Homeschool Curriculum Basics

Choosing a homeschool curriculum can be overwhelming. With so many options available, how do you know which one is right for your child?

Of course, the first thing I'm going to suggest is asking other homeschool moms which curriculum works for them. I'm sure they'll also be happy to give you the pros and cons of any they have used in the past.

After getting some first hand information, you can do some researching on your own.

Homeschool Book Distributors

If you want to get a lot of information about many different publishers, then a book distributor is for you. For each homeschool curriculum you can compare subjects, prices, and in many cases, parent reviews.

Even though descriptions of each subject are provided, I like to read the reviews.

Sometimes a parent that has just been through the course with their child can point out that one thing that may help you decide whether or not to try it.

Don't think you always need to buy the full curriculum set for each subject. You can do as I do - pick and choose your favorite publishers to create your own curriculum design.

That's the great thing about homeschooling. You're free to do what works best for your family.

And if you're not happy with this year's design, try something different next time. (That trial and error thing again!)

Here are a few resources I think you'll like.

Pay a small yearly membership and get deals on your homeschool curriculum. They offer pre-K through college resources. Be sure to read the consumer reviews, when available.

Occasionally Christianbook will advertise sales in addition to their low prices. Watch for the free shipping offers on the web site, or in the latest mail-out catalog.

Rainbow Resource Center

If you're looking for a new english curriculum, you'll find it divided into grammar, vocabulary, writing, etc. Each of these categories will have each product, the age/grade it was designed for, the detailed description, supplemental materials, and the price. I find it to be a very helpful resource.

Learning Things: The Education Store

A large selection of popular books and materials are available for your home school and customer reviews are posted to help you decide which curriculum to purchase. You'll find best-selling publishers such as Apologia, Alpha Omega, Saxon, Switched On Schoolhouse, Shurley English, and many more. Learning Things also offers a selection of reasonably priced college courses.

Homeschool Curriculum Publishers

You can also find your homeschool curriculum through the publishers' web sites. Read the detailed summaries they provide with each course. Sometimes they even show the table of contents and a sample page on their web site for you to scan. Remember to read the parent reviews.

Some offer complete grade kits. One stop shopping!

Or you may want to research the programs and pick a different subject from each publisher. In that case, check out the Homeschooling Curriculum Guides.

Homeschool Conventions

As a new homeschooler, it would be a good idea to attend a homeschool convention. There are many workshops available for you to attend.

Some of these workshops deal with specific issues that are important to homeschooling families. If you decide to attend any of these, check out the event schedule before you go so you can plan your day around them.

Or you may attend vendor workshops - where vendors present their products to prospective buyers and answer questions.

The vendor hall is where the vendors display their curriculum and other related products. This is another opportunity to get your hands on materials that might interest you.

Although there is the initial cost of attending a convention and the crowds of excited homeschoolers may be a bit overwhelming to some, the benefits may be worth it to you.

If you have already narrowed down your curriculum choices, this is your chance to compare products.

And if you decide to make a purchase, you may even get a discount or free shipping, depending on the vendor.

Book Stores

Your local book stores may also be a source of text books and other homeschool supplies. If you do a lot of shopping at a particular store, ask them if they offer a home educator's discount.

Even if they don't, you can pay a yearly fee to get a regular discount card for all of your purchases.

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