Monday, March 5, 2012

The Great Curriculum Search

It's that time of year again.  That time of year that home school teachers either love or dread.  Personally, I dread it.  It is time to start looking for next year's curriculum.  I always put a lot of thought into picking curriculum and the process of picking a curriculum always seems to start the moment you unpack the books you bought for this year.  I find myself constantly looking through our books looking for the things I like and the things I don't like about the books we are using.  For the first few years of Buddy Bear's school I bought complete curriculum packages from a home school company and they worked okay.  The package had books that I did like and ones that I really didn't care for.  It seemed that each year I was changing something....the first year the history was too deep for us, I found myself editing a lot of lessons because they wanted me to give more (sometimes gory) details than my first grader was ready for.  Second grade had me editing health, a lot.  I couldn't believe exactly what they wanted me to teach my second grader, in my opinion a second grader has no business knowing that much detail.  This year for third grade, the company I had been using completely switched everything in the curriculum series we had been using and I didn't like the package they offered, so I created my own.  I stayed with our math and penmanship series.  I switched reading series and that failed so after about 2 months of daily battles, I went to the nearest teaching store and bought new books for our reading series and language arts and Buddy hasn't really complained since then.  We tried new science and history books this year by a publisher I had used for other subjects and Buddy seems to like them.  We stuck with the same company for health, but I definitely spend some time reading the lessons ahead of time to make sure they are appropriate.  Honestly picking a curriculum is one of the hardest parts of home school and sometimes it is overwhelming because knowing if you picked the right one tends to be a process of trial and error (at least it has been for me).  So as the spring is blooming, it is time to search for a curriculum for 4th grade (please pause as this sappy mom dries her eyes and has a hard time believing that Buddy Bear will be in the 4th grade this fall, he was just a baby or so it seems).  I ask around at our church to see what the other home school moms are using and what their reviews are.  I do research on the web for curriculum and for the reviews of the curriculum.  I order catalogs.  I talk to companies.  Right now, I think I finally have it narrowed down to 3 different curricula from 3 different companies.  Now I have to come up with a list of final questions to get answered and then I will continue to pray that we are lead in the right direction as we make our final choice (I wrote this from my point of view, but my hubby does help me and give his input).  I will order our new curriculum in June which will give me plenty of time to get ready for the next school year and get myself familiar with the material before it is time to teach it.  This year the Great Curriculum Search is easier because I know what I do not want and what does not work for Buddy Bear, but I really think it is easier because I am focusing on praying about it and seeing where the Lord leads me, not just what I will find.  Let the Great Curriculum Search begin....

If you were wondering why I didn't mention what I was choosing for Baby Bear for school in this post, it is because I have not started looking for her yet.  She will still be in preschool so we will most like just do unit studies and workbooks like I did for Buddy when he was her age, but the truth is I can only focus on one curriculum at a time.  So I will eventually decide what Baby Bear will work on next year, but not right now.

2 comments:

  1. I'm thinking about homeschooling my daughter and I'm wondering how I go about doing so? I can't find any information on how to get certified (or whatever you call it). Is there any guidance you could give me? Thank you!

    -Courtney
    peaceloverecipes.com
    optimisticmommy.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am emailing you now Courtney. Thanks for asking!

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