The biggest mistake new homeschoolers make is rushing in to buy a curriculum. Which is not always cheap and then they feel like they have to stick with it for the year because they paid for it.
Using the deschooling time you can really connect with your child, and get to know how they tick better, what their preferred learning style is and what they are actually interested in, will help you make better decisions when it comes to choosing a curriculum.
Before we dig into this, I just want to clear up a common misunderstanding. Montessori, Waldorf, and Charlotte Manson are not curricula. They are educational philosophies. You might choose to follow one of them, for example, Montessori and then pick a curriculum that falls in line with the philosophy.
As I outlined in the unschooling post, unless it falls under legal reasons, you don’t actually need a pre-created curriculum, I know, mind blown! 🤯
Things to consider when choosing a curriculum:
Your child’s learning style
Understanding your child’s learning style is key to supporting their educational journey. Every child has a unique way of absorbing and processing information. Whether they are auditory learners who prefer listening and discussing. Visual learners who thrive with visual aids and diagrams. Or kinetic learners who learn best through hands-on activities and movement.
By identifying your child’s learning style, you can tailor their learning experiences to match their preferences, making the process more enjoyable and effective for them.
Embracing their individuality and adapting teaching methods accordingly will help nurture their natural abilities and boost their confidence. So, take the time to observe and engage with your child to discover their learning style, and then watch as their educational experience becomes a personalized and exciting adventure!
Your child’s interests
When selecting a homeschool curriculum for your child, it’s essential to take their interests into consideration.
Understanding what excites and engages your child can greatly enhance their learning experience. By aligning the curriculum with their passions and hobbies, you create an environment where they can thrive and develop a genuine love for learning.
Whether they are fascinated by science, history, art, or any other subject, incorporating their interests into the curriculum can make the educational journey more enjoyable and meaningful for them.
It not only keeps their motivation high but also fosters a sense of ownership and active participation in their education. So, take the time to explore their interests and incorporate them into the homeschool curriculum, and watch as their enthusiasm and eagerness to learn soar to new heights!
Your families values
When deciding on a homeschool curriculum for your family, it’s important to consider your values and beliefs. Whether you follow a religious path or prefer a secular approach, finding a curriculum that aligns with your family’s values can contribute to a more fulfilling educational experience.
If religious teachings are significant to you, you may want to choose a curriculum that incorporates your faith’s teachings or offers religious studies as an option. On the other hand, if you prefer a secular curriculum, there are plenty of options available that focus on a well-rounded, non-religious education.
Additionally, if inclusivity and diversity are important to you, look for a curriculum that embraces and represents a wide range of perspectives, cultures, and experiences. By selecting a curriculum that reflects your family’s values and promotes inclusivity, you can create an enriching and nurturing learning environment that respects and celebrates your unique beliefs and backgrounds.
When I make the 193 Little Adventures Packs I always consider the cultural and religious aspects of each country we visit because they are important. I believe the same goes for your curriculum.
Are your preconceived ideas of education making the right decisions?
This is where the importance of deschooling for both the parents and the kids is important. If you went through traditional school, you will have a pre-programmed idea of what education looks like. There is nothing wrong with that as long as you take a step back a accept that your idea of school/education isn’t the only one.
You might feel like you have to have a full curriculum that has language, maths, science, history, arts, music, PE, and all the subjects. But I want to challenge you and ask you why?
- Is it really necessary to have all these as stand-alone lessons?
- Why do you feel like all these topics need to be covered?
- What subjects did you take at school that you have never used since putting down your pen after that final exam?
Start questioning and pulling apart the reasons you were told as you were educated and that will help you create a better curriculum for your kids. That doesn’t mean ditching geography just because you hated it!
In some countries single subjects are not taught in school, the lesson has a more organic and general flow. Kids are learning language skills by reading about frogs, writing reports about the weather, using maths as they build a rabbit hutch etc.
As you go through your discovery and deschooling stage, think about the areas your child maybe needs more help in (maybe they hate maths) and how you can organically add maths to other things that they are interested in.
Does your country/state have rules about curriculum?
This is where going over the question set out in the first post in this series is important. You might have to comply with the legal requirement of homeschooling where you live. This will obviously have an influence on your decisions.
But wait! What is the answer?
Sorry, I don’t have it, I can only share what we used. I’m not going to recommend any specific curriculum because
A. I have only used the one we used with my son, which happened to be the Japanese standard school curriculum, to check the boxes and the rest we unschooled. You can read our full story here.
B. I have no idea about your kids, their learning styles, their interests or anything else outlined above. This is something you will need to research and figure out. And I’m sorry if this sounds rough but if you are not prepared to roll your sleeves up and do the work, then maybe homeschooling isn’t the right choice for you. Or maybe, unschooling would be a better way to go.
If you are serious about homeschooling then grab it by the horns and make the most of it, do the best you can for your kids and don’t just blindly follow some rando’s advice on the internet – I include myself there! You only get one go at this, so take a deep breath and jump in!