More than halfway through; step six is to choose the curriculum that fits your child’s needs.
All the steps that went before this one were fairly easy-going. They consisted of straight, simple steps which got you to a definite point. Unfortunately, curriculum just isn’t that trouble-free. Curriculum can be quite a conundrum!
Just Google-ing ‘homeschool curriculum’ makes the mind boggle with how many sites, downloads, and pieces of advice there are on the world-wide web. Speaking to a manufacturer can be hard enough, much less communicating with all of them. So how do you find the right ‘fit’ for your child? Honest communication, along with some trial-and-error.
Before spending mass amounts of money on choosing a homeschool curriculum, do a little research first. With a great deal of prayer, your ‘educational philosophy’, and your child’s learning style in mind, start narrowing down your choices of curriculum by taking a look at some ‘standard’ methods of homeschooling and see if any of them fit your needs. If you are unsure which methods already exist, try THIS link and explore what each has to offer.
Knowing which curriculum you might be interested in, do another (very specific) Google search to confirm your suspicions. “Which language arts curriculum is best for visual learners?” The more specific your words, the less weeding through sites you will need to do.
Once you have an idea of where you are headed, talk to some homeschooling families you already know. Try to find a family whose child has learning styles similar to your own. Ask them what worked and what didn’t. Ask them if they have any recommendations. While you’re at it; ask them if you can actually take a look at the curriculum and get a feel for it yourself.
More often than not, you will find most homeschoolers to be a bit eclectic. We use one company for language arts, another for arithmetic, and something completely different for science. Knowing how your child learns and what you want out of their education will narrow down these choices and help you pick the right fit for each subject.
And… If at first you don’t succeed; try, try again!
Don’t be discouraged if what you thought was going to be the greatest thing since sliced bread, isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. What looks good in theory, isn’t always practical. If possible, borrow some curriculum over summer break and give it a go. This will save you a few bucks if it doesn’t work out. If you don’t know anyone with that material, look online for some great deals; Amazon and Ebay are wonders for saving dough. This way, when things don’t work out, it’s no big deal.
Again, I wish there was a fool-proof way to pick the right curriculum (the first time, every time), but there isn’t. However, with a few guidelines in place and a prayerful mind, it won’t take long for you to finally find what works.
And if the shoe fits; wear it!
Veteran Parents: How did you come across the ‘right fit’ in curriculum?