Choose the best homeschool curriculum for your family
You want the best homeschool curriculum for your kids.
You want to be sure they learn all the right things in just the right way.
You want to give your kids the best education so they grow to become successful adults.
You want to nurture the perfect homeschool!
But, you’re having trouble choosing the right learning tools. Sometimes a resource looks amazing on social media but when you get it into your home, it just doesn’t work for your children’s unique needs. You aren’t sure that you are skilled or educated enough to be responsible for creating your child’s homeschool curriculum programs. You are overwhelmed and don’t have enough time to research all of the options.
Does this sound familiar? Well, you are in the right place! I know exactly how you’re feeling. I’ve been there! And I’ve worked with so many different homeschool families going through the same thing. You are not alone.
This post will help you understand what it takes to choose a top-rated homeschool curriculum for your family and where you can go for more help.
Table of Contents
What is a homeschool curriculum?
Simply put, a home school curriculum is your learning program.
It is the combination of resources you choose to educate your children. You can build your own curriculum by picking and choosing the learning resources you use for each of your child’s study subjects. Or you can buy one of the all-in-one programs on the market that provide everything from textbooks, printable curriculum resources, learning plans, and sometimes even assessment and grading for each subject.
Which one is right for you? Read on and we will break down your options.
Why should you choose the best homeschool curriculum?
Your curriculum is one of the foundations of your homeschool. It sets the tone for the learning environment in your home and it builds the learning environment you desire. When you discover what works best for you and your children will nurture inspired, motivated learners and you will build an exciting future for your entire family.
Having the best home school method for your family means you can sit back and simply homeschool your kids without doubting yourself. Even if your curriculum based choices change as time passes, the most important part of building a homeschool curriculum is making sure the curriculum decisions best suits your family.
Do unschoolers use a homeschooling program?
This answer might surprise you but, yes, unschoolers do use a curriculum that teaches their children, it’s just different to the traditional school based understanding of what a curriculum is. Remember, a curriculum is the collection of learning resources your family will be using to homeschool. Unschoolers might not be looking for a homeschool textbook, tutoring, or putting together a detailed curriculum plan – but that doesn’t mean they aren’t learning. Instead, unschoolers use specifically tailored resources and curriculum tools that are genuinely relevant for their children.
An unschooler’s curriculum will simply reflect the tools they will be using to learn in their homeschool. That might be things like everyday family activities, project based learning, immersive excursions, gaming, nature studies, spending time with homeschool groups, online learning programs, or many other options. It might change every day and it will definitely be unique for every family. And it will certainly reflect the unique interests of each child and family. Are you an unschooler looking to better understand your learning program? Take a look at my homeschool planning checklist for flexible, non-traditional ways of approaching your homeschool.
Can you choose a homeschool curriculum that you like?
Of course you can!
And in fact, I think you will have the best fit homeschool experience if you do. When you use tailored resources and curriculum options that are customised to your unique family, you all get to feel inspired and motivated. Making your own curriculum choice means that you can find things to suit your child’s individual learning style and needs. It also means that as homeschool parents, you can honour family values and traditions. It means you can adapt and be flexible throughout time so that, when things change, your homeschool can too.
You don’t need to be a teacher to build the perfect homeschool curriculum. All you need is an understanding of your child, yourself, and your family and what you all want or need from your homeschool. Then you can pick and choose the learning resources that most authentically meet your needs.
It might sound overwhelming right now, but read on for some more tips about how to start planning your curriculum.
Should you buy one of the all-in-one homeschool programs available?
An all-in-one program means the hard work has been done for you. All the lesson plans and resources (such as traditional textbooks and individual lessons) are put together for you for all the basic subjects your child will study. You can feel confident the content has a specific curriculum for grades relevant to your family. This can make it a great solution if you are brand new to homeschooling or if your life is going through a busy season and you don’t have the time to plan your own curriculum. It can help you take out the stress of planning so you can simply homeschool.
However, generally speaking, an all-in-one curriculum doesn’t automatically suit everybody. In fact, homeschool curriculum reviews can show they come with some important drawbacks. For example:
- Every child learns differently.
All-in-one packages are traditionally very school program styled learning options that can’t cater for every child’s unique learning style.
- Your child might love the way one subject is presented in this package but struggle with another.
Your child might love the science curriculum in an all-in-one package, but not the math curriculum. In fact, it is uncommon that you will find an off the shelf program that meets the needs of every child for every subject – so why not build the perfect, custom curriculum right from the start?
- Costs add up quickly for these programs.
Putting together your own homeschool resources can be easy and save you lots of money.
Remember your curriculum sets the tone for your homeschool so you want to use learning resources that bring joy and inspiration to your homeschool or you will all feel bored! If you are overwhelmed by the idea of building your own curriculum, my course Nurture Your Homeschool will hold your hand and guide you through the the process of homeschool planning.
Where should you look for help choosing a curriculum?
Quick hint: late night Instagram browsing is NOT the best place to find the perfect curriculum for homeschooling! It might look beautiful in someone else’s curated lounge room, but unless the programs include everything your homeschool needs, it isn’t right for you.
Taking the time to really understand your family’s learning needs is the key to finding the perfect comprehensive curriculum. When you know what works for your child, and for you, you will have no trouble finding resources that everyone enjoys.
Get started developing the best homeschool program
So you are ready to the most popular homeschool curriculum for your children, fantastic! What are your first steps when considering your homeschool options?
Know your child well.
When you take some time to reflect on your child’s skills, knowledge, and challenges you will know exactly what they need for the best curriculum.
You are an important element of your homeschool and you should include your own philosophies, preferences, and interests in your curriculum design. This is a great time to think about the needs of your other family members as well so you all have a wonderful experience.
Choose the best resources.
When you know the needs of your child, yourself, and your family you can easily pick and choose a curriculum that will help foster the family environment you desire.
Planning your curriculum choice for different homeschool styles
Whether you are looking for an online homeschool program, free homeschool resources, accredited homeschool programs, or anything in between – it helps to be generally aware of homeschooling philosophies, styles, and to think about what is important to you. There are countless types of learning programs and styles and you get to decide the one homeschool approach that your family wants to take. Language arts might be important to you, so you want to focus on living books, and a literature-based curriculum. You might prioritise your budget and be looking for a free homeschool curriculum so you will be hunting for the best free options. Your favorite homeschool might be hands on, outdoors, and a real lived experience. There is no right or wrong. Just remember to come back to what is working for your children, yourself, and your family.
Accredited homeschool programs
Like the generalist all-in-one homeschool programs described above, an accredited homeschool program carries some certainty for you as a homeschool parent because you know the curriculum is written to meet the standards of your home education moderator. Of all the programs today, this option is the most full-service homeschool product available. Don’t forget that comes with the distinct draw back that it will never genuinely suit the needs of your individual children or your whole family.
Online school programs available today
As a homeschooling parent you can only do so much! You are busy! You are also lucky to be living in a time where you have a huge choice in curriculum providers. Online homeschool curriculum options can give the best schooling or online public school experience for your child. However, just like regular all-in-one programs the draw backs are considerable. If your child is easily distracted by technology this will be a very inefficient way for them to learn. And given that the resources for curriculum and products are selected by the online school, you cannot tailor the learning experience to your child.
Kindergarten homeschool curriculum
When you are brand new to homeschooling and your children are little you will definitely want to discover the most popular homeschool options out there. You will be looking at curriculum until 1am each night! You will want the top-notch resources for curriculum, you’ll spend your time reading homeschooling curriculum reviews, and you will talk to all the other people in your homeschool community about your curriculum choices!
If this is the phase you are in, enjoy it! Your kids will only be little once. But whenever you start to feel yourself overthinking, overspending, or overanalysing when you are trying to choose your curriculum – remember to ask yourself, “What will matter most in twenty years?” Imagine yourself decades from now when your children have grown and moved out – what memories will be most important to you then? I guarantee you will care less whether your curriculum is working, and more about the time you spend with your remarkable children. So never underestimate the importance of relationship!
Where can I go for more help?
Here at The Magic Art of Homeschool I have put together some of one the best free collection of resources to help you get started and continue with your ideal homeschool.
Or browse our knowledge base from the top menu for more information about homeschooling.