your baggage everywhere. It’s added weight that slows you down.

If you check it in, you are free to move as quickly as you can. You’re free to use both hands to eat your burger and fries. You can keep going without that extra baggage.

1 Peter 5:7- Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

Philippians 4:6- Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

We may not know where our luggage will end up at an airport, or in what condition, but with God we can know. Once we check it in with God we can get up, dust ourselves off, and keep on going where we need to go.

Each day is a new day. I pray God blesses you and gives you strength to leave your worries with Him so that you can continue to move forward.



North Laurel (21 Posts)

Blossom- "North Laurel" to the online world- lives in Ohio with her husband and two teens, homeschooling the Charlotte Mason way with Ambleside Online. She is graciously allowed to be a moderator for the Ambleside Online Forum. North Laurel loves to read, be on the computer, and learn. You can read her blogging about homeschooling, book reviews and life in general at North Laurel Home & School.

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June Means Homeschool Graduation

Year-round homeschoolers, that’s us. We take two full months off during the year officially: June and December. There are plenty of times throughout the year that we also take off of school- the week before Thanksgiving, all birthdays, days or weeks when we are taking road trips or family/friends are visiting- but generally, it’s keep on, keeping on.

This June will be the end of one of my kiddos’ homeschooling journey. She officially/technically graduated in September 2014 so that she could move on to her college classes {too long of a story to relate here; suffice to say rules/regulations for teens taking college classes are a little ridiculous}, but she *really* graduates June 2015. If she gets her work finished that is. *wink*


What do we have planned? What do others’ plan to do for graduations? I’m such a poor example for this. I graduated from public high school 6 months later than I should have {another long story that involved many decisions that twisted my path}. The small group I graduated with had a little ceremony to recognize our special day. But honestly, it wasn’t *that* special.

Maybe I’m just weird. I didn’t need/want to wear the cap and gown or have my name called to tell the audience I’d graduated. {I also never wanted to go -and didn’t go- to school dances.} I did go through with the little grad ceremony all for the sake of my family. They thought it quite a big deal.

When I graduated with my BA from college, I sort of felt like I wanted to walk. But I’m a distance education student and never physically attended my campus. Walking with all the others sort of felt weird to me. So I decided not to do it. Many of my family didn’t understand why I didn’t go. I’m coming up on my M.Ed degree completion, and I won’t walk for it either.

Like I said, maybe I’m just weird.

Now it’s my daughter’s turn to graduate high school…and I’m a little torn here. She wants a big hoopla to-do. I don’t want to disappoint but I don’t know what to do for it! I don’t want her to be disappointed but geez, she’s already in college.

Since I do not know what to do for my first homeschool graduate, I browsed the Homeschool Post for previous posts about this topic.

I did also hop onto Pinterest to see what would come up when I put in “homeschool graduation”. Here are just a few that I clicked on:

Now, so you don’t think I’m just going to ignore the whole thing: I have already ordered {and received} her high school diploma and tassel. Those were ordered in her choice of colors {royal blue and white}. Also we will have a special dinner, either at home or out, of her choice. I’d love to invite some of her friends over for a small graduation party. Nothing huge and no outrageous decorations.

After all of this thinking {stressing?} and writing this up, I realized a very important detail. My daughter is an introvert! If I were to plan a big celebration she’d die from exhaustion afterwards. So maybe my simple-is-good plan will work out well after all.

What are you planning to do for your high school homeschool graduate?

{Or if you’ve been-there-done-that, share what you did!}


Save Big on High School Curriculum!


North Laurel (21 Posts)

Blossom- "North Laurel" to the online world- lives in Ohio with her husband and two teens, homeschooling the Charlotte Mason way with Ambleside Online. She is graciously allowed to be a moderator for the Ambleside Online Forum. North Laurel loves to read, be on the computer, and learn. You can read her blogging about homeschooling, book reviews and life in general at North Laurel Home & School.

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