1. Where are you on the journey? Know what kind of teacher you are and plan accordingly. Light plan vs. Heavy plan.
When I first started schooling my kids at home, I would stress over completing everything in the planner. I thought we needed to finish every page. Because I was new to it, I really relied on the curriculum to tell me what I needed to teach. Really heavily planned curriculum stressed me out. I didn’t realize those packaged curriculum were written to be sure to challenge the motivated child, and they assumed a parent would subtract what was over planned for their child.
Now, I see the teaching materials as tools alone, simply aids to the learning. I rely more on my teaching ability than the materials. That way I don’t feel imprisoned by the planner. I know I can leave some things undone. But I’d rather have things planned so there is always something to explore and I dont waste time planning during school time.
Before you choose, think about whether you prefer a loaded plan or a light load. Do you prefer to have everything planned now or just a few things with which you can add more later? There is no right or wrong. You just need to go with what’s best for you.
2. Know what kind of learner/s you have.
I began homeschooling with a special needs kid. That drove a lot of the schooling. But being new to homeschooling I didn’t know his learning style. I tended to teach everything from either a visual or tactile style. Little did I realize, he was primarily an auditory learner. It was a few years till I realized why he wanted to rephrase what he had learned and to discuss everything verbally.
Taking that into consideration would have saved me time and made learning more effective. Maybe I would have chose more audio books, etc.
Before you choose, think about you child’s way of learning. What are his/her needs? How do they learn best. Purchase those things that will aid you in the teaching of your child and that wont limit you to an uncomplimentary approach.
3. Write Goals for your child. Then choose curriculum to help you in achieving those goals.
When I make a meal plan, I first consider what I already have which needs used. So I do an inventory then plan my meals around it. I am not suggesting applying this to books by using books you already have. Rather, to goals. Inventory your purpose and the goals you have for your children before you purchase.
Before you choose, what is it you want your child to learn this year? What can you buy to help them accomplish those goals? What methods can you use? What materials will aid you in that method?
When selecting our curriculum for this year, I also took into consideration, our interests, location, and homeschool methods or style. Knowing that I will stick more to a schedule and method than I will the planner, I chose a year packed full of wonderful materials, though I most likely wont use them all cover to cover. There is no right or wrong because homeschooling is all about the choice. As the homeschool parent, you can choose what you want your child to learn. May God Bless you as you make your choices this year!
Check out more things to consider with The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Homeschool Curriculum.
Feel free to comment and share with me about how you choose!