What homeschool curriculum do I use? How do I pick one? Where do I get it from?
Homeschool families have total freedom to teach whatever they want within the required subjects, which can feel overwhelming when you are just starting out. Many parents like to have a guide of what is considered ‘normal’ based on grade level. World Book has a fantastic online resource with an easy to navigate ‘course of study’ guide that outlines educational objectives for each subject area by grade level from Pre-K to grade 12. Elementary parents may also want to check out the ‘What Your ‘X’ Grader Needs to Know’ series which provides detailed educational plans for preschool, kindergarten, and elementary school students. You can also reference these Parent Road Maps to Common Core Standards, which are also are broken down by grade level and can be a helpful resource for anyone with children who are doing distance learning as well. For your littlest learners, Timberdoodle offers a free early education placement test for kids ages 2-5.
When choosing a homeschool curriculum it’s important to consider your child’s age, interests, learning style, and abilities. You also want to consider your family values, budget, personal educational philosophies, and the level of involvement you want to have in piecing together your curriculum for the year. Some parents nerd out on individually selecting each book and resource they use for each child, while others love the convenience of an all-in-one style boxed curriculum. The choice is completely up to you, but the sheer volume of options can be overwhelming. Asking other homeschool parents what they use and reading reviews can be a great way to narrow down the field.
When you’re ready to start shopping the internet can be your friend. Amazon has everything, and it can be a good place to browse for workbooks, school supplies, and reading materials. But, if you are up to the challenge of leaving your house, some real deals can be scored at second-hand book stores, thrift stores, and used curriculum sales. There are also various Facebook groups for buying and selling used homeschool curriculum where you can save a bundle if you are lucky.