What's the Big Deal About Homeschool Curricula? : Five Days of Homeschool Curricula

Many of the questions that I am frequently asked about homeschooling revolve around curricula. "What's the best curricula for...?" "How does this math (language arts, science, etc.) curriculum work?" "Should I use a textbook based curriculum? Or should we just read living books?" "How can I fit unit studies in to our curricula?"

Because so many questions about curricula and curricula recommendations come my way I decided to write a five-day series of posts all about...you guessed it...homeschool curricula. The five posts I'm sharing this week are:

Day 1- What's the Big Deal About Choosing Homeschool Curricula?
Day 2- Choosing Curricula That Helps You Meet Your Homeschool Goals
Day 3- Learning Styles, Teaching Styles, and Homeschool Curricula Choices
Day 4- Finances and Budgets and Homeschool Curricula, Oh My!
Day 5- Top Ten Awesome Homeschool Curricula Resource Sites... And a Free Homeschool Curricula Planner

The importance of choosing the right homeschool curricula

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So...what is the big deal about choosing homeschool curricula?

I have a friend who was homeschooled as a kid. Back in those days- yes I'm old- this topic would have seemed pretty ridiculous. Those were the days of the pioneers of homeschooling. They were homeschooling when it wasn't popular. My friend can remember not being allowed to play outside until the school bus came around in the afternoon. In those days, there was virtually no choice of curriculum. School book companies often wouldn't sell to individuals. Publishers didn't cater to homeschoolers because they weren't even on the radar.

Fast forward to today. A google search of "homeschool curriculum" can result in hundreds of choices. National chain bookstores have sections for homeschoolers. School publishers have tapped into the market and offer books specialized for homeschoolers.

Choosing curriculum can be overwhelming. It can also be very costly.

I am a self-professed curriculum junkie. I have tried and discarded many, many curricula over the years. I know why it's so important to choose the right curricula for your family.

A curricula that works for your family makes homeschooling much more pleasant.

I've picked the "wrong" curriculum for a subject before. When it's happened, I find myself two months into school work, pleading with the kids to get work done, frustrated because they are frustrated. No one's happy when we're using the wrong curriculum for us.

Choosing the right curriculum to start with saves money. 

One year at the homeschool convention, I plunked down money for the entire series of Life of Fred elementary math books as well as Life of Fred prealgebra and algebra. Guess what? It didn't work.

Don't get me wrong. It may be an awesome curriculum...for some families. But it didn't fit my kids' learning styles or my teaching style. And it didn't fit with where we needed to be in math at the time. I was stuck mid-year trying to come up with enough money to get new math curricula. It wasn't a pretty picture.

When kids "click" with the curriculum, they learn more.

We began using My Father's World when my younger girls were 3rd and 4th grade. We enjoyed the Rome to Reformation year of the history and the next year we chose the geography study. Usually that one comes before the history cycle courses, but we hadn't done an in depth geography study before.

All three of us- me included- loved school that year. We just loved it. The materials that we used through My Father's World brought countries and cultures alive for us. To this day one of my daughters, when asked her favorite school subject, replies "geography." Because we loved it, all of us learned so much. (I found out how much I didn't know about geography!)

The importance of choosing the right homeschool curricula

The "right" curricula is a blessing, and the "wrong" curricula is often a struggle. Join me for the next five days as we talk about choosing your homeschool curricula.

Please feel free to leave any questions you might have about curricula in the comments section or send me a note with contact form at the bottom of the page. I promise I don't know it all. But, I do have some years of experience under my belt. And if I can help you with curricula choice, I'd love to help.

The Homeschool Post

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