What is the best homeschool curriculum?
That depends on your family’s goals, needs, your kids age, budget, how your daily rhythm flows and your philosophy or belief system.
This post is to help you narrow down the best homeschool curriculum for your family by answering some questions. Questions such as how you want your home education to run and your daily life vision and goals. I’ll show you a detailed list of where you can buy homeschool curriculum and where to find curriculum reviews. If you’re new to homeschooling or thinking about doing it for the first time, you can also read my homeschooling pros and cons.
Curriculum can be very expensive, and sometimes not always needed depending on your educational philosophy or kids age.
Sometimes curriculum starts working at the beginning of the year and you hit a road block or your child’s learning style changes. Remember one benefit to home learning is that you can change things that aren’t working out.
The best homeschool curriculum can be figured out by understanding your kids & home
This post will cover
- What kind of homeschooler are you?
- What is curriculum and do you need it?
- Places to find curriculum reviews
- Where to buy full or partial curriculum
* * Because this website is mostly gardening, I’ve started a new homeschooling blog. Check out naturehomeschool.com for the 2018/2019 school year where I’ll be sharing lots of tips and books reviews. This will be my 4th year homeschooling 🙂
What kind of homeschooler are you?
Most people who start homeschooling try to copy public schools. Over time, most parents realize that learning happens organically and lots of hands on. Schools teach kids the same subjects regardless of the childs interests or the type of learner they are.
My favorite aspect of homeschooling is allowing kids to follow their passions.
I enjoyed taking this quiz from HomeschoolOn on figuring out how you homeshcool and and intro on different homeschooling philosophies. This quiz helps you figure out what kind of learner you have, which greatly help when choosing curriculum.
Here are just some of the different methods of homeschooling:
- Charlotte Mason
- Classical Education
- Eclectic homeschooling
There are many more!
Questions to help you decide your homeschool curriculum
- Do you want a structured day or open schedule?
- Are you looking for a Christian based curriculum or Secular (non-Christian)? I’ve shared lists below of both.
- Scheduling your week: do you want to homeschool 5 days a week? 4 days a week?
- Do you want to homeschool from Sept-May or year-round?
- Are you an organized person who prefers to make their own schedule? Or do you prefer to be told what to do and when?
- How much time do you have for setting up lessons?
- Are you homeschooling multiple children or have babies and toddlers interrupting?
What is curriculum?
Curriculum is one of the ways to educate children, whether at home or at school. It consists of textbooks, workbooks, lessons and daily guidance with how to teach each subject in different learning blocks. You can buy math curriculum, ones for art & literature, grammar, reading programs and more. Some people use and love curriculum and follow everything as it tells you to for the day. Other people use curriculum as a rough guide to what your child should be learning.
Some families thrive on consistent daily routine, others prefer the freedom of nothing scheduled
In general there tends to be the homeschoolers that love curriculum and having something concrete to follow on a daily basis. The opposite spectrum tends to be the unschooling philosophy that usually doesn’t follow curriculum and takes cues of what the child wants to learn.
The benefit of homeschooling is that you can always follow your child’s learning interests and styles.
When choosing to find curriculum you need to ask yourself whether you want it to be parent intensive or not.
There are some math programs that people love or swear by like MathuSee or RightStartMath, yet the lessons and set up can take up a lot of the parents time. Other math curriculum are more conventional workbook style.
Many homeschoolers seek out Christian only curriculum to follow their belief systems. Others are secular and are looking for Christian-free resources for learning. I personally use a mix of curriculum and search out a ton of great books to complement our hands on and outdoor learning. I spend a lot of time looking up great books and I’ll be sharing them over at naturehomeschool.com
Curriculum reviews can help a lot after you’ve narrowed down some details like your type of learner or if you’re looking for a specific homeschooling philosophy.
The best site for homeschool curriculum reviews is Cathy Duffy. She’s the go to for the basics of any curriculum out there. If you want visual or personal testomonials about different curriculum then youtube has great videos. Parents can write personal reviews on HomeschoolReviews.
The one thing I will mention with reviews is that EVERY KID IS DIFFERENT.
That means one curriculum isn’t the BEST, it’s the BEST for that child.
Some of the best homeschool curriculum
These websites offer full curriculum packages. These are expensive because they cover all the subjects.
- Sonlight Christian
- Bookshark (Secular)
- Oak Meadows (Waldorf inspired)
- Simply Charlotte Mason (Charlotte Mason curriculum)
- Abeka (Christian)
- Lavender Blue Homeschool (Waldorf inspired)
- The Good & the Beautiful (Christian)
Creative or themed curriculum
- Torchlight– Literature & secular based
- Peaceful Press– Preschool curriculum, playful pioneers (Little House series inspired), includes bible reading
- Be Naturally Curious for mini unit studies on nature
- Raising Little Shoots– Exploring nature with children
There are SO many different math curriculum out there. Math is a subject that many children struggle with. Some math curriculum are parent intensive, some aren’t. Here’s a list of SOME of the math options. Please check out math curriculum reviews before deciding. This might seem overwhelming to learn, it took me months to decide! Price of curriculum is also a huge factor, and the type of learner you have.