If you are looking for homeschool curriculum, read on.
There’s a lot to think about when you are considering the leap to homeschooling your child and need to consider homeschool curriculum. Want to make the homeschooling decision and your life so much easier?
Of course, right!?
What if finding/deciding on homeschooling curriculum was as straightforward and simple as getting grab and go lunch? All your options, laid out in front of you, right there.
Like a lunch formula: (1) Select Homeschool Package. (2) Pay/Go. (3) “Hello world, I’m homeschooling my kid now.”
Just like that.
No stress. No agonizing over curriculum or piecing together a melange of resources.
THE GOOD NEWS, THE
BAD Sort of Exciting NEWS
The good news is that YES, you can buy pre-organized, bundled homeschool curriculum packages that take a lot of the planning and guess work out of setting up your homeschool. If you’re looking for convenience and a quick way to check off planning stress, packaged homeschool curriculum can be a great option.
Starting your homeschool with packaged homeschool curriculum is often useful for parents while they get their homeschooling bearings, figure out how to homeschool or how a homeschooling lifestyle works, and what works/doesn’t work for their children.
bad sort of exciting news, however, is that many people discover that as they navigate the homeschool adventure, pre-bundled homeschool curriculum works well in theory, but doesn’t always work for their child or their family, for a multitude of reasons.
Packaged Curriculum Isn’t Always Perfect, But It’s Often a Perfect Start
Packaged curriculum can get expensive, especially when you have more than one child to homeschool and the material or curriculum support can’t be reused (consumables) or passed down like old hand-me-downs. It also sometimes has that one-size-fits all vibe, strict organization, or teacher support deadlines, which can become a bit too much at times, especially when a child or parent wants lifestyle flexibility or finds issues with the approach or assignments.
There are also so many online homeschools or companies offering packaged curriculum that it can be difficult to choose curriculum. What online program to trust? How to know what’s best? Decisions, decisions. So….it can feel like you’re back in that what should I do?? spiral.
Also, there are considerations to weigh.
Like personal considerations. Do you want curriculum that mirrors that found in public school, like a common core approach? Do you want secular (non-religious) curriculum? Do you want a natural, laid-back, experiential curriculum? Do you want curriculum based on classical education, filled with rich literature?
And then there are your practical plans to consider. For example, if you are trying to integrate more travel or flexibility into your lifestyle and/or are a roadschooling or worldschooling (or coffeeshopschooling family and all of the above, like us!), you might want curriculum that is extremely portable and versatile.
For example, my kids LOVE Saxon Math Homeschool curriculum, but THOSE BOOKS are monstrous! We’ve lugged them on flights, stuffed them in overhead bins, paid extra to check baggage…. If there is anything in the world that gives me pause about traveling with kids, it’s finding a way to truck around heavy books/ curriculum.
Pick Wisely, But Don’t Let Yourself Get Stuck Into Indecision By the Options
Read blogs like this one (thank you so much for reading my blog), read reviews, see what other bloggers have to say, join Facebook, Slack, or other homeschooling channels to discuss curriculum and pick wisely. But don’t allow yourself to get so stuck or overwhelmed by all of the options that you can’t decide.
Yes, there are many options out there, but the fact that you are wanting to homeschool and are now taking the time to research your options suggests that you care about what what’s best for your child.
If you care and take a flexible approach to homeschooling, and are willing to recognize, accept, and make adjustments when curriculum does or doesn’t work, it’s all likely going to work out just fine regardless of the curriculum you choose. And, there’s always next year.
And, you can always ditch your curriculum, get new books or take your homeschool in a completely different direction at anytime. Remember that time, when I told how I started homeschooling by trying to re-create school at home and was miserable…and then I discovered unschooling bliss???
Free Packaged Curriculum
Over the years, I’ve heard or read people complain that they couldn’t homeschool or unschool because curriculum is expensive. Ummmm….that’s completely untrue.
Homeschooling is sort of like buying a car. You can buy a brand new, high end fancy car with every package, you can buy a used one and save a lot of cash, you can trade in stuff that you no longer need for one, or maybe if you’re lucky, a relative or friend might say, hey, take my old car. And guess what? Sometimes the best car you’ll ever own is the cheapest one or the one someone gave you. Regardless of price, if you’re determined enough, the car can likely get you where you want to go.
Well, truth is… there is so much FREE homeschooling material, curriculum, resources, plans, organizers, and goodies online, including free online courses offered by Ivy League Universities that it is possible to have fancy, schmancy, quality homeschooling curriculum for free or really cheap without buying material.
What’s really cool about this is that most of these online resources allow you to homeschool from anywhere you have an internet connection! Hello, roadschooling! Hello, worldschooling!
Make Your Own Curriculum
Piecing together curriculum that fits your child can take work, but it can be tons of fun (says, me, the non-planner) once you get the hang of homeschooling and really know how your child learns best and what s/he struggles with or loves.
For example, I have one child who strongly prefers working with paper and learning from materials physically in hand. Paper, books, notebooks, pencils, pens, ‘ol fashioned rulers. I have another child who only likes to learn online. (No books to carry on planes, ohhhh, dear child of mine, thank you!!).
I have two children who loved online Teaching Textbooks for math in the early years, but later fell in love with Saxon math PAPER books.
Making your own curriculum is fun because it’s personalized, tailored, and well suited for your child. No company, pre-packaged bundled curriculum, or school can put together curriculum that is completely individualized like you can. But, like I said earlier, this isn’t always the easiest or go-to approach for new homeschoolers. The idea of doing this in the first year when I had no clue what I was doing would have completely freaked me out.
The List: Online Homeschools and Curriculum
So, without further ado, here are some of those online homeschools or companies offering packaged curriculum (or curricula 😉 ) that can make setting up your homeschool a wild success or give you the flexibility to take your homeschool anywhere.
- Oak Meadow. For a number of years, I used Oak Meadow materials to guide my homeschool. If you’re looking for experiential, nature-focused, and waldorf-inspired materials, look no further. Teacher support options. Diploma option. Plus, Oak Meadow is based in a State that has my heart. You can sometimes find used materials on Amazon or Ebay.
- Outschool. Any class or subject you can imagine, you’ll probably find here. A semester long French course for your teen. Check. A Minecraft math class. Yep. A cell biology course for your middleschooler. Check, check.
- Clonlara School. Offers programs and diplomas for homeschoolers.
- Khan Academy. Free, top-quality online courses.
- edX. Offers free online courses from 140+ institutions. Pre-algebra. No problem. Geometry for your high schooler. No excuses!
- Easy Peasy All-in-One Online Homeschool. Comprehensive and free. Christian based, but you can modify or skip the religious units if you prefer.
- Ambleside Online. Free Charlotte Mason based curriculum.
Check out this recent post with a bunch of Free online Homeschooling resources.
If I’ve missed any awesome online homeschool curriculum or online homeschool packaged curriculum, please drop a line in the comments.
*As always, this post may contain affiliate marketing links to products I recommend or think would be useful for homeschooling families to know about. Sometimes I make a small commission off these links. That’s how I can keep writing this blog. Thank you so much for your readership. Homeschool on, my friends.