Choosing Homeschool Curriculum with Care

/ / - Planning and Organization, Blog

What’s the best advice for choosing homeschool curriculum among the endless options available today? You build your children’s memories of school days with your curriculum choices, so you naturally seek the best. Selecting just the right products to meet your family’s unique needs may feel overwhelming, but there is help! Here are a few ideas to set the next school year up for success.

List Your Curriculum Needs

Visualize your family’s curriculum needs for the next school year by making a list for each child. Start a basic spreadsheet table on your computer or simply dedicate a notebook page per child that lists all of the subjects to cover for the year. Make a column for the subject and a column next to that for filling in your choices. Some homeschool planners, like the Schoolhouse SmartMama Planner, have spaces dedicated to this endeavor. Depending on the ages of your children, your list might include an assortment of subjects: 

  • Bible 
  • math 
  • language arts (phonics, literature, writing, grammar, copywork, cursive)
  • science 
  • social studies (history, geography, government)
  • electives (foreign language, art, music, speech, etc.) shares an extensive scope and sequence guideline for anyone seeking guidance on what to teach when.

Enjoy filling in your chart with your curriculum choices, carefully selected for each child. You’re tailoring the education to fit them—what a beautiful benefit of homeschooling! Some choices are easy to fill in, especially if you already have a curriculum, perhaps math for example, that you are committed to and you know is a good fit for a particular child. Other choices take a bit longer to fill in and require research. Making these curriculum lists is a great way to ensure all bases are covered. Saving the lists inside your planner or digitally makes a helpful reference and record for years to come. 

Set Standards

Your enthusiasm may be contagious, so keep that in mind when choosing a homeschool curriculum. If a book or a program isn’t attractive to you, your kids may not be thrilled with it either. Don’t buy anything you would not want to personally use yourself. (Did you ever have the classroom experience of receiving a worn out, over-used book on the first day of school?) Of course, not everything has to be shiny and brand new. 

Set a Budget

Think of a curriculum budget in terms of your entire family rather than per child. Some kids’ curriculum may be more expensive, depending on subject needs. If you strive to stay within budget, keep the library in mind and also watch for gently used books at sales and online. Don’t forget the littles—consider investing in a few special and safe items to occupy preschoolers while you’re working with older kids.  

Be Realistic

There isn’t one perfect curriculum that will cure all of your homeschool challenges. Not every book will work for every child, even within a family! Sometimes it’s necessary to change curriculum mid-way through the school year. That isn’t failure, that’s success for a child whose mother recognizes a curriculum change is necessary. 

Research Well

Check with your friends. Ask what worked well for their children. Friendly moms at your co-op or church just might be happy to let you look through their books and explain what worked best for their children. 

Check At The Old Schoolhouse®, we’re all homeschoolers, and we love connecting the homeschool community. We love spreading the word about homeschool products we’ve found that may serve other families well. is a new site to find honest, reliable information on products and resources you can use in your own homeschool. We’ve already collected years of product evaluations by other homeschoolers. We share these evaluations to help you make curriculum choices, but this site is ever-growing with additional evaluations and helpful articles. You can follow or subscribe to keep up with the latest inspiration. includes a search feature that will help you find product evaluations in categories like math, science, Bible, language arts, and electives. There is even a “just for parents” category on the site. You’ll even find electives and foreign language ideas. Searches for Spanish, French, Latin, Greek, German, Chinese, and Italian will all provide you with results. 

Share What You’ve Discovered

Can you picture yourself writing product evaluations to share with other homeschoolers? If you love a good homeschool product and can’t keep quiet about it, you might be just who The Old Schoolhouse® is looking for. Recruitment is happening for the new Homeschool Influencer Network. We’re calling all product evaluators, homeschool content creators, and influencers. If you snap high-res shots and can write strong testimonials, apply for the NEW Homeschool Influencer Network from The Old Schoolhouse®. Reel makers are needed too, so if you homeschool and have an active Instagram account, let us know. We’re also adding product evaluators to our team. We supply products; you supply creatives. You can learn more and apply:

Choose with Care and Prayer

Making careful curriculum choices and spending large amounts of money can be daunting. Praying over your curriculum decision-making can bring peace though. Ask the Lord to open your eyes to curriculum choices that will serve each of your children well and to help your careful efforts bring about God-glorifying results. You won’t be sorry you took this important step when choosing homeschool curriculum, and you won’t be sorry you thoroughly invested in your children’s lives by homeschooling.

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"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).