Homeschool parents have a unique problem that other parents don’t have to worry about: choosing a curriculum. There are a lot of options. Some of these options focus on the traditional pen and paper coursework, while others are focused on using technology. Additionally, not all curriculum choices will offer elective courses that your child will find interesting. This can make it difficult for some parents to determine their best option. So how do you choose a homeschool curriculum?
When you start homeschooling, you need to know the requirements that need to be met to pass the grade. Aside from that, you are free to choose a curriculum that works best for you, your child, and your family as a whole. Here are a few tips for choosing a homeschool curriculum.
1. Determine How Much Time You Want to Spend on Schooling
As a parent, it is important to be involved in your child’s education—whether you homeschool or not. However, homeschoolers will need more involvement from their parents. Some homeschooling curriculum will require parents to be extremely hands-on. Others will give children a lot more responsibility for their own education.
If you want to be heavily involved, you should select a program that fills that need. If you work full-time or have other responsibilities that take up a lot of time, you might want to choose a program that doesn’t require your attention as much. Online curriculum is a good option for busy parents.
It is also important to remember that age plays a big role in parental involvement in homeschooling. Young children will likely need a lot of parent support regardless of the curriculum.
2. Decide How Much You Can Spend
Some curriculums are very expensive. It is okay to stick to a budget for homeschooling curriculum. Cost is a factor for many homeschooling families. Price doesn’t determine the quality of the curriculum, so choose what works best for your family based on a variety of factors instead of trying to pick the most expensive options.
3. Focus on Grade Level Definitions
Not all curriculum will place the same child in the same grade. Age isn’t nearly as important as where a child truly is in their education process. Just because your child is 10 doesn’t mean that they would qualify as a fourth grader in all curriculums. Finding a curriculum that will teach your child the material that they are ready for is much more important than focusing on where they should fall in the system based on birthdate.
4. Consider Learning Style
Is your student a visual or a more hands-on learner? Do they do better when they hear things or do them? These are questions to consider when selecting a homeschooling curriculum. If you can choose a curriculum that allows them to learn in the way that they already have success with, you are setting them up to do their best in the coursework.
5. Focus on the Future
Choosing a curriculum based on what your child plans on doing post-graduation can greatly benefit them. While this might not be something you think about until you have a high schooler, think about whether or not your student is planning on going to college or starting a vocation or business. There are some great curriculums that include introductions to vocations instead of getting students college-ready.
While your student may not know their plans for the future, you can still find a curriculum with classes that interest your child.
6. Think About Teaching Style
Learning style is very important to consider for the student, but if you are teaching your child, then you need to have a curriculum that you feel comfortable teaching. Figure out what your teaching style is and try to find something that fits your teaching style and your child’s learning style. There is something out there for everyone; you just have to find it.
7. Browse Course Options
What are the must-have courses for you and your child? Not every curriculum will offer art or music. Is religion an important class for your family? You might have to search for a curriculum that has all of the class options that your family wants and needs. Keep in mind that you might really have to do some digging to find the perfect curriculum.
We know that homeschooling parents have a lot on their plate. These tips should help you determine the best homeschooling curriculum for your student, yourself, and your whole family.