Curriculum Corner
August 2016, Issue 3


 

Choosing a Curriculum for the Upcoming School Year
by Homeschool.com’s Rebecca Kochenderfer

As the summer ends, it’s time to start thinking about what you’ll use in the upcoming year. In thinking about next year, consider what worked, what didn’t, and what you wish you’d done differently this past year. With so many choices available, how can you decide what’s best for your family?

Not too long ago (about 25 to 35 years ago), homeschoolers didn’t have to make this choice; the choice was already made for us. At that time, there weren’t many curriculum options to choose from. With progress came choices and with choices came decisions we must make. Today, we can homeschool any way we want using any type of curriculum we want! The question is, which do we choose?

When choosing among curriculum options, I like to keep three things in mind: cost, content, and cohesion.

For most of us, cost is going to be the number one priority. No matter how great and wonderful a curriculum looks, if it’s out of our budget, it’s not an option—period. So determine your budget and ONLY look at programs that fall within that budget. Looking outside your budget is going to lead to frustration and feelings of dissatisfaction when you make your final purchase.

The content of your curriculum is nearly as important as cost. For instance, sometimes we can afford to splurge in history if we’re going bare minimum in grammar. Ask yourself if that great history or science program you want is worth the cost. If it is, then go for it.

Finally, look at how cohesive the program is. Is it something you can use through graduation? Do you want a program that you can stick with all the way through, or are you okay with changing every few years if the publisher only offers two or three years of instruction? Does the program teach life skills as well as academic content? Are these things important to you in a curriculum? These are the types of questions you’ll want to ask yourself as you decide upon a curriculum for the upcoming school year.

 

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