Choosing your homeschool curriculum may seem difficult, especially if you are new to homeschooling. But you shouldn’t let all the homeschool curriculum choices become overwhelming.
Determine your homeschool curriculum needs before you start shopping:
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What worldview is important to you?
One of the main reasons we homeschool our children is to raise them with a Christian worldview. When selecting textbooks and materials to teach, Christian textbooks are always favored over books with a neutral worldview. We avoid some books based on the worldview of the authors.
When you choose textbooks and curriculum, what worldview and teaching is important to you? It’s impossible to avoid a worldview. Our worldview is the basis of our beliefs and values. The worldview you choose is vital for your kid’s education.
Note if your children attend a public or private school, they are also being taught a worldview. I encourage you to look carefully at the school textbooks and ensure the worldview being taught focuses on the values you want for your children when they become adults.
How much reading do you want included?
As you look at the different curriculum, you will find that some have more reading requirements than others. If your children enjoy reading or you like reading out loud, then a curriculum that is heavy in reading will work well for you.
If you like to read and discuss the materials you learning together, read aloud curriculum works well. Some children learn better by doing, you might prefer a curriculum with more hands-on activities, projects and unit studies.
Personally, we like read aloud curriculum for history, science and Bible, which allows for discussion, comprehension checks and adding my own additional examples. But we prefer workbooks with good examples for language arts and math. We also do hands-on learning for culinary arts (it’s hard to learn to be a good cook if you aren’t practicing in the kitchen).
What are your time restrictions?
What does your daily schedule look like? Do you need a curriculum that has workbooks and practice pages? Do you want to make your own practice pages? Do you have time to make your own workbooks and unit studies?
As a working mom, we use textbooks that include short explanations and then written exercises for my kids to practice what they have learned in math, language arts, writing, geography, penmanship. I especially like textbooks that have set lessons so each daily lesson is clearly defined.
If you are stay at home mom and you have more time, you might prefer a less structured curriculum that allows you to add worksheets based on your kids unique needs. Younger kids might need less structure than older kids.
What kind of explanations do you need?
Some textbooks have great examples and explanations to help you and your child understand new concepts, some don’t. If you need the summaries for each new concept (recommended, even if the summaries are review) be sure you check how the books are formatted.
We have found Abeka books offer good summaries and explanations for new concepts in most subjects, especially math and language arts and plenty of practice.
Top Homeschool Curriculum
Best Homeschool Bible Curriculum
The best curriculum for Bible study is the Bible itself. Based on the ages of your children, you can decide if you prefer to focus on stories or topical lessons. For older children, studying the Bible book by book is great with a textbook like Journey through the Bible.
More Bible textbooks to consider:
- God’s Big Story (Reading and Bible study)
- Proverbs Collection (middle school/high school – verse by verse study of Proverbs)
- Proverbs: The Companion Lesson Book
- Thoughts for Young Men and other books by JC Ryle
Best Homeschool Math Curriculum
Math and Language arts curriculum always take me the longest time to select. But I’ve found I go back to Abeka for both. Abeka offers good descriptions and explanations and practice so your child learns the concept. If you find there is too much practice, you can always do every other problem or do all the problems for the new concept and then every other problem for the review section.
Click here to review Abeka Math for all grades
Other Math curriculum:
- Saxon Math
- Math You See
- Master Books (Elementary – covers basic math concepts, but not as challenging as other math curriculum selected)
Best Homeschool Language Arts Curriculum
As with Math, we like Abeka for Language Arts. The lessons have good explanations and examples at all grade levels and they provide a good amount of practice work.
Other Language Arts Curriculum:
- Master Books (not as rigorous as Abeka and missing explanations)
- Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind (Middle School/High School – 4-year program, challenging)
- Daily Grams – A 10-15 minute daily practice with parts of speech, sentence structure, and more. I like these workbooks as an add-on practice book.
I prefer a strong focus on writing skills. In our homeschool, we add an additional writing textbook/course in addition to grammar. Here are a few of our favorite writing courses:
- Writing with Ease (Elementary) and Writing with Skill (Middle School/High School) by Susan Wise Bauer
- How to Write a Sentence and How to Read One
Best Homeschool History Curriculum
As we have seen in recent months, history is one of the most important subjects taught in school. The textbooks selected for history will either teach facts of history accepting the good and the bad and showing God’s providence and work in the events or history, or history books attempt to rewrite history and reject facts.
I love teaching history to my kids and helping them see how the past connects to the present and how God is moving in and through history.
Here are some of my favorite history textbooks:
- The Mystery of History by Linda Hobar (telling God’s story through the mystery of history)
- The History Curriculum from Generations.org especially America in God’s Providence, Taking the World for Jesus and Preparing the World for Jesus
- Abeka History
- Story of the World (more secular in tone, good for younger kids and easy to read aloud)
- Susan Wise Bauer’s 4 volume history of the world (high school level)
Best Homeschool Science Curriculum
In history, we see God working through men, women, and events, but in science, we see God in nature and the physical world. It’s so important to choose a curriculum that focuses on how God made the world and how God’s majesty is manifested in the world.
Favorite Science curriculum:
- Apologia (all levels of science available)
- Abeka (especially great for elementary)
- Generations.org – God Made the World and God Made Animals for 5th-7th grades (personal favorites)
As I reflect on the homeschool curriculum I have chosen I over the years, I recognize one of my top priorities has been to curriculum that honors God and teaches God on every page when possible. Occasionally, I have used a neutral textbook, but these have not been my favorites.
What curriculum are your choosing? What Christian curriculum did I miss?
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