16 Things to Consider Before Choosing a Home School Curriculum

We all want to give our children the best possible education, but most of us are not experts in the field. So how do we know what will work?

That’s where homeschool curriculum reviews come in! They can help you find a great fit for your family and budget. But with so many options out there, where should you start? Here are 16 factors to consider before deciding on which curriculum is right for you:

1.Curriculum Goals

Some programs are designed to supplement what’s being taught in public or private schools, while others are specifically created for homeschooling families. Some are more academically focused, and some focus on other areas of development such as critical thinking, life skills, art appreciation and sportsmanship.

If you have specific educational goals in mind for your child (written down somewhere) it will help you narrow down the selection much easier.

2.Curriculum Design

The best way to decide which curriculum is right for you is by taking a look at its design. How is the material organized? What type of structure does it include? Is it full-year or multi-year? Does it feature simple lesson plans or detailed unit plans? Does it come with lots of extras like worksheets or wall charts?

A good design will make your life much easier. It will also help you decide if the material is worth the investment for how you plan to use it.

3.Curriculum Development

Curriculum development refers to how recently a curriculum was written and by whom. Some authors and companies are likely more up-to-date on current educational thinking than others, even when they’re selling very similar products under different names! In addition, some curricula have been around long enough that “older” topics may not be covered in today’s public school standards, while newer curriculums might be ahead of the curve!

4.Curriculum Reviews

Homeschool curriculum reviews 2021/2022
Something worth considering is whether or not the curriculum has been reviewed by users for content and quality. Does anyone actually use this? Are there a lot of complaints, or are there problems with certain materials that can be sidestepped? Are teachers using it in real-life classrooms? These kinds of reviews can give you lots of insight into what to expect from a particular program as well as how it will fit into your family’s learning routine.

5.Curriculum Cost

Homeschooling costs vary widely depending on your family situation (how many children, ages, financial resources) and personal tastes! You may have tuition payments to consider as well as books, curricula and other supplies. Don’t forget to account for extra costs like field trip fees, special materials and kits that might not be included in a regular curriculum price or cost per child.

Cost per child is an important metric when evaluating homeschooling programs! If you have many children (or are thinking of adding more) you may want to consider multi-child discounts, group purchases, or other bulk opportunities to keep your costs down.

6.Curriculum Length

Some curricula cover several grade levels at once (kind of like a series book). Others are meant for just one grade at a time so you can choose new material as your child grows up (like a textbook). There are pros and cons to each approach. If your child struggles with material (or you’re having trouble teaching it) then multi-grade curricula can be a great way to mix things up and keep learning fun.

On the other hand, if your child is doing very well in a particular topic or area of study, then choosing curriculum with one-year increments could help make sure he never gets bored. But don’t forget that some subjects might not “age well” … state-by-state science standards change over time, for instance!

7.Curriculum Subject Matter

Many homeschooling families love the opportunity to step out of mainstream thinking when it comes to their children’s schooling. Home school curriculum specifically developed for religious and/or cultural practices, for instance, might be hard to find with a quick search online. If you have specific subject areas (or topics) in mind that are likely different from what you’ll find in most mainstream curricula then start your search by looking specifically for them!

8.Curriculum Usage

For some families, curriculum is something they invest in and use every day. For others, it might be used only once a week or maybe even as a supplement on the side … What do you plan to use your curriculum for? Some materials are very flexible and can easily fit into any schedule while others may require more preparation time before each lesson. Also think about whether or not you will use the “official” resources or if you have other options in mind.

9.Curriculum Availability

Some curricula are very easy to find … others can be difficult to track down! Don’t forget about special ordering or buying directly from the source if you don’t want (or can’t find) what you need elsewhere. Also, many large/national publishers offer discounts and sometimes even free shipping for nationally known brands.

Use your homeschooling friends as a resource (after all, they love this stuff!). Local and regional educational consignment shops sometimes turn up interesting used curriculum too! Many of these materials are in pretty good condition and often available at a discount since there is likely no additional shipping to pay.

10.Curriculum Flexibility

Some curricula are very rigid in their approach while others are built on a framework with lots of room for customization and personalization … How much flexibility do you need? There’s no one right answer – some people like having a plan laid out for them as they go along (possibly writing in their own notes or observations). But many students, especially older ones, thrive when the curriculum is adaptable to individual needs. Subjects that lend themselves well to this type of approach include math, science and history (individual states also have different standards each year too!)

11.Curriculum Objectives

Some homeschooling families use subject-specific objectives to guide their curriculum choices while others prefer more general guidelines. If you have specific goals or big picture ideas in mind when it comes to education then these lists may help point you in the right direction!

12.Curriculum Time Commitment

Some people enjoy scheduling their days around schoolwork (for instance, devoting one hour per day to math). Others like a more flexible approach that lets them fill in the gaps as needed. Math and science can be great subjects for building in chunks of time since they usually require so much practice … English and history are also good subjects for mixing things up – both based on your child’s interest level and abilities at that given moment!

13.Curriculum Quality

For some homeschooling families, the number of resources available for a specific subject area is a prime consideration. Many curricula are designed to be used along with other (often supporting) products from the same publisher/distributor. A good place to start your search in some cases might be at a local retailer that sells tutoring or test prep materials as these types of programs often have materials customized to state standards too! Many homeschooling parents also love having supplemental reading resources – books, online articles, etc. What does this look like for you?

14.Curriculum Cost

Premium over free homeschooling curriculum for best results in high school
Cost is definitely a factor when it comes to educational decisions … Some people want every last thing they order online and on sale while others are willing to pay more for an item they can’t find anywhere else. Most curriculum choices have a wide range of prices that reflect the content and quality associated with each product. Keep in mind that some publishers are willing to negotiate on price (if you are a new customer/teacher). If the cost is really an issue for you then consider saving money by purchasing used materials or shopping at your local consignment shops for gently used curriculum items!

15.Curriculum Reputation

The number one way to discover how well something works is to read other people’s reviews! It’s easy to read about someone else’s experience with a specific resource before making any decisions – even if you don’t end up doing exactly what they did!

16.Curriculum Adoption

Some people like to start from scratch and create their own curriculum using materials they already have around the house plus whatever else they can find that’s free or cheap online/in a store (do you remember learning cursive writing this way?!) Others choose to adopt someone else’s curriculum plan, using it as ‘a base’ for what they’ll teach. It doesn’t really matter how you decide on your homeschool curriculum – just pick something and give it a try!

Best wishes in your search for the right learning opportunities for your family members … From one homeschooler mom to another, we know you’ll come up with something fun and exciting to do together! 🙂

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