How to choose a homeschool curriculum

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So, you’ve made the big decision to homeschool your kids. Now comes the fun part! You get to decide which homeschool curriculum you want to use! Choosing a curriculum can seem like a daunting, monumental task, but it doesn’t have to be! With these six easy steps for choosing a homeschool curriculum you can find just what you need for our kids!

How to choose a homeschool curriculum

Choosing Homeschool Curriculum

First, don’t panic about choosing the wrong curriculum. You won’t know if something truly works until you try it! Now that we have that out of the way, here are some tips for making your curriculum choices!

Consider Your Time Commitment

How much time per day can you devote to homeschooling? If you’re able to sit down with your child for every subject, you can choose curriculum that is teacher intensive. I consider many of the traditional box curricula like My Father’s World and Sonlight teacher-intensive. The Good and the Beautiful also requires quite a bit of your time, especially in the early years.

If you have less time, you can choose online curricula such as Easy Peasy or Teaching Textbooks for math.

Consider Your Child’s Learning Style and Your Homeschool Style

I decided when I began homeschooling that I leaned toward a Charlotte Mason homeschool style. I’ve looked into programs such as Ambleside Online and Simply Charlotte Mason before deciding to use My Father’s World and The Good and the Beautiful while adding my own Charlotte Mason twist.

Do you have more than one child?

One of the biggest factors that led me to choose My Father’s World was the family style curriculum. As a large family, it is important for me to be able to teach my children as many subjects together as possible. Consider choosing curricula that spans multiple ages to maximize your time and create a culture of learning in your home.

Take Advantage of Bundle Sales

I love online bundle sales such as Build Your Bundle because they allow me to choose a variety of curricula to save and use when I need to fill in the gaps. I love doing fun unit studies with the kids and adding in other fun things, and bundle sales allow me to do that at a great price!

Need more homeschooling help? Read these posts!

Enter to Win a $50 Gift Card to Build Your Bundle

How to choose a homeschool curriculum
It’s time again for Giveaway Wednesday! Are you ready? We have a fantastic sponsor this month – Build Your Bundle.

If you’ve participated in Build Your Bundle in the past, you know what amazing resources are available at a steep discount. (And if you haven’t, you’re in for a treat!) Over the last six years, Build Your Bundle has offered homeschool families some of the best curriculum and resources from homeschool bloggers and companies around the world. Together we strive to infuse confidence into homeschool families while offering quality educational materials at unbeatable prices!

And this year will be no different!

In the past they have had bundles for Early Learning, Elementary, Middle & High School, Homemaking, Special Needs and much more. They also offer a Premium Product section with online courses discounted up to 50% off!

This month, Build Your Bundle is offering a $50 Gift Certificate to their upcoming sale starting May 11th. Past bundles have started at $9.95, so you can get a lot of curriculum for just $50! Be sure to enter this month for your chance to win and sign up now to be notified when the sale starts.!

It is your responsibility to read the terms and conditions upon entering. Entering the giveaway signs you up for the following newsletters: Build Your Bundle, The Fervent Mama, Homeschool on the Range, Making Room 4 One More, The Art Kit, Beyond the Stick Figure, In All You Do, Hess Un-Academy, Heart & Soul Homeschooling, Hide the Chocolate, Simple Living Mama, Peace Creek on the Prairie, Clarissa R. West, and Orison Orchard.

Enter in the form below! Each entry increases your odds of winning, and you’re sure to find some new bloggers to follow. This giveaway ends at midnight CST on April 26, 2020.

How to choose a homeschool curriculumThe choice of a curriculum is based on your educational philosophy and the learning styles and developmental stages of each child.

Questions to consider:

  • What are my children’s learning styles?
  • Where are they developmentally?
  • Are they far ahead in certain subjects, while lagging behind in others?
  • How much freedom do I think children should have to follow their own interests?

What curriculum you choose will be governed by your personal educational philosophy. The two ends of the educational spectrum may be represented by E.D. Hirsch, author of Cultural Literacy, and John Holt, author of Instead of Education and other books.

Hirsch believes that there is a core of knowledge which every child should know. He has attempted, through his Core Knowledge Foundation, to publish works defining the body of information he believes children should learn at various ages. He believes a coherent body of shared knowledge is more democratic and helps create cooperation and solidarity in our nation. The facts and skills he identifies are based on reports issued by state departments of education, professional teachers’ associations, and the educational systems of several other countries, like Japan, France, Sweden, and Germany, which he considers successful.

In contrast, Holt writes, “Next to the right to life itself, the most fundamental of all human rights is the right to control our own minds and thoughts. That means, the right to decide for ourselves how we will explore the world around us, think about our own and other person’s experiences, and find and make the meaning of our own lives” Instead of Education, pg. 4). Holt’s philosophy of education has been termed child-led interest or unschooling. He believes that each child, while pursuing his/her interests, will develop the necessary skills and accumulate the necessary facts for success in the enterprise of his/her choosing.

In Hirsch’s model, the teacher is the source of most information; while in Holt’s model, the teacher is the facilitator, providing resources, guidance, transportation, and funding. In Hirsch’s model, shared knowledge leads to increased cooperation in society; in Holt’s model, the infinite variety of choices leads to self-directed, self-knowing individuals. If you lean toward Hirsch’s model, you will probably choose a pre-packaged curriculum. If you lean toward Holt’s model, your children’s interests will drive the variety of resources you choose.

Customizing for your children’s needs

When you choose your curriculum it is beneficial to be familiar with one or more of the learning style modalities so that you can decide what materials best mesh with your child’s learning styles. For delightful and thought-provoking reading, try Thomas Armstrong’s In Their Own Way or Dawna Markova’s book, How Your Child is Smart: A Life-Changing Approach to Learning.

Homeschooling allows you to speed up or slow down in order to match your child’s developmental readiness in various subjects. In meeting developmental needs, a packaged curriculum gives you less leeway than one customized by you to meet the distinct developmental needs of the child.

Other resources for finding curriculum gems are local support group members, curriculum fairs, and exhibit halls at homeschool conferences. In curriculum, as in other areas of homeschooling decisions, your approach may change over time. Some new homeschoolers start with a packaged curriculum because the parents are concerned about their abilities, or because it is what their child has been used to in school. Later some find the pre-packaged curriculum too restrictive and time-consuming, and opt for a more individualized approach.

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If you’ve been homeschooling for any amount of time, you’ve likely discovered Cathy Duffy and her amazing review site! Homeschool moms look to Cathy Duffy Reviews for help in choosing curriculum for their kids. We’re honored to have Cathy join us today on the show to chat about her personal homeschool story, how to choose curriculum, and the importance of worldview.

How to choose a homeschool curriculum

Welcome to the show notes for Episode #116 of the Homeschool with Moxie Podcast!

As a former classroom teacher, now homeschooling mom of five, I love to equip and encourage other homeschooling families.

On the Homeschool with Moxie Podcast our goal is to inspire and encourage you with actionable strategies to take you from overwhelmed to confident in your homeschool adventure. Listen to interviews with amazing influencers in the homeschool world and beyond.

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. I will receive a commission if you purchase from these links. Thank you.

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How to choose a homeschool curriculum

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Listen to the Podcast

About Cathy Duffy

Cathy Duffy is best known as a curriculum specialist.

Cathy began educating her three sons at home in 1982 and continued all the way through high school. In addition to teaching her own sons, she has taught numerous group classes for home educated students and church groups. Her extensive research and experience have made Cathy a popular speaker at home education conferences around the world.

You can find her extensive reviews of hundreds of curriculum options on her site – CathyDuffyReviews.com. You can also follow her on Facebook.

How To Choose Homeschool Curriculum

Are you wondering how to choose homeschool curriculum for your children? Every child has a unique learning style, and you as the homeschool mom have a unique teaching style. Then, you’ll also want to consider your family’s educational goals and worldview expectations for the curriculum you use.

Well, the good news is – you don’t have to start from scratch when searching for curriculum! Cathy Duffy has been reviewing curriculum for the homeschooling community since 1984.

We cover so many topics on this episode. Listen in to hear what Cathy has to say about:

  • her personal homeschool story
  • what it was like to homeschool in the 1980s
  • how the homeschool market has changed over the years
  • what makes a good curriculum or resource for the homeschool market
  • the importance of knowing your philosophy of education
  • why you need to know your children’s learning styles
  • the importance of worldview and what it is
  • how to choose homeschool curriculum that will be a good fit for their family
  • why homeschooling is such a great educational choice

Homeschool Curriculum Resources

Cathy Duffy’s book, 102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum, makes the job of selecting the right curriculum easy! It includes extensive reviews of each of her Top Picks. This book walks you through the entire curriculum selection process, helping you select from only the best products on the market.

Cathy Duffy’s newest book, How to Choose Homeschool Curriculum, makes the job of selecting the right curriculum easy! In this ebook, Cathy simplifies the curriculum selection process with questionnaires and charts. She walks her readers through the process of figuring out their preferences in terms of a philosophy of education, learning styles, and goal setting.