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All the homeschool curriculum choices out there are overwhelming, right? But you don’t have to be overwhelmed and I am here to help you.
And is a great thing to have so many homeschool curriculum choices available!
One of my favorite things about homeschooling is, you guessed it, all of the options available to me. It’s such a blessing to be able to find the thing that works best for my child. Even with more than one child, I can choose something especially for her.
I love that homeschooling is a personalized education. Don’t you?
But it can get a little overwhelming with all of the choices you have. And it can easily blow your budget.
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Here are ten easy ways to avoid homeschool curriculum choices overwhelm.
1. Develop a mission statement for your homeschool.
This is the first thing I teach my students to do on 5 Days to Your Best Homeschool Years course and on Your Homeschool Blueprint ebook and mini-course. Having a blueprint layout and a mission statement is the best way to build a strong foundation for your homeschool.
2. Collect catalogs and bookmark sites that you find yourself visiting again and again.
This can help you get clear on the things that appeal to you naturally. Create a basket or a binder with all the information for the curriculum you have been interested in. On your computer, create a bookmark folder to save all the websites containing the information you need to make your homeschool curriculum choices.
If you know in advance what you believe and don’t believe about education, it makes the decision-making process for curriculum a lot easier. Is worldview important to you? Do you place a high importance on academics? What kind of learner is your child? Making a quick list of non-negotiables will get you started.
What to know how to customize the right curriculum for your family? Here is how. But keep reading this post until the end, before you move on to the next. Don’t worry, the link will still be here.
3. Set a budget.
What can you spend? This is crucial. You have to be able to prioritize the dollars you have to use towards curriculum. If you are homeschooling on a tiny budget, follow my advice here.
4. Borrow and try before you buy.
Before you buy a book or spend money on curriculum you don’t absolutely love, check out the library, or ask around to see if any of the homeschool moms in your community would be willing to let you borrow it. Several times I got excited about curriculum that my kids didn’t care for when we tried. And also, many times I didn’t think a curriculum was a good fit for us and was surprised when we tried it. Take it for a test drive! 😉
5. Ask your kids what interests them.
Granted, they may not jump up and down at the idea of grammar or math, but kids can be pretty insightful. You can find delight directed options and tackle rabbit trails adding unit studies and lapbooks to your homeschool. This works particularly well when choosing a history or a science curriculum. Last year my kids were all about American History, this year, they already asked to do Ancient Civilizations again.
6. Share your own interests with your spouse.
If you hem and haw back and forth or have a hard time choosing, a non-partisan spouse can help you see things new. Or just be the one to make the final call. This is a great way to involve your spouse in your homeschool. They will appreciate you asking their opinion and might surprisingly give you a better perspective.
7. Ask your friends on social media.
Be careful with this one! You can get easily overwhelmed by the response. Our Facebook group Blessed Homeschool Moms is a perfect place to do this. But, if you notice a trend (say everyone just loves Sonlight for third grade – hint: Me! LOL), it might be worth investigating. Which totally is!
But I know that even my perfect homeschool curriculum does not work for everyone. Keep in mind that each family is unique and our kids are not cookies cutters. Go back to the post I advised you to read at the beginning on how to customize homeschool curriculum FOR YOUR FAMILY so you can make the right choice.
8. Make a decision not to decide.
That’s right, just give yourself a break. Close all the tabs open to your favorite curriculum spots. Put away the catalogs. Sit on your hands! Whatever it takes, just wait. Think about it for a bit. If it is bringing you to overwhelm and makes you anxious, wait a bit. Perhaps talk to someone that can navigate through this process with you when you are ready to.
9. Keep everyone on the same page.
While it’s great to be able to personalize if it overwhelms you find a way to use the same material as much as possible across many children. In fact, teaching multiple children several subjects at once is the way to go and it saves you a lot in curriculum, time, and sanity.
One of the reasons I’ve been using Sonlight Curriculum for the past 6 years is that I can teach my kids together and 80% of their curriculum is reusable.
10. Don’t stress about it!
Pray about it. Yes, cast your cares on the Lord. Ask for His guidance even when it comes to homeschool curriculum choices, that too matters to Him. Know that whatever you choose, if it doesn’t work for your family, you are not stuck with it. There are tons of Facebook groups where you can sell or swap homeschool curriculum. But try not to get the shiny object syndrome and feel the need to hop around curriculums all year long.
Teach your kids independence and responsibility at easy!
Ana is the unhurried homeschool mom of 3, wife, health coach, social media and online marketing strategist, and blogger. She loves to encourage, inspire and empower moms to go from stressed to blessed by providing them with the tips, strategies, and resources they need to succeed. Ana is the founder of They Call Me Blessed and the creator of 5 Days to Your Best Homeschool Years, Grow Your Blog Partying in 30 Days, and the Beyond Blessed Life Planners. She leads a vibrant online community for moms on Facebook and you can connect with her at www.facebook.com/theycallmeblessedblog.