One of the first challenges that comes with homeschooling is choosing a curriculum. In this post, I am going to outline the process that I went through to pick a curriculum. I hope it is helpful to someone else too!
1. Decide on a style of homeschooling.
It is important to decide what type of homeschool you are going to have before you begin looking at curriculum. Doing this will help you narrow down your options and make the process less overwhelming. I found this article to be helpful in describing the styles of homeschooling. Basically, there are five types: Charlotte Mason, Classical, Eclectic, Unit Studies, and Unschooling. I’m sure other types could be added to this, but it is a good place to start. Think about your children’s personalities and yours when deciding this. We decided on a classical approach to homeschooling, and that led us to the next step.
2. Find a few Curriculums that fit your style.
Once you have decided on a type of homeschooling, you can limit your search to the curriculums that fit in that style. For example, if you picked unit studies, you won’t need to spend a lot of time looking at boxed sets of curriculum. Instead, you would want to find plans and lists of resources for putting together the studies for each grade. And, of course, a Google search is an easy way to find your options. Also, you can ask friends and family for recommendations. My search for classical options turned up two that I was really interested in. These were Memoria Press and Veritas Press.
3. Gather information about your chosen options.
When I had narrowed down the options to just two, I requested catalogs from both. These really helped me see what they had to offer for all grades and subjects! Also, on many websites, there are sample pages that you can look at. Another very helpful thing you can do at this point is to read reviews. Cathy Duffy reviews are very helpful and are available for many different books!
4. Choose the most practical option for you.
After all this research, you are almost ready to make a decision! Think about the options you are interested in and think about your life. Consider the demands on your time that are already in place. Do you have time for a curriculum that is very challenging, or would a more relaxed one be better?
Think about your strengths as well. Are you good at making a plan and executing it on time? Maybe a less structured option would work well for you! Or do you work better when the steps are laid out for you and you just have to follow instructions? Then maybe an option with lesson plans and a schedule would be helpful. And remember that you can switch if you end up not liking what you choose!
When I reached this point, I was strongly leaning towards using Veritas Press. However, when the time came to purchase the books, I was in a busy season of life. And their program is pretty demanding! I didn’t see myself becoming less busy any time soon so I reconsidered Memoria Press. Their program is much simpler. And I liked that I could still add in materials according to our interests and ability as time went on! I have been very happy using their books so far!
I hope this is helpful to anyone thinking about homeschooling! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!
And linking up today!