Monday, April 27, 2009

Curriculum Contemplation

Disclaimer: This is a home school post. I'd love input from my friends/family who have an opinion. THANKS in advance!!! As a homeschooling parent, I get to sift through literally hundreds of curriculum companies and try to figure out which route I want to go. I tend to be an all or nothing person, so I enjoy selecting one company, offering comprehensive curriculum for each grade level. The older my children get, the older it is to pick their education. I'm not complaining, but I am saying that it's a bit overwhelming when I consider the plethora of learning opportunities available to me. In the past, I have used Costco's comprehensive curriculum books. Dirt cheap, and easy to understand, everything is encompassed in one book. The problem is, they're not Christian and as my children get older and learn about case studies and various scenarios, I'd like those to be Bible based instead of secular. I have to consider my budget, my teaching style (how much prep work is involved, and if the company offers a comprehensive curriculum - my favorite), my children's learning style (and yes, they're different), and numerous other factors before making a decision. So, for those of you out there who have some thoughts and read my blog, I'd love for you to weigh in. After researching a dozen companies for my 3rd and 1st graders next year, here's what I've determined: Saxon: Excellent, but very expensive Switched on Schoolhouse: Decent prices, learning is via CD-rom, but there's no 1st grade comprehensive curriculum A.C.E.: Perfect for Cayla since she's self motivated, but not ideal for Autumn. Prices are midline LIFEPAC: Excellent comprehensive studies for both grades, midline price, but I don't know anyone who has used it, so I have little info. on it Sonlight: Stellar programs I've heard, but requires a ton of prep work (not my thing) Christian Liberty Press: I'm leaning towards this....the prices are good, it offers comprehensive curriculum for both grades and includes teachers manuals, plus it rolls into high school well Bob Jones U: Again, excellent curriculum, but it's kind of pricey. This year we used BJU science and it was great, so it's a possibility So, that is just one peril of being a home school parent. I know people who select a nice eclectic mix of materials and turn out intelligent, well informed children, but that isn't my ideal, even though it is what I did this year. We have all summer to consider it, pray about it, and see what our budget will allow. I want my children to have a great academic education, Biblical knowledge and a love for being home with mom. Is that too much to ask?


Robyn said...

I can't wait to see what you decide! I personally would (and very well might) use Sonlight. I love the the concept. Only the price holds me back. It is made more feasible due to the fact that next year Gillyan will be in 1st grade and Gideyon in Kindergarten, so they basically would share curriculum. However nothing is for sure, I probably won't decide until Steve knows better what we will do next year. That way I will know whether I will have the time to commit to all the prep work. Sorry I know that was more about my family than an opinion on yours:) Keep us posted though!

Lisa said...

I suggest the curriculum fair in Puyallup in June. It can't be beaten for all it has to offer including discounts on most all curriculum and no shipping/handling costs.