Choosing Homeschool Curriculum

After you’ve spent time understanding and deciding which METHOD or STYLE of homeschooling would be the best fit for your family, you’ll need to choose curriculum. Please DO NOT SKIP learning about methods and styles, because your teaching/learning approach will absolutely affect your curriculum choices. This link helps explain the varied methods. Watch for a post soon about what a day in the life of our homeschool looks like.

The biggest surprise to me when we started homeschooling last year, was the vast amount of curriculum out there ranging in price from free to thousands of dollars. Once we made the decision to homeschool, I defaulted to the curriculum used in the private religious school I attended as a child. It was safe. It was what I knew. And it was a terrible fit for my family. That’s NOT to say it is a terrible curriculum! Many people use and LOVE it, but after daily tears and struggles, I knew if our homeschool was going to be successful we had to find what worked for us. That’s when I learned about methods and styles. Our first attempt was using a traditional method where each subject has its own place and purpose and none of it is connected to the other. All students were learning individually, and it was so far removed from the public school curriculum our children were used to, it only confused them. We needed a new approach, and quickly.

  1. Homeschool curriculum can range from
    1. Free to a large investment
    2. Ultra-religious to ultra-secular, and much is areligious
    3. Written according to particular homeschool methods, so again, understanding your approach is KEY!

Our family has learned that an eclectic style works best for us, with a main emphasis on the Charlotte Mason method and the addition of some Classical and Unschooling approaches as well. Before I share some of our favorites, here are some invaluable links to peruse to help you make informed decisions.

https://cathyduffyreviews.com/#

https://cathyduffyreviews.com/homeschool-extras/parent-helps-and-how-to-books/general-parent-helps/how-to-choose-homeschool-curriculum

https://cathyduffyreviews.com/CDR2/public/advsearch

https://www.steamsational.com/secular-homeschool-curriculum/

Want to “Gameschool!?” https://my-little-poppies.com/gameschooling/

And here’s a favorite! https://readaloudrevival.com

The above links include sites to many styles of curricula based on your method and preferences. Below are some of our favorites!

We LOVE SchoolhouseTeachers.com! They have multiple styles, methods, approaches, and courses for every grade, from preschool to college prep, from core subjects to electives, and include a subscription to World Books, all for ONE subscription price! If you try one course and it doesn’t fit your student, you simply move to another one without having to pay a separate fee. Some of the content is pretty religious, but other content is just basic stuff. This is our affiliate link, so if you purchase a subscription by clicking on this link, we receive a small kickback. You do need to be able to print out the lessons or provide them on Google classroom or some other compatible online option. We print them and organize them in a binder.

We are trying this history curriculum as a family this year, and we’re super stoked about it! https://www.dianawaring.com/history-revealed-world-history-curriculum/.

Our son loves Dave Stotts’ “Drive Through History” from SchoolhouseTeachers.com!

I’ve gotten lots of great resources and ideas from https://ourjourneywestward.com.

We’re also using a good bit of https://simplycharlottemason.com this year, including habit training, art, classical music, poetry, nature study/journals, handicrafts, and more.

Rembrandt Picture Study sample from Simply Charlotte Mason.

Science this year is from Journey Homeschool Academy. This is our affiliate link.

Here we are coding DNA from the elementary biology course.

We have math from Masterbooks and Life of Fred. Art from Artistic Pursuits and Beyond the Stick Figure Art. We study Latin from Memoria Press and history timeline and sentences from Classical Conversations.

Besides our core studies, we use the following resources that are so much fun!

We just started a subscription to https://www.snackcrate.com! Their referral code system is broken, so if you decide based on reading this to subscribe, we’d LOVE for you to let them know Regina Harlow at harlowfamily1@gmail.com referred you so we can get coupons off future orders! This SUPER COOL subscription sends you snacks from a different country every month. You get to choose whether you want all sweets, all savory, or a mixture of both, with the option to add a drink to the box! We’re using our snack crate box in conjunction with the books “Hungry Planet – What the World Eats” and “Material World – A Global Family Portrait,” both of which can be purchased online, and just like that, we’ve added culture, food, geography, social studies, cooking, science, and more to our homeschool! Hungry Planet and Material World are so fascinating, I sit around reading them for entertainment.

We love Homeschool in the Woods for lapbooks! Their lapbook on U.S. Elections is incredible and timely!

We use the following apps. They have free and paid versions.

Geocaching – for fun treasure hunting.

Night Sky – for wonderful astronomy.

History – for This Day in History.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary – for the Word of the Day.

Seterra – for geography games.

Merlin Bird ID – for bird watching.

Seek – for identifying plants.

Duolingo – for language learning.

I use a white board and write the Merriam-Webster’s word of the day and a few highlights from this day in history. This evokes great conversation and promotes curiosity. Unschooling follows as learners finding something they’re interested in and start digging into a topic on their own.

Also, fieldtrips, fieldtrips, fieldtrips! Time in nature! Volunteering or taking up a cause! All of these are natural and incredible ways to engage and nurture learning and growth.

I know this is a LOT of information to absorb, but with some effort, trial, and error, you WILL find what works for you and your family! No tears, no frustration, just fostering a hunger for knowledge that will last a lifetime!

Watch for a post soon about what a typical day looks like in our homeschool. Please feel free to ask questions or post your own favorite curriculum resources in the comments.

 

 

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