This post is by Kerry, a homeschooling mother of two, and is from our contributing sponsor, Time4Learning.
Homeschool Curriculum: Contrast and Compare
Every homeschool parent, ideally, wants to choose the best homeschool curriculum for their student. You want a program that your child enjoys using, meets your educational standards and effectively helps your student learn and build skills. Yet, the enormity of homeschooling programs to choose from can sometimes send a parent into panic mode. You can read homeschool curriculum reviews until your eyes are crossed, but will that really ensure that you don’t waste money on programs that are a poor fit for your family?
When making choices, there are some key features to pay attention to when comparing and contrasting homeschool curriculum options. This will quickly weed out many options that aren’t right for your unique situation and help you hone in on the resources that are most likely to be successful.
Start With Your Budget
One of the quickest way to pare your homeschool options way down is to first look at the price tag. If you can’t afford it, it simply shouldn’t be an option. Be sure to have a determined amount you are willing to spend on curriculum for the overall school year, and only research programs that fall within that budget.
Understand How Your Student Best Learns
Unless you’ve been homeschooling for a while, the idea that your student has a preferred learning style may be surprising to you. Actually, though, we all have ways of receiving information that help us process and retain it better. For example, if your preferred learning style is visual, you will learn best if your lessons are colorful, full of graphs and charts, or even animated. There are many learning style surveys that can help you pinpoint how your student learns best, then you can use that information when weighing your homeschool curriculum options.
Decide on a Homeschool Approach
Once you know your budget and how your child learns best, the next factor to pay attention to is how you want to homeschool. It’s more than just picking up a textbook and turning to page one, after all. Will you want to do most of your homeschooling on the computer? Do you want to let your child’s interests guide what you study? Is classical education important to you? Determining your unique approach will also help you trim your homeschool curriculum options because you’ll want to focus only on programs that match your preferred teaching method.
Take Your Family Into Account
Finally, before you click the “purchase” button on that curriculum website, make sure that the program you choose will align with your individual family’s needs. For instance, if you’ve just added a new baby to the family, it’s unlikely that a program that requires you to work one-to-one with your student for the entirety of the homeschool day will be a successful fit. Circumstances such as work schedules, number of siblings at home, library access, internet connection, etc.,, should all factor into your ultimate choice of programs.
By comparing and contrasting curriculum options with budget, learning style, teaching method, and family circumstances in mind, you can truly find the best homeschool curriculum for your unique child. After all, customizing an education to your child is one of the things that makes homeschooling such a wonderful option!