It’s the back to school season and curriculum shopping is underway. As you shop, this is what you should know about homeschool curriculum reviews.
Everything You Need To Know About Homeschool Curriculum And Reviews
When we first began homeschooling, I had NO idea what to do about curriculum.
I literally just bought the really expensive, all in one curriculum that my only homeschooling friend was using and went from there.
It was not ideal. I remember thinking, “I just wish I could talk to other homeschool moms about what they use and what they know about these homeschool companies.”
Years later, I know that there is a way to get that kind of personal recommendation online.
Homeschool curriculum reviews are designed to be exactly that – a way to get a bit more information about how a program works in real-life, from another mom.
It’s why I love reading them. It’s why I love participating in them here on my own site.
Having said that, there are a few things I think are good to know as you read and consider various homeschool reviews.
What You Should Know About Homeschool Curriculum Reviews
Yes, homeschool curriculum creators work with bloggers just like me, to help get the word out about their program.
I am paid for my time in reviewing a program and sharing it with all of you.
It’s a win-win-win. I have the opportunity to help support my family, the company gets the word out, and you get an honest, real-life look before making a buying decision.
As valuable as these reviews can be, there are a few caveats that I think you should keep in mind as you seek out homeschool curriculum reviews.
Go to sites you trust first.
I think in order to really be able to trust the source, it is important to look for reviews from bloggers that you are familiar with and have read other posts from them that are not sponsored. This gives you an understanding of who they are, what their family is like, their approach to homeschooling, and their overall purpose for being online.
Unfortunately, not all homeschool reviews are done with the most service-oriented intentions. You should have a sense of who this person is, at least online, as you read their curriculum review.
Look for homeschool reviews specific to your family’s circumstances.
I turn down a lot of lucrative opportunities that come my way because, although they are wonderful companies, I don’t see their products being great for children with learning differences. This is the lens I use, because it is what works for my own family. I always want to share as a mom first.
When you are looking for a solid review, I think it’s worth it to try and find a blogger who is dealing with some of the same circumstances and/or priorities that you are.
For me, that’s going to be hands-on, out of the box, flexible learning options specifically for kiddos with differences. For another site, curriculum reviews may be through the lens of exclusively religious content or the Charlotte Mason approach.
All of these are valid and exist to help you find the review that will help you find the right curriculum for your family’s very specific needs.
Know that what works for one, won’t work for all.
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard from many other moms and bloggers that a particular program or book was perfect for her family and then mine totally hated it.
Like just about everything with our children, what works for one will never work for all.
And it’s OK.
That is part of homeschooling. It doesn’t mean you are doing it wrong!
How I Use Homeschool Curriculum Reviews
In this video, I talk more about how I specifically use reviews to help inform my homeschool curriculum decisions.
Looking For Help Choosing A Homeschool Curriculum?
Want to see what we’ve done to get ready for a new homeschool year before?
Check out these posts from the past few years –
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.