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 www.hslda.org.  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 www.christianbook.com for online samples. I also like to visit publisher websites for more information.  http://www.nlpg.com/imprint/master-books 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.

Blessings,

Kristen Pratt

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