Choosing the Best Homeschool Curriculum

By Crystal Ladwig, Ph. D.

As we look forward to the end of the school year, it’s only natural for homeschooling families to start planning for the next. It’s often during this time that we begin our annual evaluations and reflect upon what worked well and what didn’t. It’s a natural time to start planning for the next school year and what curriculum will be best for each of our children. So how do we choose the best curriculum?

Consider Your Children’s Passions

One of the greatest benefits of homeschooling is being able to tailor instruction to the specific interests
and passions of our children. When children have the opportunity to learn about what interests them, their natural curiosity and desire to explore and learn are encouraged and supported. They thrive as they learn about what they are passionate about.

Consider Your Child’s Learning Style

Some children learn very well working independently, while others want nearly constant attention. Some children can read a book and recite it back to you almost verbatim, while others need that hands-on experience to help them relate what they learned to the real world. As you select a curriculum for your children for next year, consider how they learn best and look for a curriculum that aligns with the way they learn and what they want to learn about.

Consider Your Teaching Capacity

There are many factors that contribute to your capacity to teach your children. You may be home homeschooling only one child, or you may be homeschooling seven. You may be working at home part-time, full-time or not at all. You may be very strong at teaching and leading some subjects but not others. You may have other demands on your time and abilities. As you select a curriculum for your children, make sure that it is one that aligns with your ability to implement it or to support your children as they work through it more independently.

Consider Your Priorities

While every family has their unique reasons for choosing to homeschool, the common factor is that we can prioritize the subjects, the values and the family activities that mean the most to us. As you select a curriculum for your child for the upcoming year, think about your family’s priorities. You may even find it helpful to write these down. Then, look at the curriculum and see if it aligns— does it increase your family’s capacity to live the lives that you want?

Perhaps the greatest benefit of homeschooling is the ability to individualize for each child and family. So, as we bring this current school year to a close and begin to think about the next, consider how you can individualize your curriculum choices to meet the individual needs of your children and your family. Prioritize your values, your time and your child’s interests as you choose the best curriculum for your family.

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