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August 1, 2011
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Two Months Free for Beta Testers!
eLearningK12 needs you!  We are looking for parents of kindergarten students to beta test our science and history and geography curriculum. Learn more about our free beta test.

So Many Choices... Which Curriculum is Right for Your Family?

You've make the decision to homeschool your children. That alone is a difficult decision for many families, but now you need to choose the right homeschool curriculum for your family.
The curriculum you choose is a tool to help you educate your children.  Model your homeschool around your family values and lifestyle, not around the curriculum. Which one should you choose? That depends on your needs. Here are a few key points to consider:

  • Do you want to use standard textbooks, unit studies, an online program, or a hybrid of one or all of those? There are hundreds of suppliers of homeschool textbooks and materials on the Internet, as well as a growing number of online choices for homeschoolers. A Google search for "homeschool materials" returned 3.6 MILLION results! A more specific search will return more useful information. For instance, a search for "online homeschool curriculum fifth grade" returned 600,000 results.  Still too many, but much more specific to your needs.
  • Can you purchase more than one level for each student, such as fourth grade reading and fifth grade math for your fifth grader who struggles with reading?  If the answer is no, choose a different provider. Flexibility and individualization is what makes homeschooling work so well.  Don't sacrifice flexibility for the convenience of a pre-packaged deal.
  • Can you purchase the assistance of a teacher if you need it? For some, this may not be important. Others like the safety net of a teacher guiding them through uncharted waters. Both options have value, so a provider with both options is a plus. If you choose a program with a teacher, ask others using the program if they are happy with it. Some programs are very rigid and similar to enrolling in a physical school. Make sure the program will still allow you the flexibility you need as a family.
  • Do you want to purchase all of your curriculum items from one provider, or do you want to pick and choose from several providers? Both choices work, but only you know what will work well for you.
  • What is their return/refund policy? Try not to lock yourself into a long term commitment, especially for your first year. You want to be able to switch gears and try something else if it does not work out as you hoped.
  • Is it affordable? There are some fantastic programs out there for reasonable prices, and there are programs that cost as much as an elite private school. Higher price does not always equal higher quality. Many homeschool families are single income families, so making your dollar stretch can be critical in your decision making.

Perhaps the most important consideration is this: Does this program agree with your family's core values and beliefs? Are you locked into a specific worldview or will the program respect your role as a parent to teach your own values to your children? Even among religion-based curricula, there can be a wide range of worldviews. You may have difficulty in finding one that is 100% in agreement with your family's values and beliefs. Use the items you disagree with as teaching moments, to explain why you believe or behave differently. These teachable moments can be more instructive than the lesson itself!
At elearningK12, we hope these tips will help you make an informed decision about choosing the best homeschool curriculum for your family.



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