My best friend is slowly circling the idea of pulling her kids from school and starting to homeschool.
So…the texts are starting to roll in about what I think about various homeschool curriculums.
I felt so tired reading those texts as I remembered my first round of exhausting research into the world of homeschool curriculum.
There is so much out there! It is beyond overwhelming to pick and choose.
I had two homeschooling friends and I asked them so many questions about their curriculum that it started to get embarrassing!
I am wrapping up my 3rd year of homeschooling now, and I have learned an incredible amount about curriculum.
I have realized that there is so much bad information, anxiety, and fear wrapped up in the process of choosing the tools we use to educate our kids at home.
If you are a weary homeschool mom on the road of curriculum shopping, I know this will lift your spirits, encourage your heart, and silence your fears!
7 Myths About Homeschool Curriculum Shopping
1. There is a Perfect Homeschool Curriculum…I just have to find it!
This is exactly what I thought when I first started homeschooling – and probably what most people think when they first start looking for curriculum.
You believe the key to success in your homeschool is tied to finding the holy grail of a perfect curriculum.
Let me take some pressure off your shoulders right now – there is no perfect curriculum!
In fact, you can pop over to my curriculum reviews and see that every post includes a “What I Didn’t Like,” section.
There is always something that parents and/or kids would change.
Yes, there are parents who rave about their favorite curriculums. But, if you sat down and talked to them for awhile, you would find they likely have something that they would change:
- Well, it is more expensive than I wish I had to pay.
- It is super teacher intensive.
- Parts of it have a lot of writing and my kid doesn’t like that as much
- It can be a little repetitive at times
- I occasionally supplement it with something else if I need to
Stop looking for perfect, and start looking for what will spark your kid’s natural love of learning.
Think about how your kids learn best.
Consider what style you would feel the most comfortable teaching.
Focus on what you want your homeschool day to look like and what your goals are in educating your kids at home
Whenever you do find a curriculum you want to buy, understand that it definitely will not be perfect.
But, that doesn’t mean it won’t be a great fit for your homeschool!
2. The Most Expensive Curriculum = The Best Curriculum
“You get what you pay for,” does not often ring true for homeschool curriculums.
When I first started shopping curriculums, I was floored at how much some of them cost! Especially when you factor in multiple children.
I could not bring myself to buy a very popular box curriculum that was well over $1,000. I settled for a box curriculum that was between $300-400, but I felt a little guilty about it.
I wanted to give my kid the best!
As the years have gone by, I have met people who love the expensive curriculum…and I have met people who hated it!
One mom actually said the expensive curriculum, “sucked the joy of learning right out of my son.”
My kids were LOVING our curriculum that was less than half the price and they were learning so much!
My oldest daughter just took the Stanford 10 (standardized test) for the first time this year and we were happy to see that she is hanging right in there with private school kids!
If you are stressed about the dollar amount for curriculum – trust me – just because it costs more, does not mean it is better.
In fact, there are many high quality, completely free homeschool curriculums!
Check out more about free homeschooling options here!
3. Everybody’s Curriculum is Better than Mine
Man, I still fall in this trap sometimes.
As you are searching for the curriculum that is the best fit for your homeschool – it can be very easy to feel like all your homeschool friends made better choices than you.
- I wonder what math they chose.
- Is our science as rigorous as theirs? Maybe I should send this back and switch.
- She used to use the same curriculum we have and then she switched. I wonder why? Maybe we should change ours too.
- I’ve never heard of that curriculum she just mentioned. I bet its better. I need to go research that.
There is nothing wrong with sharing ideas and talking all things homeschool with your mom friends – but be careful of it constantly causing you to doubt your curriculum choices.
As I said above, no curriculum is perfect. Just because it works for your friends, does not mean it will work for your kids!
If whatever you have is working, keep going with it.
4. I Am Married to My Curriculum Choice
Do you feel that whatever you pick must be permanent?
And if you switch, it will be an embarrassing, painful, and expensive “divorce?”
That’s a lot of pressure!
And it’s not true at all.
Many homeschool moms love trying out new curriculums. If they don’t like it, they just switch it out with something else the next year.
There in no one who shames them for picking the “wrong” curriculum or for not putting the work in to “stick with it.”
5. What Works for One Kid Will Definitely Work For the Next Kid
Yikes! This is such an infuriating myth when you realize it is the farthest thing from the truth.
Many parents try to use “non-consumable” curriculum with the intent to use the same curriculum for all their kids as they grow up.
Unfortunately, siblings tend to have wildly different learning styles and interests.
I already have my middle child on a different reading program than what my older child used.
My older child excelled in her reading program, but I can see that the pace and repetitiveness is not right for my middle child.
You may get lucky and be able to reuse curriculum.
But be aware that your kids will likely learn differently and have different needs with their curriculum.
6. My Preschooler and Pre-K Children Need Formal Curriculum
If you are currently shopping for preschool or pre-k curriculum, please let me save you a lot of time and money and tell you that it is completely unnecessary.
I wrote an extensive post about my experience with homeschool preschool.
I would encourage you to read it and the updates at the bottom. The summary is that kids naturally learn all the things that are required for kindergarten.
They have so many years to be in school – just let them play and be kids for as long as possible.
You will be surprised at how much more curious they are and how much better they learn when they are not forced before they are developmentally ready.
7. If I order the wrong curriculum, my child will fall behind and never catch up. Their education will be compromised and they might end up in jail instead of college.
It is every mom’s right to be dramatic as she goes through the homeschool curriculum buying process.
It is a stressful decision to make!
Thinking your child’s education will be destroyed because you bought a curriculum that didn’t click with your homeschool should NOT be a part of that stress.
Let me break this truth to you right now – you will buy a curriculum that you don’t like or that your kid hates.
It is inevitable if you homeschool for any length of time.
I can tell you from tons of personal experience though – curriculum choice is not going to cause your kid to fall behind.
Those are much, much bigger issues that will dwarf any feelings you might have about a curriculum.
Curriculum choice is important, but it does not have that kind of power.
Homeschool Curriculum Shopping Myths Recap
I have absolutely been where you are right now.
I have found myself on page 10 of google search results looking for just one more review.
I have bugged homeschooling friends with never ending questions.
I have put the curriculum in my shopping cart, taken it out of the shopping cart while I search in vain for a promo code, and then put the the curriculum back in my shopping cart.
And then I still don’t buy it because I’m just not sure.
There are many reasons for this indecision, but I hope you now know what reasons should NOT be influencing you:
There is no perfect curriculum.
The most expensive curriculum does not mean it is the best curriculum for you.
Everybody is not making better choices than you – they are making choices for their individual homeschools.
You are not stuck forever with whatever you pick.
Your kids will not likely all love the same curriculum.
Kids do not need formal curriculum before kindergarten.
And if you pick the “wrong” curriculum – that doesn’t mean your kid is doomed.
Did I miss anything?
Is there a homeschool curriculum myth you have found? Drop it in the comments below!
Want to save this as a reminder for later? Definitely pin this to your favorite painters board and share with your friends and followers who are curriculum shopping too!