Have you noticed the huge number of different curricula available? The Rainbow Resource catalog of homeschool resources is huge! It begs the question, just how do you find the perfect curriculum for your family?
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Tips for Finding the Perfect Curriculum
1. Ask Friends
The best place to start looking for the perfect curriculum is to ask your friends what they use and why. See if they’ll bring it to co-op or the park for you to take a look at it.
>> Here are our curriculum picks by grade <<
You’ll be able to ask in-depth questions and get honest answers. For instance why did you choose this program? What makes it work? Do your kids like it? What would you change?
There’s also no time limit for asking friends questions or browsing through the books. You can sit there for an hour or two reading the teacher’s manuals, studying the workbooks, and interrogating your friends until you have a good idea if the curriculum will work for your family or not.
2. Test the Samples
Most curriculum providers have a sample available for you to download. Don’t just download the sample, glance at it, and move on. Actually give the curriculum a try.
Print it out. Get the supplies. Test it out.
You’re looking to see if it’s a good fit. Did you and the kids find it easy to use? Were you able to gather the supplies? Was it interesting? If you’re answering yes, it’s a good program for your family.
On the other hand if the sample made your kids weep and you wanted to chuck it out the door, I highly recommend not purchasing it. Nothing is worse than being stuck with a lousy curriculum for an entire school year.
3. Match Your Teaching Style
Each mom has a different style of teaching in the homeschool. Put your priority on finding a curriculum which works well for you, not your kids. After all you’re the one doing the teaching. You need to explain the material to your kids. You’re the one handing out the assignments.
A good curriculum will give you the support you need to teach your kids. You’ll be able to adapt the material to your kids’ changing needs. My family uses a curriculum with reading assignments, questions, and discussions.
Over the years I’ve altered the curriculum to fit each child. A few use the curriculum as designed. They complete the readings, answer the questions, and enjoy lengthy discussions.
But some kids loathe answering questions. They prefer to write reports about what they learned.
Another child adored research. Instead of assigning the readings, I assigned the questions and let them go. They’d research the questions and follow rabbit trails.
That one curriculum, which fits ME, was able to be adapted to each child’s needs.
Do the same thing for your family. Find a curriculum which fits you, then adapt it as needed for each child.
The secret to finding the perfect curriculum for your family is to find one you enjoy using and is easily adapted to your family’s changing needs.
What is your family’s favorite homeschool curriculum?