Finding Homeschool Curriculum That Works for Your Child?
Being a parent is a hard but very important job! Almost every parent’s deepest desire is to provide their children loving care for their physical needs as well as their emotional and spiritual needs. You are the one they will be looking to for love, help, care, and concern from day 1. You kiss their boo-boos, read their stories, and chase away all those scary closet monsters at bedtime. You play fun games, tell them stories, and like a lot of parents, you prepare and then send your children to a local school.
Hold up! You have made the wonderful, awesome, and sometimes down-right scary decision to homeschool your children.. So that means YOU ARE THE TEACHER! But what do you teach? Homeschool parents are always in the market for the best homeschool curriculum. It can be very overwhelming to find the perfect curriculum for your child. No two children are alike in their learning!
What is a homeschool curriculum?
Homeschool curriculum is organized “classes” prepared for you by an outside company. They generally provide teacher’s manuals, workbooks, quizzes, tests, and study material for you and your child. Sometimes you will have to purchase the entire set but other times, especially for younger grades, you can get by without the teacher’s manuals. You CAN homeschool without using a curriculum, but due to the amount of work, time and effort, and preparations that it would take; most homeschool parents choose to use a curriculum to cut down planning time.
Now, whether you are new to homeschooling or you have been doing it for your child’s entire life, parents are always looking for the best homeschool curriculum. During your journey, you will find a curriculum you love, hate, and even a curriculum that is just mediocre. The idea is to know what you are looking for in a curriculum based on the time and effort you are willing to put in and also depending on your child’s learning style. Then you can better decide what curriculum is right for you and your family. I will outline 5 important steps to finding the best homeschool curriculum for your child.
1.) Know what interests you most when it comes to homeschool learning
This step is the most important step to finding the best homeschool curriculum. You need to know what motivates you and your children and, at the same time, what doesn’t. For example, my daughter HATES boring black and white worksheets. She LOVES science but hates black and white worksheets. Once I figured this out, I could look for the best homeschool curriculum for her for science. We found it! It is a science curriculum that has lots of colors and even real-life pictures. Once I knew what motivated her and what doesn’t; I could find the best curriculum for her.
2.) What subjects do you want to teach your child?
This sounds easy.. But wait until you get your first homeschool curriculum catalog or your first trip to the homeschool store! If you are anything like I was/am, you will get lost (and even overwhelmed) in all the wonderful things you can buy to help you teach your children. There are French, Japanese, Latin, Chinese, reading, math, science, handwriting, phonics, history, history of the bible, civil war, history of the wars, ancient Rome, Greece, Egypt, pilgrims, dictionary skills, spelling, vocabulary, public speaking, and the list goes on and on and on! Who wouldn’t want to teach their kids every single one of those things? I know I want to! So narrow it down and figure out what subjects you want to teach them THIS year. There will always be next year to pick other specific subjects. This will help you find the best homeschool curriculum.
3.) Do you want a curriculum with a Christian perspective or a worldly perspective?
Almost every subject you can teach your child can be taught from either a Christian or a worldly perspective. There are some great Christ-centered companies. It is important to decide what you are looking for before you head to the homeschool store. If you want only a Christian curriculum, you can narrow down your search and skip the many companies that do not offer a Christian perspective. And, of course, if you want more of a worldly view, look for non-Christian-based companies.
Every parent wants nothing but the best for their children. While homeschooling is not for every family, it’s a good option for parents who want to make sure that their kids get a proper education in the comforts of their homes.
It’s hard to raise someone with Christian values knowing that there’s so much temptation in the world. But apart from having the best teacher and employing the best curriculum, setting a good example as parents would greatly help in forming your children’s sense of self.
4.) Look for a good return policy wherever you purchase from!
As a rule, I do not buy it unless I know that I can return it. Keep in mind that most of the time you do not have these books in your hand when you choose them. Personally, I prefer to go to a homeschool store so I can have my hands on the books but that isn’t an option for everyone.
When ordering from a website, you are essentially reading a “sales pitch” for each and every piece of the curriculum being offered. They all sound great because the information you will read comes right from the seller! Of course, they think their material is best, hands down! But I can tell you from personal experience, they are not all great! So you need to look for a company that will let you return items if you realize, after you get them, that they are not what you had in mind. The curriculum is not cheap! You will find that out quickly. It is REALLY not cheap if you buy something you don’t like that isn’t returnable. There are some companies that allow returns on materials within a certain period of time. I would highly recommend finding the companies that do allow returns over any others!
Above al the other suggestions, I believe that step 5 is most important.
5.) Pray about your decision!
Ask the Lord for direction and guidance. Seek after HIM! This is a very important, life-changing decision you are making for your children. It is not possible to do it well without God. So go to Him before making any decisions! Pray about each and every subject prior to purchasing the curriculum. Pray about what curriculum you should choose to fit your individual family’s needs. God will bless this decision. God will help you to choose the best homeschool curriculum for your family. Trust Him and pray, pray, and then pray some more!