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4 Steps to Pick the Best Homeschool Curriculum

By Lily Iatridis  May 14, 2015

EMAIL Too Many ChoicesPicking new curriculum for your kids can be so overwhelming with all the choices out there nowadays. Which are the right ones for your family?

The last thing you want to do is waste money on curriculum you don’t like and don't use!

Whether you’re going to buy online or at a convention, here’s a simple four step approach to keep you focused and find curriculum that you and your kids will enjoy:

1) Get clear on what you’ll teach each of your kids in the coming year. Find out your state’s learning objectives BEFORE you start shopping. The Homeschool Legal Defense Association (http://hsdla.org) is an excellent resource for this information.

Tip: don’t buy curriculum that you think you’ll use a few years down the road! You might have a whole different set of options by then. Focus only on what you need now.

2) Research product reviews for the subjects you’ll teach at the level you need to teach them. As you do this, develop a short list of the best curricular contenders for your kids over the next year. Of course, you must consider your budget also.

Four excellent resources are Cathy Duffy Reviews (http://cathyduffyreviews.com), The Old Schoolhouse Magazine (http://www.theoldschoolhouse.com/), the bloggers at iHomeschool Network (http://www.ihomeschoolnetwork.com), and any your own favorite homeschool bloggers and private groups.

3) Find out exactly how each curriculum works and make sure it’s a teaching style that you and your kids like! Even it it’s a top ranked curriculum, if you hate its structure and style, you’re going to hate teaching it. That won’t serve your kids well.

Read this article on questions to ask about online programs, if you want to go in that direction.

Also, research how much support the company offers for parents while they’re going through the curriculum with their kids. Is there someone you can call when you get stuck on a lesson or can’t figure out how to assemble the materials?

4) After you’ve done 1-3, let your kids participate in the final decision. Make sure all the options you give them are choices you can live with. Remember, the more ownership and control you give your kids over their education, the more active participants they’ll be!

 

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