How to Choose Curriculum
Don't rush out to purchase curriculum! Although, purchasing curriculum for homeschool is always a bit of trial and error, you can save a lot of frustration, time and money by answering some questions before you shop:
- What Does My Child Already Know?
- How Does My Child Learn Best?
- How Do I Prefer to Teach?
I've provided several tools on this website to help you answer these questions:
- First, read the free Homeschool: How to Get Started eBook.
- Next, do some assessments
- Use the Step-by-Step Guide to Choosing Curriculum to help you learn what your student already knows and how they learn best.
Now that you have a better idea of what your student knows and what teaching methods and resources you like to use, it's time to plan what you want to teach this year. Using a scope and sequence, select the courses or topics of study that your student needs or that you want to teach this year.
A scope and sequence is a list of courses to be taught for each grade level. In traditional schools, this is planned by the school system. In homeschooling, you choose what subjects you want to teach and when.
Note: See the HSLDA website for information on state requirements. Each state has its own requirements for homeschoolers. However, even in states where you are required to teach certain subjects, you usually have a lot of freedom to decide what curriculum to use and how to teach it.
The World Book website includes a typical course of study or scope and sequence.
Check with textbook publishers for their recommended scope and sequences.
Refer to state standards. Do a Google search for "'your state' state standards." For example: "Illinois State Standards."
If you prefer to use unit studies and/or do multi-level teaching, you will enjoy using The Checklist as a scope and sequence.
For high School students, check with colleges in which your student hopes to enroll and find out what course requirements they have for admission.
Select course based on your child's interests, abilities, and goals. These can be core subjects (such as math, history, science) or electives.
After you have planned what you want to teach this year, use these resources to help you locate the curriculum and learning resources that will work best for your student:
The Checklist Assistant - Use The Checklist Assistant to locate textbooks and learning resources specific to a topic, time period, geographic location or age level.
The Checklist - If you like to mix and match curriculum and/or create your own unit studies and lesson plans, you'll love The Checklist. Use The Checklist to keep track of the subjects and topics your child has already studied and plan your next unit study or school year. It's an assessment tool, planning guide and record keeper, all in one!
Read Cindy's Blog for Curriculum reviews and teaching tips.
Follow the How to Homeschool Facebook Page for up-to-the minute tips and teaching resources.