Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Best Homeschool Curriculum

Are you a new homeschooler looking for the 'best' curriculum?

Are you wondering if the curriculum you currently use is the 'best'?

I  hear new homeschool moms ask more seasoned homeschool moms what the 'best' curriculum is for a variety of subjects.

What is the best curriculum to teach my child to read?

What is the best curriculum to teach math?

What is the best science curriculum?

And the list goes on and on.


There is no 'best' curriculum.

The best curriculum for me, may not be the best curriculum for you.
The best curriculum for one child, may not be the best for another child.

Really, the question being asked is the wrong question!

There is not one 'best' curriculum.  Some programs are more popular than others, but don't just decide what you will use based on the popularity of a curriculum.

When researching curricula for your family and your students, you should be asking:

What reading program do you recommend and why?  Have you used it?  Did you like it?

What math curriculum did you use?  Would you recommend it?  What did you like/not like about it?

Ask these questions for every subject you are researching.  

The latest and greatest may not be the best for your family.

The tried and true may be the best for you.  

When evaluating your current curriculum (and considering a change), try to discern whether the curriculum is the problem or if maybe the way you are using it is the problem.

Sometimes, just sometimes, I have discovered that I am the problem, not the books I am using.  I am not devoting enough time to the subject and the student.  I am letting things slip by undone or unexplained.  A new curriculum will not help me with that problem.

However, when searching for the 'best' curriculum, take into consideration how much teacher time is required.  If it requires more time than you are able or willing to give it, then that is not the best for you.  

What makes a homeschool curriculum 'the best'?  
How it fits your needs and how you use it.

How would you answer the question about the 'best' curriculum? 

Shared at Finishing Strong link-up


Angel said...

This is a common question, and you've answered it well! I'll book mark this page and send a link to anyone who asks me this question.

From my experience, I can attest to your second to last paragraph. My children have learned most when I showed dedication and enthusiasm while teaching the subject. I have purchased curricula with instruction video, but some lessons weren't mastered until I stood at the whiteboard to explain it.

Also, I have realized that a curriculum is basically organized lessons. Some of the best and most fun lessons that I've organized were taught using books and DVDs from our public library and free online educational videos.

karentrina said...

Thanks, Angel. Sometimes I wonder if what I have to say it is already obvious. Maybe so, maybe not. Good point about curriculum mostly being organized lessons; they are certainly not a magic formula! Some of our most fun lessons were built around library books and educational dvd's, too!

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