It is time to start thinking about what curriculum you and your family will be using for the coming school year. Picking our curriculum whether you have been homeschooling or years, or this is your first year, there is a lot to think about. I don’t know if you’ll find the perfect homeschool curriculum right off, or ever, but let’s see what we can do. I have spent a lot of time looking at curriculum options, there are a lot.
Choosing A Secular Homeschool Curriculum
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How Much does it Cost
Cost tends to be the deal breaker when shopping for curriculum. It can get really expensive if you are buying all brand new, and all the materials they (the company) sells. There are other options of course:
- buying used curriculum from websites or Facebook homeschooling groups
- borrowing books from the library
You don’t have to go broke to educate your children. Take a look at the price of a curriculum first, before you fall in love with it. If it is out of your price range, move on. I had my eye on BookShark, but it was kind of out of my price range, especially if I didn’t want to spend more than our school board reimburses us.
BookShark has their Instructor Guides sold separately so you can use their curriculum guide, but not buy the books or any other extras. You can then borrow from the library or buy second hand. You still get the great BookShark curriculum guide (which books to use) and planning done for you.
Independent or Teacher Lead
How old are your kids? Are they ready for independent learning or are you still very much involved in every part of it?
This is really important to find out, other wise you might find yourself sitting down with your child unexpectedly while you are trying to work on your business or with another of your children.
Teaching Method or Approach
What learning approach will you be following? Through time I’ve learned that we are eclectic homeschoolers. I think that the most beneficial thing we did in our first two years of homeschooling was to just be. We did book work, we did unschooling, and whatever else. It helped us find our groove, find what worked for us. We didn’t waste curriculum that way which was great for our budget, and found out what kind of “work” works best for our family right now.
Computer based/online, or book work is the first big question for me. For the last few years I didn’t want much of any their school work to done on the computer. I wanted to focus on penmanship and hands on. Bookshark has been great for this. Some of the books have links you can follow online for more information/education but you don’t have to. Literature based is right up our alley.
A Secular Homeschool Curriculum that You’ll Actually Use
Here is the big one: are you going to use that big shiny, new curriculum? You don’t want to have the biggest, shiniest curriculum just because Jane down the street is using it. If you are part of a homeschool group ask the other homeschool parents what they use and if you could take a look at it if it is something you think you may be interested in. Homeschool conventions are great for looking at a curriculum before making buying, just try to not buy everything! I’m big on seeing before purchasing, flipping through the pages, reading a lesson plan.