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Selecting Your Curriculum Part 3

Once I have a tentative list of curriculum and materials to teach the courses needed for each child, I like to take a look at the overall picture for each child and the entire school year. Here are some questions I ask myself:

  • Am I being realistic in what I think we can accomplish?
  • Are there some weak areas that we need to strengthen?
  • Am I happy with the amount of work each child will have each day?
  • Am I spreading myself too thin?
  • Is there a good Biblical foundation being established?

These are just a few of the questions I keep in mind as I flip through the curriculum lists for each child.  I can then make adjustments and then make my final decisions.

Once my lists are complete, I can begin the shopping process. I like to have all of the materials in my hand by the end of June. I then have the summer to put together my lesson plans, buy supplies, make adjustments, and pick up anything I may have missed.

I hope you have found helpful this brief glimpse into my process of selecting curriculum.  It can seem overwhelming at the start but with prayer, wisdom, and some practical steps you will have a plan in place in no time.

May God bless your homeschool!

Kristen Pratt

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Selecting Your Curriculum Part 2

Maybe you are the type that loves a full-on unit study approach. Perhaps the thought of unit studies makes you have nightmares but you get excited about the thought spending a good portion of the day reading good books aloud with your children. Some families find a traditional classroom setting is the best fit for them while others prefer their children to work on their own as much as possible. There is no one right way to homeschool, as some would suggest. Each family is unique, designed by God with specific needs and characteristics. Spend some time evaluating your own style and that of your children. You will find there are a lot of approaches and materials you can cross off your list of options, narrowing your choices to a more manageable list.

Once you know what you do not want, you can begin the process of deciding what you do want. It can still seem like the list of possibilities is long, but with a few more tweaks you can shorten it considerably. I like to make a list for each child that includes all of the subjects I want them to learn for the year.  My state laws partly dictate that list. Be sure to look up your own state laws at  I start the process with my youngest child and work my way up. I focus my search on Christian materials first. If I cannot find something that fills the need that has a Biblical foundation, then I will cautiously move on to secular materials.

It is helpful to attend a homeschool convention and/or visit for online samples. I also like to visit publisher websites for more information. has always been a favorite starting place for my family.  I also ask local homeschool families if they happen to use the materials I’m interested in. They are usually quite happy to show me their books and let me know what they like and don’t like about the curriculum.

The goal at this point is to develop a list of needed subjects with a list of possibilities. It is not about making final decisions.


Kristen Pratt

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Selecting Your Curriculum Part 1

Selecting materials to use in our homeschool can be daunting. Visit any homeschool convention and you will understand exactly what I mean. There are so many choices, methods, materials. Each homeschool family, company, publisher, and author is certain they have the perfect (and only!) way to homeschool. The convention workshop for method A has you completely convinced that is the only way to go, at least until you go to the workshop detailing method B. Then there are the catalogs to be gone through and the websites to visit. Sometimes my head feels like it is spinning! We all need some practical ways to deal with the overwhelming number of choices we are blessed with as homeschoolers. Begin this important task bathed in prayer. I also encourage you to keep your spouse involved in the process.

The first step in figuring out what to use is to weed through all the stuff we know we do not want. I like to start with weeding out the choices that do not match up to my Biblical values. A good comparison of the various approaches is a good thing to study at this point. For instance, while I like many of the principles of the Classical Approach, I’m not real fond of the focus put on the false gods. Many of those materials I can cross off the list for consideration. Some materials are so denominational in their approach that it is too narrow for my consideration. We are also strong believers in a literal, 6 day interpretation of Creation and expect our curriculum to support that view. Once I have determined which materials do not measure up to my Biblical worldview, I can take a closer look at my over all style and what works for my family.

I hope this will help get you started on your way to selecting great materials for your homeschool.


Kristen Pratt

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Biblical Authority in our Home Schools

Biblical Authority Video

The homeschool community has gone through phases over the years. One of the best phases has been the move back to the authority of Scripture in regard to Creation. Answers in Genesis, Master Books, and other organizations have done a wonderful service to the homeschooling community in bringing awareness and providing materials to us. Families have abandoned science books laden with evolutionary thought in exchange for God honoring titles. Our kids are being taught that the Bible is reliable and can be used to understand our world. What a legacy for us to give to our children. It is a legacy that will affect not only our own children but our grandchildren and generations of our family. God is good!

There is another area that needs our attention, another area where we need to establish and safe-guard Biblical authority. That area is History and Geography. We are amazed at the amount of material out there, even some published and/or sold by Christians, that is completely secular. Some of it is given a Christian label because it has a little bit of Christian language sprinkled here and there but relies on mostly secular materials. What a loss of opportunity to convey the handiwork of God throughout all history and even geography. What is history if it is separated from the plans and works of God? It is relegated to a meaningless look at accounts of the accomplishments and failures of man, in other words it becomes humanism at the core. God needs to be the center of our history and geography lessons. Creation is the beginning of our history. We need to extend what we have established with Creation in our homeschools to our history and geography materials as well.

Let’s give our children a lasting legacy by using materials that shine a light on the mighty works of God throughout ALL history.

God bless you and your homeschool!

Kristen Pratt

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A Word about Discernment

I have been increasingly concerned about homeschool curriculum that displays the “Christian” label yet strays considerably from providing a Biblical education. Some of it, we are told, started off solid but has somehow strayed from the mark. Others slipped in through marrying Christian thought to humanistic ideas. Some of the problems are glaring while others are subtle. The enemy has been busy making his way into the homeschool curriculum arena in order to destroy the work the Lord is doing in the hearts and minds of our children.

We must be vigilant, wise, and discerning when selecting curriculum and books for our children.  We must know what exactly our homeschool materials are teaching our children. We cannot use any particular curriculum, book, or plan just because another good Christian friend recommends it or because there was a good lecture about it. We must do our own research and understand the author’s worldview before providing it to our children.

Take a fresh look at the materials you are handing to your children. Do the materials you are using stand under Scriptural scrutiny? I know I am going to be taking a more sober look at the materials in our home.

Kristen Pratt

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