Some time ago, on the homeschooling boards, someone asked what the most important advice was that you wished someone had given you the first year of homeschooling. I cannot exactly answer that question, because I did get what was the single most important piece of advice.
I was told to spend as little money as possible my first year of homeschooling. With so many different curriculums available for homeschoolers, and each being so different from each other, plunking down a lot of money for a mismatch can be a problem. Fortunately, I listened to the advice. All I purchased that year was children’s dictionaries, The Kingfishers History Encyclopedia and the appropriate books from the E.D. Hirsch series “What Your ___ Grader Needs to Know”. In addition to that, we got a subscription to an online curriculum called ChildU that cost only $20.00 a month for kids. This program has been phased out for homeschoolers as they decided to work with schools only, but Time4Learning.com picked up where they left off. In all, I probably spend $300.00 that year, and my children got a really good education.
In years since, I have spent more money, as I eventually chose to add outside classes to our curriculum, but before I spent a cent, there was a lot I needed to know.
When considering the right curriculum for your child, you need to determine your child’s’ learning styles( or intelligence type), as well as your own learning and teaching style. You need to know if your child is primarily right brained, or left brained. You need to know your child’s interests and be well aware of his or her attention span. You need to also consider your individual family dynamics, hobbies, and pastimes in order to integrate your chosen curriculum into your life.
Don’t forget to read Choosing Curriculum, by Valorie Delp.