Whether you are a first time homeschooler, or a veteran mom in the trenches, you will come to a point where you will need to find or choose a homeschool curriculum.
It can be a somewhat overwhelming and daunting task to not only find curriculua but to narrow the field so you can choose a homeschool curriculum. There are many things to consider during this process.
What to Consider When You Choose a Homeschool Curriculum:
1. What Type of Learner is Your Child?
You will need to consider the type of learner that your child is to better understand what type of curriculum you need to be looking for.
The Seven Learning Styles:
- Visual (spatial):You prefer using pictures, images, and spatial understanding.
- Aural (auditory-musical): You prefer using sound and music.
- Verbal (linguistic): You prefer using words, both in speech and writing.
- Physical (kinesthetic): You prefer using your body, hands and sense of touch.
- Logical (mathematical): You prefer using logic, reasoning and systems.
- Social (interpersonal): You prefer to learn in groups or with other people.
- Solitary (intrapersonal): You prefer to work alone and use self-study.
Here is a FREE Learning Styles Inventory for you to use if you are not sure what type of learning style your child prefers. Once you have figured out whether your child is a physical learner or a visual learner, or maybe they could even benefit from of combination of styles, you can then narrow your curriculum choices to things that will suit your child’s learning style.
2. How Much Money do You Have to Spend?
This must be a factor in all your homeschool choices. Not only how much you have to spend, but where best to splurge and where best to cut back.
You may really struggle with teaching a certain subject so you would be more likely to spend more to find something that does the teaching for you. Often video or computer based programs and online classes will offer this feature but the cost would be higher than just buying a workbook or coming up with your own free or inexpensive resources.
For example, we spend more on our high school aged child’s math and science so that I do not have to teach those subjects but for English/Language Arts where I am more comfortable we opted for a basic book to guide us and free resources as well. [What we are using for 9th Grade English; What we are using for 9th Grade History]
3. What Style of Teaching Suits Your Needs?
Sometimes you will find that a particular curriculum or style of teaching doesn’t work for you or for your family’s current situation.
A few years ago we were using First Language Lessons for grammar. It is a program that I LOVE as it follows the classical education model that I am so fond of.
The problem was that the gap between the two children I was using it with was too great and it is a program that is largely teacher intensive so I didn’t want to split it up into different levels. This would have required too much of my time for this one subject. Therefore we switched to a program that was more independently based. Did I have to give up on some of the things I loved about First Language Lessons? Absolutely! But the benefits of having two children able to work at paces that were right for them, and freeing up my teaching time for other children and more difficult subjects, far outweighed what I had to give up.
Answering basic questions like computer based or workbook? Teacher dependent or independent? And figuring out a budget will greatly help you to narrow your search as you look to choose a homeschool curriculum.