Friday, July 5, 2013

Choosing Curriculum

If you're going to be homeschooling this year, now is the time to look into curriculum (if you haven't yet decided what to use).  There is a seemingly endless choice of materials out there, each one vying for the homeschool family's attention - and dollars.  But how can you choose from all that is offered?  And what if you make the wrong decision?  First of all, don't get stressed or overwhelmed.  Here are a few tips to help you narrow your selection.

First of all you'll want to look at your budget.  A full year's curriculum can run anywhere from around $200 for a boxed set of worktexts to well over several thousand dollars for a private online learning experience.

Next you'll want to look at your children.  Are they very active, hands-on individuals, or are they more bookworm-ish? (As a hardcore bookworm myself I use that term with all respect and dignity.)  A very traditional curriculum requiring lots of sit down book work time might not be the right choice for an active child.  And a course that is highly hands on might not work out well for a child who soaks up their knowledge through reading.

Then you'll want to figure out how much planning and grading you want to do.  If you have one child planning and grading might not be an issue.  If you have several children it might get quite time-consuming.  Just remember that you are the one who knows your children, your family, and your budget best.

Once you've taken all of these things into consideration you'll be able to narrow your choices.  If you're new to the homeschooling game don't let the fear of buying the wrong curriculum freeze you in your tracks.  Flexibility is paramount in homeschooling and, once bought, any curriculum can be tailored to meet your children's needs.  Remember, homeschooling isn't about perfection, but about fostering a love of learning in your children.  We need to enjoy the journey and keep it fun.  That will build memories for you and  your children that will last a lifetime!

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