Finding the Ideal Homeschool Curriculum

One of the most important duties you will experience in your life is to be a mother or father. You supply your children loving care and support for all of their needs: physical, emotional and spiritual. You are the one who gives them with affection, help, care and concern. You remedy their ouchies, you read them books and chase away creepy monsters each and every night that always seem to hide in closets or under their beds. You engage them in playtime, tell them stories, and if you are like a lot of parents, you prepare them and then send your children to school.

Hang on a minute! You have made the amazing, wonderful, and often times scary decision to homeschool . That means that you're the teacher; you've opted to not hand off that responsibility to someone else. But that means you have to figure out what to teach them. A lot of homeschool parents are always searching for the ideal homeschool course of study. But just what is a home school course of study? It is organized "classes" or subjects devised by an outside company. They are generally instruction manuals, quizzes, tests, workbooks, and study material for you and your child. It is possible to homeschool without using a pre-made curriculum, but due to the great amount of work, time and effort, and preparations that it would take; most homeschooling parents decide to use a professionally prepared educational program.

Regardless if you are a rookie in home schooling or you're an experienced veteran, parents are almost always looking for the best home school curriculum. During your journey, you will discover programs you love, programs of studies you dislike, and curricula that are unimpressive. The idea is to decide upon what you are looking for. In this way you can better evaluate if it is right for you and your family. There are 5 important steps in discovering the best homeschool course of study.

1. Pre-determine what you and your kids like

This is the essential step to discovering the most suitable home school course of study. You need to know what inspires you, what motivates your youngsters and what doesn't. For example, my child DETESTS boring worksheets. He loves arithmetic, but despises monochromatic worksheets. Once I realized this, I could look for the best home school curriculum for him in math. It already existed. It is a math curriculum that has lots of colors and even some drawings. It is virtually the same tasks and the same problems, but once I recognized what motivates him and what doesn't; I could find the best curriculum for him.

2. What courses do you wish to teach?

Piece of cake, right? But get ready to be overwhelmed when you get your first home school catalog! If you are anything like me, you will get lost in all the wonderful stuff you can buy to aid you teach your kids. There's all sorts of languages: Latin, Japanese, French, plus things like arithmetic, science, reading, history, ancient civilizations, dictionary skills, spelling, and the list goes on forever. It goes without saying that you'd love to be in a position to teach each and every one of those subjects. That's normal. But you have to shrink the list and figure out what subjects you'd love to teach. Focusing in on a precise list of subjects will help you find the best home school curriculum.

3. Do you want a educational program with a religious point of view or a secular perspective?

Just about every subject that you can show your child can be taught from mainly a religious or a worldly context. There are some excellent Christ centered companies out there. It is very important to decide what you are looking for beforehand. If you want only a religious program of studies, you can narrow your research and ignore all the companies who do not present their curriculum in this manner. And if you want more of a secular view you can do the same. This is a very important phase to identifying the best home school program of studies.

4. Insist upon a good return policy

If you think about it, you can see that you need to be able to return the material. Keep in mind that most of the time you do not have the books in your hand when you pick them. You are essentially reading a promotional pitch for each of the pieces being offered in that brochure. They all seem wonderful. But please realize, that not all of them are as wonderful as they are made out to be. So look for a firm that will let you return materials if they are not what you had in mind. Educational materials are not inexpensive. It is really not inexpensive if you purchase something you don't like, and you can not return it. There are firms that will let you return materials within a particular time frame. I would strongly recommend them over all of the others.

All of these steps are very important for choosing the optimal homeschool curriculum. But above all I would recommend step 5.

5. Pray (or meditate) about it

If you're religious, ask God for direction and guidance. While you're at it, ask for advice from other homeschooling parents. Spend time contemplating the options that you have to make. If you're not religious, take the time to ponder your options. Meditate on what you've discovered in your "explorations", so that you will be able to make the best possible conclusion before making the purchases. Misguided choices in choosing a curriculum can and will devour precious time, energy and resources. Take the time to make the best choices.

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