How Do You Choose Curriculum?
For homeschool families, the curriculum choice is a tough one. It usually involves hours of time looking at a computer screen: looking at reviews, asking for reviews, and going to websites to preview as much as possible. There is also time spent talking to friends which usually opens up another option that needs to be explored!
I am actually in the midst of choosing our science curriculum for next school year. It has been a little frustrating. I just want the right curriculum to fall into my lap! But, it doesn’t.
How do I make it through the curriculum abyss? The neverending tunnel?
I am going to write a series of blog posts based on these tips to help us all in making those choices more quickly and effectively:
Focus on Necessary
Probably the most common mistake of curriculum searchers is putting too many things on the table. Only look at what is necessary. Focus first on the three basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic.
Question to Ask: Is this curriculum necessary?
Consider the Cost
Can you afford the curriculum? I know. It is a bummer when you can’t afford it. It is probably the worst though when it is just over the edge of what you wanted to pay. You start to battle with: “Should I?” or “What else could I give up to make this happen?”
Question to Ask: Will this curriculum take too much of my money?
Sometimes I spend so much time trying to find the most cost effective materials, that I forget to regard my time and the time that a curriculum will require to implement. We need to be aware of our capabilities and what will take us away from time with more important things.
Question to Ask: Will this curriculum take up too much of my time?
Evaluate Your Team
When I mention “team,” I am talking about the teacher, the students, and the others involved in the educational process. Look to see what tools are available in the curriculum to help “coach” your student.
Question to Ask: Does this curriculum fit our family’s needs?
Remember Your Why
The foundational piece of knowing your Why is very important in that final selection of curriculum. It is not necessary if it doesn’t help you achieve your purposes.
Question to Ask: Does this curriculum help us achieve our purposes for homeschooling?
Make a Solid Decision
I find that when I make a “let’s try it out” kind of decision, then the choice is almost always destined to fail. Then, I feel bad because I feel like I didn’t make the right choice.
If I make a “this is what we are going to do” kind of decision, then I almost always find a way to make it work and adjust it as needed. Sometimes it may not work, but I know I have given it the best shot! That’s a failure I can learn from!
Question to Ask: Can I commit to this curriculum for at least one year?
With these tips, we should be able to make choices and not be paralyzed or overwhelmed.
Let’s Chat: What are tips you would share for choosing curriculum? Do any of the tips above help you finalize some of your decisions? Click here to share your thoughts.Make sure you get my email updates to be notified of the blog posts as they are released in this series! I will come back here to provide links as well. Like this post? Please share with your friends using the buttons below, and click here to receive my blog updates via email. When you sign up for email updates, you get a free copy of my Know Your Why ebook!
Disclosure: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.