Many homeschool parents start with the question, “What’s the best homeschool curriculum?” A more productive question is, “What homeschool curriculum is the best fit?

Choosing the best homeschool curriculum is important to new and prospective homeschooling parents, as well as those who want to improve homeschooling or adjust to a new phase, such as kids starting high school.

In order to find the homeschool curriculum that is the best fit for your family, consider

Your children
Your self
Your situation
You’ll want to choose a homeschool curriculum that addresses all three. This guide will help you evaluate these considerations, as well as how to determine if a homeschool curriculum fits for your unique needs.

Choosing a Curriculum with Your Children in Mind
Children come in different ages, stages, levels of development, learning preferences, personality types, and activity levels, and they have different interests.

For example, if you have young children, you may wonder what curriculum you should use for your 4 (or 5 or 6) year old. Or you may be interested in what homeschool curriculum to use for an active, outdoorsy child. Or you may need a homeschool math curriculum for a struggling student.

Learning styles. Some children learn more by creating and making things; others through reading or talking to people. When you choose your homeschool curriculum, take these preferences into consideration by exploring learning styles like visual learning, auditory learning, and kinesthetic learning. You may also need to consider whether your child is a right-brain learner when choosing curriculum.

Interest-led learning. If your child has a strong interest or does not respond well to typical school work, you may want to try interest-led learning. You can choose resources that support the interest, and that might not include choosing a formal homeschool curriculum.

Grade levels. You may want to know what homeschoolers think about how a child’s grade level affects curriculum choice, and when grade level may matter most. Homeschooled kids frequently learn at different grade levels for different subjects, and there is more freedom to help them at the level where they are rather than the level they should be.

Post-graduation plans. Your high schooler might be college bound or headed toward a vocation or entrepreneurship. Mary Ann’s posts detailing her daughter’s 10th and 11th grade plans can give you a look at what one college-bound homeschooler’s course load looks like: Homeschool High School: Our 10th Grade Plan and Homeschool High School: Our 11th Grade Plan. You might even be just getting started with homeschooling a high schooler—there’s bad news and good news!

If you have a struggling high schooler who is currently in public school, you might want to look at the ideas for choosing a homeschool curriculum for a potential dropout.

Choosing a Curriculum with Yourself in Mind
How much time do you have? Some people hope to outsource all or part of their children’s learning because of time limitations, parental health issues, or other factors.

Do you plan to homeschool and work outside the home?
Will you be able to provide first-hand assistance to your children?
Have you thought about a philosophy of education, or are you content to let that develop or just not worry about it?
Are you oriented toward doing hands-on things?
Are you highly interested in checking off lists for requirements?
Do you prefer more open-ended holistic experiences for yourself and your children?
Do you have the ability to help your child learn through the high school years?
Are you open to personal growth and change?

Choosing a Curriculum with Your Situation in Mind
Families in all types of situations successfully homeschool, but success depends on recognizing and working with your circumstances. Consider what your situation will be when you are homeschooling as you choose your curriculum:

You may have always wanted to homeschool, and your children have never been to school.
You may be homeschooling to solve a particular problem at school. In fact, you might even be an accidental homeschooler, who never intended to homeschool, or a short-term homeschooler, who plans to return children to school after a stint of homeschooling.
You may be homeschooling to accommodate a child who has been labeled as having ADD/ADHD, or because your child is considered behind or ahead by public education standards.
You may be interested in homeschooling your large family while working.
You may have limitations of time, money, technology, or your partner’s expectations.
You may be attempting to meet requirements or help your child prepare for future educational or career possibilities.

All of these situations play into your choice of curriculum (or choice to not use curriculum).

If money is in short supply, look at the ways people homeschool on a budget, including choosing free homeschool curriculum.

Many people are also concerned about whether homeschooling leads to a diploma.

Your child may be attending a co-op, taking homeschool classes, or attending a university model school, so you might only need to choose curriculum for specific subjects.

You might even explore why some parents use more than one homeschool curriculum for the same subject.

You can also learn what other homeschoolers think of curriculum by browsing TheHomeSchoolMom’s homeschool curriculum reviews, which are arranged by subject and title. Parents have written these curriculum reviews based on their own experiences—they share the pros/cons, grades used, and what they think of the curriculum—with specific homeschool curricula for language arts, math, science, social studies, art, history, typing, technology and more.

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