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How to Choose New Homeschool Curriculum without Stressing Out


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Written by Alicia Hutchinson of Learning Well Community.

Summer is coming which means one thing…homeschool planning! It’s fun stuff, but I know many of you are stressing about it already.

How do you choose new homeschool curriculum without stressing out? This will be my 11th summer of homeschool planning and there are a few things I’ve learned along the way. These are the simple steps I take when choosing new curriculum each year.

No stressing out allowed! {grin}

How to Choose New Homeschool Curriculum without Stressing Out

Choose new homeschool curriculum without stressing out

Some of us homeschool mamas love choosing new stuff for the upcoming school year. But some of us are afraid of making the wrong decision, choosing the wrong thing, and wasting money on things we won’t use.

I have felt both of these emotions. I promise that it does get easier as you homeschool more and more. At this point, we don’t really need all that much each year. But, in the first five years or so, I would receive huge boxes of beautiful books. I don’t regret that, as they were mostly great additions to our library, but we don’t need nearly the quantity we did in the beginning.

Here’s my step-by-step process for choosing curriculum without stressing out.

choosing homeschool curriculum

1. Start with an evaluation.

Before you go crazy circling things in the catalog or overhauling your whole homeschool, start with an evaluation of the curriculum you’re currently using. Make a list of all the subjects and the resources that go with that subject. Make notes of what did or did not work for you.

You might have struggled through a certain resource and are totally done with it. But you may want to hang onto it for a little while. It might work brilliantly for another child you have coming up.

On your list, make notes of the subjects where you definitely have to find something new. You might see you only need to purchase new resources for one or two subjects. It’s a lot easier to choose new homeschool curriculum with a list like this in place first.

2. Shop your shelves first.

Go through your shelves to see what you already own. A lot of times, I will buy an item and it won’t work for us right then. Maybe it’s too advanced for my kids or just not their taste of learning style. But later, it will work perfectly with where we are at that point or with a different child.

Sometimes curriculum that I’ve shelved for awhile saves me a bunch of moola because I don’t have to buy anything new.

So before you start buying, see what you have on your shelves first. Look it over with fresh eyes. It might just work for you now!

3. Realize that your needs will change from year to year.

After evaluating and shopping your shelves, you might see that your needs are starting to change. This is normal as your family grows and changes. Be open to trying new resources while sticking with the ones that are already working well.

In our family, we’ve had to change from being really project-orientated to not-so-project-y because my kids started to grow out of enjoying that type of learning. I love teaching my kids with projects, but as they have gotten older and life has gotten busier with “big kid” activities, it just doesn’t feel as feasible to fit in those projects.

You might have to make some adjustments like this in your family too. Rolling with the changes helps make your curriculum shopping much easier!

choosing homeschool curriculum

4. Hold your favorites loosely.

It’s surprising to me, after using a favorite curriculum for many years, how it will just not work after a certain amount of time. I’ve learned to hold our family favorite’s loosely because they can change!

The learn-to-read curriculum that worked great for your oldest child might not work at all for a younger child. Or something you love, may not work at all for your kids. Hold those favorites loosely. They might change and you can’t force something to work that just doesn’t.

Basically, be open to change in choosing new homeschool curriculum. Change is the only constant in life!

choosing homeschool curriculum

Our Family’s Favorites

That being said, I would love to share our current family favorites. Following are some things that are working great for us right now. The list might be different next year, but for now, we are loving them!

How to Choose New Homeschool Curriculum without Stressing Out

I hope this is helpful as you choose new homeschool curriculum this summer. Here’s a quick recap before you go:

  1. Start with an evaluation of your just-finished school year – what’s working and what isn’t?
  2. Shop your shelves before you start buying – you might already own something awesome!
  3. Choose new homeschool curriculum with the current needs of your family in mind. They might have changed!
  4. Hold your favorites loosely. What has worked in the past might not work anymore.

Have fun getting ready for your new school year!

What are some of your best tips for choosing curriculum without stressing?

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