One of our readers recently asked how one goes about selecting the various components for an eclectic curriculum, stating how difficult a time she’d had selecting a single source for a complete, packaged curriculum.
First, let me state that there is nothing wrong with using pre-packaged curriculum. Each family’s goal, with regards to homeschool curriculum, should be to find what works for your family, whether it be a complete package or an eclectic mix.
That being said, it actually seems to me to be much easier to select an eclectic mix than finding an entire curriculum line from a single supplier that meets my family’s needs. And, that very well maybe just just me, since I rarely use anything exactly as it’s intended.
For me, selecting our curriculum was a bit of trial and error at first, which is one reason I like to buy used as much as possible. Some ways to cut down on the trial and error, however, and to find the best fit for your family are:
Ask! Ask other homeschooling families what they use or have used. Ask them what they like and don’t like about what they’re currently using and about what they may have discarded. The very thing that one family may have disliked about one curriculum choice may be the thing that makes it a good fit for your family.
Get Hands-on. Visit curriculum fairs, used book sales, a local homeschool supply store (if you’re fortunate enough to have one) and your homeschool friends. Most homeschooling families will be happy to let you take a look at their curriculum.
Utilize Your Library. Many libraries have a variety of homeschool curriculum that you can check out so that you can, well, check it out. Even if your library doesn’t offer standard curriculum, there are shelves full of reading, history, math and science.
Read Reviews. An excellent source for learning more about your potential curriculum choices is Homeschool Review. You can find almost any curriculum listed and reviews are written by homeschooling families who have used the curriculum.
Consider Learning Styles. Consider your children’s learning styles — and your teaching style — before buying curriculum. Some kids thrive on workbooks, while others need to be more hands-on in their approach.
Whether using a complete curriculum or mixing and matching, the best curriculum is the one that meets your family’s individual tastes and style.
Kris is the sweet tea drinking, classically eclectic, slightly Charlotte Mason, homeschooling mom to her three Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.
To read more tips, tricks, and ideas from others around the blogosphere, check out Works for Me Wednesday at Rocks in my Dryer.
photo by tiffanywashko
Join 25,000+ Other Awesome People
Subscribe to the Real Life at Home weekly newsletter to get our latest content, exclusive free printables, learning activities, and ideas for celebrating with your kids all year