Sunday, October 28, 2007

Choosing The Right Homeschooling Curriculum

A curriculum is not just a set of books, but a plan for achieving the goals that you and your children have established. There are many factors to consider when choosing a homeschooling curriculum. First of all, the parent must keep in mind that children progress as they get older. As they age, their interest, strength, and weaknesses vary and change. Logistics within the household can also change. The financial position and needs of the family may also vary widely during the years of homeschooling.

Another thing that must be kept in mind is that every child is different. Therefore, a curriculum that works for one child may not necessarily work for another. A curriculum may not even work for a child for every year. As difficult as it may seem, choosing the right curriculum is a must. There are many kinds of curriculum available out there.

Sometimes it is tempting to get something just because it is new or just because it looks promising even though we know that many things don't work. That's why a careful evaluation of the homeschool and of the children is needed before and after purchasing a curriculum. It is important to acquire as much information as possible about the available curricula before buying. Always keep your goals in mind as you purchase and after you've had a chance to use the new teaching tool.

Before anything else, ask yourself the real reason why you are homeschooling. Maybe it's to provide a more challenging academic environment for your child. Maybe you want to ensure that your religious or moral principles are passed on. Or maybe it's to offer your child a richer learning environment than a structured classroom education provides. The answers to these questions will also help you narrow down your choices. Before purchasing a curriculum you need to have proper knowledge of your teaching style, your child(ren)'s learning style(s), the teaching approach taken by each curriculum and of course your budget.

It is also important to consider the different learning and teaching styles. There are basically three types of learners: the visual learner, the auditory learner, and the tactile learner. Children process information through sight, sound, or touch. Determine which kind is your child to make your choice of curriculum easier. You will also discover that you tend to communicate information most comfortably in one of those three ways.

Below are some additional guidelines in choosing the right curriculum:

Many schools contain curricular materials and teacher training materials. Pay a visit to one of your local schools and browse through their materials to help in your purchase decision.

Look for curriculum retailers that cater to homeschoolers. Ask the members of your local support group if you could look through the materials that they use.

Search curriculum vendors on the web. Some provide information, such as a picture, the number of pages, and the price. A few provide an overview along with the table of contents.

Ask curriculum vendors for catalogs. These will give you pictures and prices but not much else.

Visit your local college or university bookstore near the beginning of the semester and have a look around.

Look through an encyclopedia under mathematics and science and their subtopics, to get an idea of the topics involved in math and science subjects.

James Monahan is the owner and Senior Editor of and writes expert articles about curriculum.


Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing. Very informative post. This is a link for an alternative to a GED online.

sf said...

Very well summarized article and also very helpful.

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