An Important Decision
It’s that time of year! The time when most homeschoolers are set for what curriculum (if any) they are using for the next homeschool year. For most homeschoolers and people who would like to homeschool, picking curriculum is one of the most time-consuming and important decisions we have to make. This is how I decide what we are going to be using for the homeschool year.
I start my time in prayer.
“All your children shall be taught by the Lord, And great shall bethe peace of your children.” Isaiah 54:13
The Lord knows best what my children need each year. There have been times of big surprises when I picked something I would never have picked on my own, that ended up being a huge blessing to our family. Because of this, I will never leave out spending time before the God who knows my children so well. He knew them before they were born, He knows who they are going to be, and He will help me make the best choices for them.
Go Through Current Curriculum
Once I have prayed, I look through the curriculum we are currently using. I then make a list of what worked and what didn’t. If all was well, I will just buy the next level. If things didn’t work out, I evaluate what I can change to make it work. When that is not an option I start looking into other choices.
I look for curriculum that is not too time consuming. Our current language arts curriculum takes 45 minutes to and hour and a half, but it includes everything: spelling, grammar, reading, picture study, writing, art etc… so this is acceptable. I want to be able spend time outside of ‘school time’ with my family.
If I pick something that is time consuming, I usually make it a family subject such as History or Science.
When choosing, I look for something that interests me and make sure it fits in the budget. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I splurge if it’s what we need and I have saved money in other areas, but I also know in the homeschool community you can find good quality items inexpensively or even free!
Learning Styles and Needs
I take into consideration each child’s strengths, weaknesses and learning styles, then I find curriculum suitable for them. I don’t just cater to the learning style they are strongest in, because I want them to become strong in other styles too, but if they are struggling in a particular subject I will lean towards something that teaches in their best learning style.
After I have looked through all the options, I sit down with my hubby and we discuss what I am looking at. We talk about pricing, each child’s needs and his opinions. Sometimes with him being on the outside, he sees things from a different perspective and can open my eyes to things I may not have noticed. This helps me to hone in on my choices and usually we are still on the same page with a little tweaking here and there.
I narrow down each subject to two main choicesI like and ask the children for their opinions. Hubby and I make the final decision, but we allow the children to discuss what they think about each curriculum. They are more willing to work with what we bought when they understand our reasons for purchasing it and they have had some input. When it comes to electives it’s totally up to them (within the budget), as this is where their passions lie. Electives can even be free or again inexpensive with the use of YouTube (not including extra supplies they may need).
That’s a Wrap
This is pretty much the process I go through every year. It has only failed when I didn’t pick what I felt to be the best choice to save some money. God has always provided when we have picked something more expensive that we know is His best for the children. When we trust His choices it always works out!
How do you pick your curriculum for the year?
If you are new to homeschooling will any of the steps above help you in your curriculum picks?
Let me know in the comments section below!