If you have spent any time shopping for curriculum, you know that there are infinite possibilities that you could choose from. You could spend hours, if not days, pillaging the internet, browsing all of the curriculum options, not to mention curriculum fairs and ads you receive in the mail.
Everyone claims to have the best course, or the most OUTSTANDING syllabus!
When it comes time to choose your curriculum you will find there are more resources than you could cover in a lifetime.
But how will you choose? I want to give you a few simple tools:
You will be able to cut through the overwhelm and know EXACTLY how to choose the right curriculum for you homeschool classroom!
First and foremost, I want to ask you to:
PUT YOUR BLINDERS ON!
That’s right! You need to know WHAT you are looking for, find it, and stick with it. That is, of course, until or unless you find out the curriculum truly isn’t working for you. (But you need to give it a fair shake.)
I know first-hand, the temptation that comes with choosing a curriculum only to find that someone else is using one that appears to be far better.
Avoid the temptation of constantly feeling like there is something out there that could be the best and you simply don’t have it!
DO YOU WANT TO KNOW WHICH CURRICULUM IS THE BEST?
The one that you USE! That’s right! As long as you are faithfully teaching the curriculum you have chosen, you will be fine!
However, you will still need to have an organized way to purchase your curriculum and get through the mayhem of sifting through all of the options!
The more organized you are in your thinking, the easier it will be for you to make your choice.
So how do you keep your blinders on and find the right curriculum for you?
There are a few things to consider and as long as you learn how, choosing your curriculum will be a breeze.
In choosing your curriculum, you need to know ahead of time what you want for your homeschool classroom.
I say ahead of time, because if you wait to figure that out until you are shopping for curriculum you will definitely have a hard time choosing.
There really are so many quality options to choose from. It will help you to narrow it down if you have a basic idea of what you are looking for
There are a few questions you can ask yourself.
Be sure to write down your answers. You’ll want to refer back to them as you shop around.
(If you are in need of some encouragement while you start to look for your curriculum, or even if you’re a veteran homeschooler, I can’t say enough good about The Old Schoolhouse Magazine! It is PACKED full of articles to keep you motivated along the way!)
WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS AND OBJECTIVES FOR YOUR STUDENTS?
It’s a good idea to have an end result in mind when you are homeschooling. Now I realize that if your kids are little, this may be a little hard to do, but it will help if you have a general idea.
- Do you want to make sure your students have a good handle on the arts?
- Are you concerned with state level testing?
- Eventually, will you want your children to attend college?
WHAT IS YOUR STYLE OF TEACHING?
You’ll want to choose a curriculum that fits your style.
After all, if you don’t like to teach it, it won’t bring you or your students much benefit. Ask yourself
- Do you enjoy reading aloud?
- Do you want to be very hands on in your approach to teaching?
- Do you prefer to be more hands off?
- Do you want to have a school that is more Literature based?
- Do you lend more toward Science?
- Do you love History and want more of a historical emphasis?
- Do you want to use a Classical approach?
- Do you prefer a traditional format?
These are just some questions to ask yourself so you can narrow the choices down more easily.
Knowing these things ahead of time will definitely help you rule out those curricula that don’t fit your likes and desires, or more importantly, don’t fit your family’s needs.
WHAT IS YOUR STUDENT’S LEARNING STYLE?
In the same way your curriculum needs to match your teaching style, you’ll want to make sure the curriculum you choose fits well with the style of learners you are teaching.
- Does he do well with visual learning?
- Is he more of a reader?
- Is a hands on approach better for your child?
- Would an online curriculum fit him?
There’s no right or wrong answer. You’ll just want to answer these questions so you can more easily keep your blinders on!
WHAT IS YOUR BUDGET?
It is so important to know how much you have to spend on your curriculum because, let me tell you….if you don’t know ahead of time, it is EASY to overspend. (Yes, I’ve been there!)
It’s OK though. Writing down the answers to these few simple questions ahead of time will help you when you choose.
- How much money can you commit to your homeschool classroom?
- Would you rather choose a free option?
- Does your school district have a program that helps homeschoolers?
DOES THE CURRICULUM ALIGN WITH YOUR FAMILY’S VALUES?
If you’ve never set up family values, (also known as a Family Mission Statement) now is a GREAT time! It is so helpful to know what your family stands for and what you are about. For instance, when choosing your curriculum, if you know what your family believes, it will be much easier.
In the meantime, here are some questions to ask yourself when choosing your curriculum.
- Do you want your curriculum to be faith based?
- Are there core values that your family adheres to that are a definite ‘must’ for your curriculum?
TIME TO CHOOSE!
After answering these questions, you will have a much better idea of what you are looking for. You won’t be easily distracted by all of the options (and there really are SOOO many out there.)
You will be confident of what you are looking for!
Once you have chosen your curriculum, stick with it and give it your all!
Obviously, nothing is perfect and no curriculum will be 100% foolproof. But keep your blinders on and commit to teaching the curriculum that you have so carefully chosen! After all, you put a lot of hard work into choosing it!
I personally LOVE to choose curriculum! (I know! It’s the simple things!) And I know all too well, that it is very easy to get caught up in all of the options! Enjoy the process of choosing and be confident in your choice! If you follow the steps, you will have put a lot of hard work into it!
I’D LIKE TO INVITE YOU!!
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Finally, I’d like to invite you to attend the Digital Homeschool Convention! You will find encouragement from many experienced speakers! (Fun side note: ‘YOURS TRULY’ will be presenting on July 3d!) There are opportunities to learn ‘How to Organize Your Homeschool Classroom with Multiple Ages,’ as well as ‘How to Survive When You Feel Like Quitting Homeschooling.’ The convention starts the week of July 3d and all speaker sessions will be FREE for 5 days! There are also FREEBIES! You DON’T want to miss this!