“What’s the Best Homeschool Curriculum?”
by Homeschool.com’s Rebecca Kochenderfer
Most homeschoolers agree – this is really a subjective question. Different families have different criteria for deciding what’s “best.” The criteria one person may prioritize aren’t necessarily the things another family would care about. That said, there are a few considerations that everyone should reflect on when making a choice:
The cost of a particular program may be a deal-breaker for many families. Since most homeschooling families live on one income, a pricey program – regardless of how great the bells and whistles are – is probably out of the question. Thankfully, there are many inexpensive and even free resources available for homeschoolers. If you’re teaching high school, we actually did a complete series on how to homeschool each subject for FREE!
- Homeschooling Science for Free
- Homeschooling Social Studies for Free
- Homeschooling Math for Free
- Homeschooling Language Arts for Free
Next to cost, the biggest deciding factor for most families will be the amount of time required from the parent doing the teaching. Don’t forget about prep time as well! We love a good, solid curriculum that advertises itself as “no-prep” or “open and go!” Depending on how much time you have to devote to homeschooling, you may or may not have time available for prep time. If you don’t, look for curriculum programs that require little to no preparation from you. Also, look into how the curriculum will have you checking work and/or keeping track of grades. Is that something you can keep up with or would you prefer a self-grading program? These are all important things to consider in choosing the best curriculum for your situation.
Some families don’t consider this as something to take into consideration. If this is you, try to ask yourself where that idea stems from. Is it from a lifelong public school experience where your own thoughts weren’t given any consideration? Now, it’s true that we can’t cater everything to our students’ desires…but one of the best parts of homeschooling IS that we can use whatever materials make us all (students included) happy. So, it’s probably worth a little something to consider what your students think of the curriculum you’re thinking of using.
After considering the cost, time requirements, and your students’ enjoyment levels, hopefully you’ll have a better idea of what you’d like to use. These are all important factors in deciding what to spend your money on and, of course, you want to make the right decision. Remember, you’re not making a lifelong commitment here; you’re only committing to one year. With that in mind, we hope we’ve given you some guidance in choosing what curriculum will work best for your family.