Welcome back to Putting Handles on Home Schooling!
Oh, boy! Folks, there are sooooooo many choices these days. We have it so easy in comparison to the generation of homeschoolers that came before us. We have Google! Well, that and the fact that there are hundreds of curriculum publishers, many of them specifically for homeschooling.
I know the search for curriculum can be overwhelming. Because of that, I recommend that your first purchase be 101 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum, by Cathy Duffy. She does an excellent job of walking through the best curricula for various ages, stages, subjects, learning types, and teaching types.
To discern the best learning style for your child, read through her examples of Perfect Paula, Wiggly Willy, Competent Carl, or Sociable Sue. Once you determine the learning style that best suits your child/children, you can read through Cathy’s descriptions of various curricula and figure out which one would likely work for your family.
Take your time. Find what you think would work best for your student AND for you.
One thing I really like about this book is that she also delves into the Teacher Preparation Time and Teacher Instruction Time. This is where I made one of my first mistakes when it came to home schooling. I found a curriculum that I fell in love with. The unit studies sounded so awesome, so I bought it. And then I discovered, uhhh…yeah, not so much. I loved the IDEA of it. I was not so much in love with the coordinating and planning of it. I just wanted to teach. It was then that I learned I need a curriculum that I can pull it out of the box and use. There was nothing wrong with this curriculum. It just didn’t fit my style. If I had read this book before my purchase, I could have saved a couple hundred dollars.
For those of you that would like to hit the ground running, I’ll direct you to two free curriculum websites. I’ve read over both of these, and friends who have used them have nothing but good things to say. With that I offer you, AmblesideOnline and Easy Peasy All-in-One. Both of these are free, and free is good!