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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Our Homeschool “Home” History Lesson


We often talk about hands-on history and learning through living books, but how often are the history lessons right in our own backyard? Or our own house? Such is the case with JoAnn, whose home is the homeschool history lesson!

Our Homeschool "Home" History Lesson ~ life in a historic home

Guest Post by JoAnn of Grover’s Manse.

Being a baptist, I didn’t have a clue what a manse was. We’ve always called the preacher’s home a parsonage. The Presbyterian church, however, refers to their minister’s home as a “manse,” and as a matter of fact, I never thought I’d ever live in one, either.  Seven and half years ago, we became dwellers and owners of the former First Presbyterian Church’s manse. The real estate agent did tell us the home had been moved, but was not sure about when and where it was moved from.  Thus, began our research…and even better,  it could also serve as a history lesson for our daughter, Morgan.

As I mentioned from my first post, my daughter and I have been investigating the history of our house or former manse.

Over the course of the last 7 1/2 years, we’ve visited our county courthouse and library digging in to the past. We’ve also got an archives building at the old county seat we’ve visited and met people who’ve been very helpful.

From these visits, or field trips, we’ve traced our house back to the year 1924. That was the year it was built, less than a block away from The First Presbyterian Church. Reverend Grover Cleveland Currie and his family were the first family to reside here. From my ancestry research, I discovered Reverend Currie came from North Carolina to here in little ol’ Northeast Arkansas. Anything historical or genealogy related is right up my alley!

Pictured below is a copy of the city’s plat in June 1929. A plat map is a map drawn to scale, marking the division of property. The manse and a small building on the property is drawn on the plat, running alongside to W. Gum Street. We are guessing the small building could be storage, or possibly an outhouse. We do have two bathrooms in our home. I’m not sure if they were in the original house plans.

This picture below is a copy of property taxes paid on the manse in 1927. Wow! A whopping $3.60. Our property taxes now are about 300 times that amount.


One of the men I met at the archives building happens to attend The First Presbyterian Church and was gracious enough to send this photo of our house below circa 1940’s. You probably recognize this photo from the top of my blog. I have blown the picture up to an 8×10 and framed it. It’s sitting on a table in my living room for all to see. It’s also without the garage, that would be later added after the manse was moved. If you look toward the back of the house, it looks like there is a back porch, which is now my laundry room.



Do you have any nearby history lessons to explore?



About the author:

JoAnn Greer is a wife to a small business owner and a mom to one teenaged daughter, who competes in archery tournaments. They began their homeschooling journey back in 2010, when they removed their daughter from public school. JoAnn enjoys crocheting, soap making, vintage movies, and tracing her family’s ancestry. In the fall and winter, she’s cheering on her favorite football team, the Pittsburgh Steelers. She blogs at Grover’s Manse.


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Top Ten Wednesday: Best Encourager Blogs 2014

Each week we will be highlighting the Top Ten Bloggers from each category of the 2014 Homeschool Blog Awards. We understand the hard work that is involved in running a successful blog. Kudos to all who were nominated, all who made the top ten, and to our winners!

Homeschool Blog Awards #HSBA2014 Winners! at hsbapost.com

This week we are highlighting the 2014 Best Encourager Blogs!

Best Homeschool Group Blog

These are the bloggers out there who lift you up out of the homeschool “blahs” and help you get back on track. The winner of this category didn’t have to be perfect or always in a good mood… just someone who made you feel as if someone else cares and had a positive attitude overall.

Winner 2014 Best Encourager Blog

My Joy-Filled Life was the winner this year!

Top Ten 2014 Encourager Blogs

In no particular order:

Campfires and Cleats

Garden Glimpses

Wildflowers and Marbles

Under Mary’s Mantle

Ben and Me

Future Flying Saucers

Amy At Raising Arrows

Upside Down Homeschooling

Homemaking with Heart


Best Encourager Homeschool Blog @hsbapost



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Sara (69 Posts)

I'm a reader, writer, dreamer, wife, and homeschooling mom of 3 girls. We take a relaxed, eclectic, Charlotte Mason-leaning, Montessori-ish, literature-rich, delight-directed, almost unschooling-at-times approach to learning. Lots of unit studies, field trips, and lapbooks, too. I like to blog about our learning adventures (plus faith and encouragement) at Embracing Destiny.

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