The Ultimate Guide To Choosing Homeschool Curriculum

How Do You Choose Homeschool Curriculum?

Sometimes choosing curriculum is the basic, overwhelming task facing families each academic year. This guide comes alongside you, offering many resources. This homeschool advice is gathered from our archives here at Curriculum Choice, from the wisdom of our team of review authors and from fellow homeschoolers around the web.

Begin By Defining Your Beliefs and Philosophies

“I search for items that line up with our purpose for homeschooling, and trust God to lead me. Yes, the academics are important, but when I consider our goals, getting an A in calculus isn’t top priority.” I want my children to have godly character. I want my children to know how to think and reason. I want my children to grow in responsibility and self-government.

“Can curriculum really address these deeper heart issues?” How I choose curriculum from Renae here at Curriculum Choice.

  • Annie Kate, with 15 years of homeschooling experience, turns to Cathy Duffy’s 101 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum each year. Annie Kate reviewed this just last week here at Curriculum Choice. She says, “101 Top Picks begins by helping you understand and determine your family’s educational goals and needs. Cathy asks questions such as…” She also reviewed 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum in detail on Annie Kate’s Homeschool Reviews.
  • Brenda shares about writing a family mission statement before considering curriculum choices.
  • What kind of homeschooler are you? Tips for defining yourself…“When you meet another homeschooler, some of the first questions asked are, “What curriculum do you use?” and “What kind of homeschooler are you?” To new homeschoolers, this can be completely overwhelming and finding your options can literally drown you in information. “

Consider Advice From Veterans

  • In the Homeschooler’s Simple Guide to Choosing Curriculum at Heart of the Matter, 16-year veteran homeschooler says, ” you do not live in a curriculum ad or vendor hall. You live in your home, with your living, breathing, mess-making, sinful children. And they don’t read curriculum catalogs. So … what’s a mom to do in the face of all the shiny promise of advertisements which sing their siren songs every spring? How are you to determine which curriculum will be right for your family, come the reality of fall?”
  • Stephanie at Harrington Harmonies, our Curriculum Choice review author, offers Before Choosing Curriculum: Three Things to Consider. “Where are you on your journey? What about goals…”
  • Barb-Harmony Art Mom, fellow review author, has a mental checklist she employs in Deciding on Resources. Ten things to consider, including, “Will the books and plans allow us to be flexible? and Is there a product out there that will mentor my sons in an area of their interest that I don’t feel qualified to tackle on my own?”
  • Barb also offers her Goal Setting Process and Some Examples. “For instance, you can make long-term goals and then break them down into steps over a number of years. ”

  • I shared my Planning and Goal Setting annual habit for choosing resources and setting goals for each of my five children at Habits for a Happy Home. “I bring along my current favorite spiral notebook and pen. And I rise early and meet with the Lord over matters.” This time is key for considering the big picture before specific curriculum choices.
  • Kris at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers lists 10 Tips for Starting to Homeschool with great advice on choosing curriculum, considering learning styles and more.
  • Kris also has a 10 Days series entitled: Homeschooling 101. In her post, How to Homeschool: Choosing Curriculum, she challenges homeschoolers to consider: “What curriculum do you use? What curriculum could you not live without? What curriculum didn’t work for you?
  • Then, at the Homeschool Classroom, Kris also offers tips in Choosing Homeschool Curriculum.
  • Five Js advises on curriculum choices in How to Start Homeschooling.
  • Hey Donna answers the homeschool newbie question: “Curriculum for Your Kindergartener?”

And, so you won’t have to spend a lot of time on research, Aadel offers these four for navigating:

Choosing Math Curriculum

  • 10 Things to Consider When Choosing a Math Curriculum from our review author, Mary at Homegrown Learners. Mary’s post includes a video explaining the difference between spiral and mastery approaches.
  • Math, All Roads Lead to Algebra from Kim at Habits for a Happy Home. “At the end of the day, when your children arrive in eighth grade, in which grade they learned a concept or which method you used to teach the concept doesn’t matter. What matters is that they have now grasped it and are ready for algebra.”
  • Is Math for Your Child Like a Bath for Your Cat? by Sherri. “But somewhere along the way, math gets hard. It turns into Algebra, Geometry, Statistics, Calculus and Trigonometry.”

Photo courtesy Lauren at Mama’s Learning Corner

Changing Curriculum

Creating Your Own Resources

  • Review author, Daniele at Domestic Serenity has wonderful advice on creating book lists for children — for those who create their own lists, whether classical, Charlotte Mason, delight-led learning or another homeschooling type: Building Booklists for Children.
  • Meet Penny shares resources for free curriculum to use to build your own style in Resources for Free Homeschool Curriculum.

Photo courtesy Kendra @ Aussie Pumpkin Patch

General Curriculum Choices Help

  • Our review author, Kendra, offers these practical helps: Staying Organized with Curriculum Choices. Also, help before you go to a homeschool conference: Homeschool Conference Plans
  • Fear Not, Trust and Rejoice by Sherri Johnson at Habits for a Happy Home: “At times like these, it’s easy to feel like you’re making a mistake. Like you’re not qualified to teach your children. Like you’d rather send them to school and just do homework with them in the evenings because you’re afraid you’re going to mess them up.”
  • Our review author, Betsy, suggests Explode the Code as a wonderful resource for beginning phonics.
  • How to Make An Overall Plan for the Year is a practical guide by Barb-Harmony Art Mom here at Curriculum Choice, as well as her Seasoned Mom Tips on her Harmony Art Mom blog.

This post is linked with 40 Ultimate Guides and Lists at iHomeschool Network. Be sure to visit and pin all these great resources for reference.

You are invited for a visit! I am sharing two other guides you might enjoy: The Ultimate Guide to Housekeeping Habits at Habits for a Happy Home and The Ultimate List of Easy Slow Cooker Recipes at Hodgepodge (50 recipes and a dozen resources).

Want help with curriculum choices? We invite you to subscribe to The Curriculum Choice so you won’t miss a review!

Homeschooling for over a decade now, Tricia faces a daily dose of chaos with five children. She shares a mixture of free art lessons, recipes and helpful homeschool habits at Hodgepodge. Her husband, Steve, also writes reviews here at Curriculum Choice.

Tricia (82 Posts)

Homeschooling for over a dozen years now, Tricia faces a daily dose of chaos with five children. She is author of art curriculum for all ages, a cookbook series and helpful homeschool habits at Hodgepodge. She and her husband, Steve, are owners of The Curriculum Choice.


{ 9 comments… add one }

  • Rebecca August 9, 2012, 6:09 am

    THIS is truly a fantastic post – great for new and experienced homeschool families. I love the way you pulled in various topics and truly the Principle Method – I am learning more and more about it and we lean more in that direction than in any other…..Many Will be blessed by this!

    Reply
  • Kendra Fletcher August 9, 2012, 10:58 am

    Tricia, this is a fantastic post!

    Reply
  • Annie Kate August 9, 2012, 4:12 pm

    Wow! This post is full of information and resources! Great job, Tricia.
    Annie Kate´s last blog post ..Free Audiobook: The Disciplines of the Christian Life by Eric Liddell

    Reply
  • Colleen P August 9, 2012, 5:06 pm

    Thanks for pulling all these resources together in one place! I know I’ll be referring to some this month….and I’m very interested in reading the “help before you go to a homeschool conference.”

    Reply
  • Tricia August 9, 2012, 9:26 pm

    Thank you all! Choosing curriculum can be daunting. I hope that these resources will bless families!

    Reply
  • Amber August 12, 2012, 1:50 am

    Very nice post, Tricia! What an excellent resource for this time of year, and I foresee myself wanting to reference it in the future also. Thanks!
    Amber´s last blog post .."Not" Back-to-School Blog Hop: Curriculum Week

    Reply
  • Carol S. August 14, 2012, 5:29 pm

    Excellent information for both the new and seasoned homeschooler! Will be a great reference when choosing items for my own homeschool and when others need a guiding hand as well. Thank you!

    Reply
  • Angie @ Many Little Blessings August 15, 2012, 11:18 am

    What a great resource! Thanks for linking to the Homeschool Classroom!
    Angie @ Many Little Blessings´s last blog post ..My Most Often Used Kitchen Tools and Gadgets

    Reply
  • educator November 17, 2012, 1:57 pm

    Understanding different personality types and their learning styles by Briggs Meyers has helped me. But whole brain teaching reaches all children, and is especially great for active children, hands on learners and children with learning disabilities.

    Reply

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge