Are you curious about how I choose our homeschool curriculum for my children? It can be daunting if you’re new to homeschooling, but with a step-by-step process, it doesn’t have to be so overwhelming.
In this blog post, I will share my approach to selecting the best curriculum for our homeschool so that you can find the right fit for your family. I’ll review what considerations are important when making the ultimate decision and provide some tips on narrowing down the choices. By the end of this post, you’ll have the knowledge and tools needed to make an informed decision that works for your family’s individual needs.
Looking for more homeschool planning tips? Check out these articles: How to Set Goals for Your Homeschool (That You’ll Actually Stick To) and Homeschool Planning: How to Use SMARTER Goals
Review mission and vision
Reviewing your homeschool mission and vision before you begin your search for curricula is important in finding the right resources for your family.
Knowing what you want to accomplish with homeschooling and having a clear set of expectations can help narrow down the vast array of curricula options available.
Furthermore, by reviewing your mission and vision, you can ensure that any decisions made during the selection process align with your overall educational objectives.
Set a budget ➝ things can easily get out of hand!
Creating a budget before shopping for a homeschool curriculum is important to ensure you stay within your financial means. A budget will help you avoid overspending and ensure you do not purchase items outside your available funds.
Additionally, having a budget will help you focus on purchasing the materials necessary for your child’s education while avoiding unnecessary purchases.
Setting a budget ahead of time can also save you from buyer’s remorse later on. I can’t tell you how many times shiny new objects ended up being a dud!!
Reflect on the past year
Reflecting on the homeschool year provides an important opportunity to review what worked, what didn’t, and where you can improve for the future. By thinking about your successes and failures, you can identify positive trends and areas for improvement that may not have been obvious at the time.
Examining each subject, analyze how well it worked with your child’s learning style, strengths, weaknesses, and interests. This will help you determine which curriculum should be kept in its original form, modified, or replaced altogether for the next school year.
Additionally, reflecting on past experiences can provide insight into how much time should be dedicated to each subject or activity.
Furthermore, it is also helpful to think about ways to make learning more engaging through activities such as field trips or hands-on projects – this will help ensure your child stays engaged and motivated throughout the coming school year.
Was there anything you didn’t finish or get to?
Before you start buying a new curriculum for the next school year, you should ask yourself if there was anything in your homeschool that your kids didn’t finish or get to. If so, these curricula and resources should be rolled over for the next school year.
Remember, there’s no rush to zoom through the curriculum and move on to the next level. Instead, we should be working at our children’s pace. This will help them truly understand concepts and build a strong foundation for the future.
If your child is struggling with a concept, look for alternative ways of teaching or spending extra time on that area until they have mastered it.
What do you already have?
If you’re like me, you probably have a bookshelf and a computer full of curriculum and resources. Checking what you already have is important before you start purchasing curriculum for the next school year, ensuring that you do not buy unnecessary materials.
In addition, knowing your inventory of homeschool resources and curriculum can help in budgeting out how much money is needed for any additional purchases throughout the year.
Overall, taking stock of your existing collection of learning materials can both save time and money while building a more effective learning environment for yourself and your child.
What can you create?
Creating your own unit studies or deep dives for your homeschool can be a great way to customize the curriculum for your child’s needs and interests.
This allows you to tailor content to suit their learning style, address any weaknesses in their background knowledge, and explore topics that may not be covered in traditional curricula.
Additionally, when creating your own unit study or deep dive, you can ensure the material meets your educational philosophies and beliefs about how children should learn.
Doing this will also give you more control over what concepts are taught and how they are presented to your kids, allowing you to consider the overall development of all the skills needed for success in life, such as problem-solving and critical thinking.
By creating your own unit studies or deep dives, you can ensure that your child has a more personalized educational experience that can be tailored specifically to them while still providing them with all of the necessary content they need.
What do you really need?
Now you’re ready to write down a list of what homeschool curriculum you actually need. Making a list helps you keep to your budget by ensuring that you only buy the essentials.
While looking for curricula based on your list, you should research what works best for your child’s needs and see if it aligns with your homeschool’s mission and vision.
Research to find what works best for your needs.
Check out Cathy Duffy Reviews for in-depth homeschool curriculum reviews. There are other sites, but I find her’s to be well done and cover both secular and Christian resources.
While researching, consider learning and teaching styles and the amount of time and energy you must devote to homeschooling.
- Do you want an open-and-go curriculum?
- Would you prefer something online?
- Do you fancy a hands-on, literature approach to learning?
- Are you working from home or outside of the home?
- Does it align with your mission & vision?
- Will the content be delivered in physical textbooks, workbooks, or digital media?
- How flexible are the materials?
- Are there supplemental activities for more interactive learning options?
- Does the curriculum offer any special support like video tutorials, student forums, or online discussion boards?
- Is the content interactive and engaging, or is it a traditional lecture-style approach?
Don’t forget to factor in the cost of these resources and whether they will fit your budget.
Finally, look into any legal requirements or regulations you must abide by to homeschool within your state or country.
Can you buy used or on sale?
Buying homeschool curricula used or on sale is an excellent way to save money while still providing quality learning materials for your children.
Used materials are just as effective as buying new ones, costing only a fraction of the price. You can join the Homeschool Curriculum Marketplace on Facebook to find used curricula. Plus, you can ask the homeschooler selling the item what they thought of it.
Also, waiting around for sales or finding discount codes offered by homeschool influencers on Instagram, YouTube, or blogs can be a great way to get discount prices on books, software, and other necessary resources.
With time and effort, you can find various resources available at greatly reduced prices. Plus, if the curriculum doesn’t work for your family, it’s less of a sting when you decide to ditch it for something else.
Ultimately, selecting the best homeschool curriculum for your family doesn’t need to be overwhelming. With my simple step-by-step process, you can relax and feel confident that you will make the best choice for your family.
And remember that even if you don’t make the perfect decision, you can always ditch the curriculum (and sell it online!) and try other options. With any luck, your kids will have a great time learning with a curriculum that fits their style and needs.
Download my FREE Homeschool Curriculum Checklist to help you stay organized and on track with your search!
Xuan Klevecka is a Southern California-based homeschool mom, wife, and Holistic Homeschool Mindset Coach. She’s an Enneagram 5w4, a lover of good food, and a former middle school history teacher. You’ll either find her looking at road maps and daydreaming about her family’s next epic adventure or perusing recipes and cooking up a feast for the brood.