Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Homeschool Essentials - Curriculum - Make it Or Break it

This week the Schoolhouse Review Crew is blog hopping through Homeschool Essentials be sure and check out our wide variety of essentials per each family!

Yesterday I explained how Routine Matters! If you missed that please go back and read it here.

Today we are going to talk a little about Curriculum and how it will make you or break you and your children!

Years ago when I started homeschooling I didn't know anything about anything - really! I've learned so much so fast it really amazes me. 

When I started out homeschooling a Kinder at the spur of the moment because we had so many issues for 3 weeks in public school and brought him home, I honestly was just lost. I was scared, how was I going to teach him anything? Luckily my Aunt knew someone who homeschooled and she told me about Alpha Omega. At the time I honestly thought they were the ONLY choice. I was content with the program UNTIL 2 years later exploring and finding HUGE amounts of products to homeschool with! 

Trouble started then. and. there.

The first problem was there was too much too choose from! 

The second problem was did it teach to MY child?

Fast forward 7 years to this very date and let me explain to you a few tips I've learned about picking curriculum and how it will totally and most defiantly affect your homeschool day and the way you teach.

You don't have to use what everyone else is using. Trust me, we all blog about fun things we are doing but that's just because the majority of bloggers keep a blog for their scrapbook. Some of us blog about neat resources because we are blessed to be on the Schoolhouse Review Crew and get to try items out for free however some of those aren't even great fits for our families.

You're going to have to try things to see if you and your child like them. You can't really just take advice on something like this, you have to buckle up and go for it. Only through experience will you determine the best for you and your children.

You might love something that caters to you great in teaching mode but your child really might hate it and sad to say but we are after all teaching our children so it would have to go... I can't tell you how many times I have loved some teaching materials but it just really never clicked with my kiddos. Like I said before I'm not teaching myself (although I learn a ton in teaching he kids) so if it isn't going to help my babies - It goes.

You will waste money on books, curriculum and extras that you will never see again. I know you didn't really want me to say that but hey it's the simple fact of homeschooling. You're going to buy books, unit studies, games, etc that you even might love and use but the next family you try to sale it to might not be so eager and understand.

Something that works for your oldest might not work for your middle child. No two children are alike when it comes to learning, you are going to really have to study your children to understand how best to teach and apply concepts to them. 

However don't get discouraged! I used to think if I was going to use Language from Bob Jones everything I used had to come from Bob Jones, I guess I never really give it a thought that - duh - You don't have to buy everything from ONE place!

After I had that huge amazing freeing thought it totally changed my homeschool. Actually my husband would say it created a monster!

It honestly was one of the most freeing feelings in the world to me knowing that I could educate my children using different publishers. It meant that I could cater to different learning speeds, different approaches, different loves of subjects and all and still not be the horrible out of touch mother that I thought I would be with jumping the ship and going so crazy to buy from so many different companies!!!!

With that said - Be free in your homeschooling.

What you teach with will totally affect your day.

Just for fun since I went on about how many different publishers we use here is my list of normal for us:

Math U See
Growing with Grammar
All About Spelling
Memoria Press
Mystery of History
Christian Kids Explore
Handwriting Without Tears

After much trial and error these are our awesome and loved publishers!

Check out my friends today and see what they have for you! 

Marcy @ Ben and Me

Lisa @ Golden Grasses

Tess @ Circling Through This Life

Victoria @ Homemaking With Heart

Joelle @ Homeschooling For His Glory

Deanna @ His Treasure Seekers

Melissa @ Grace Christian Homeschool

Beth @ Ozark Ramblings

Rebecca @ Raventhreads

Swing by the Schoolhouse Review Blog too!
Join me tomorrow for Supplies - Are you prepared?



  1. I remember starting out, thinking "Wow, there's so much, where do I start," and now I know about even more since joining the Crew! We've had our share of duds, too. The standout is Five in a Row. Everyone told me how wonderful it is, and I totally agree. The problem is my visual, hands-on, auditory processing challenged kiddo didn't...wow, that one was a disaster! LOL Live and learn, right?

  2. I too have been sucked into the curriculum circle. I have found that the simple things work wonders for us. We are loving it and sticking to it!


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