Can you recommend a curriculum? (A: No, I can’t).

Email of the Day:
We’re just starting out mid-year. I need some help or recommendations as to curriculum. Most of the things I’ve found on my own have a world-view that’s not a good fit.

This is, I fear, an impossible question.
It is one that only you and your son can answer.

Here is my general guidance for choosing a curriculum when you’re coming out of public school (even a public-school-at-home program):

1) Spend some time deschooling. In general, this means not “doing school” for 1 month per year of school your child was enrolled. This means taking off, if you start right now, until April. I know this is a frightening thought. On April 1, you still have 2,672 hours (if you sleep 8 hours a night) to complete your 1,000 hours of instruction before 14 September (the day you turn in your next Declaration of Intent and begin the next homeschool “school year.”

2) Don’t buy anything you haven’t laid your eyes and your hands on.

3) Your local homechool support group (we keep a list here:…/support-groups-co-ops/ ) is your best place to ask, “Hey — do you have X? Can we get together so I can see it?” between now and Convention (in June).

4) Include your kidlet in the selection process. This is critical — it’s his education. You can spend a lot of money and a lot of time and frustration on things that are a bad fit. And then they will just sit on the shelf, collecting dust and judging you. You don’t need that.

5) You can do this without curriculum.

6) Your local library is a source of an incredible number of resources. And don’t overlook the college and university libraries in your area. State schools generally give community cards for free, and private unis usually (but not always) have an annual fee. Go look at their collections and see if it makes sense to use them, too. Any school with an education program is going to have a TON of K-12 materials.

7) Come to Convention next June. It’s a great place to get your hands and eyes on a lot of different things, talk to (often) the creators of the curriculum, and make really good choices that will be a good fit for you and yours.

~Jen Garrison Stuber, WHO Board Advocacy Chair