When I first started homeschooling the vast selection of homeschool curriculum available to me was, well a bit scary. We started out simple with workbooks resembling public school busy work at a desk each day for hours. Something I don’t wish on anyone let alone a homeschool mom with a willful ADHD child and a toddler. I learned quickly that the school at home model of education was NOT for us and dove back into explore homeschool curriculum options.
Different styles of homeschool curriculum
Eventually, I applied and was accepted into the Homeschool Review Crew and I was granted the opportunity to try a lot of amazing homeschool curriculum in many different styles to see what was right for us and what, well was not. One thing we learned during the experience is that homeschool curriculum is really a very personal thing and each child is different on what works best for them.
Classical education was NOT our style at all. We tried 2nd-Grade Literature and Astronomy from Memoria Press and while high-quality educational materials the style was just not a good fit for my children with ADHD. It was like pulling teeth and reminded me of the way we started homeschooling. We walked away from it and you can still find those programs on a shelf upstairs in case one of the other children ends up learning best with the classical style education.
My favorite curriculums we tried while on the homeschool review crew was Logic of English Essentials. We still use this program for our children and with so many more to start teaching, I feel like we will be using it for years to come. We do not follow the guide to a T because well that is just not our personal style but we work through it as a family with the varying levels. I plan on getting a copy of the new program to add to it.
We tried a few writing programs. The Writers in Residence from Apologia was a hit. I loved the way it flowed and the guides it gave me to check it over. All in all, you can bet I will be buying more copies of the student book for the younger children. We also tried a program called Here to Help Learning an online program that well was not our style.
In fact, we quickly learned that online programs were well not our learning style. We love games like Teach your Monster to Read but actual programs like A+ Interactive Math, Learn Bop form K12, or Rainforest Journey could not keep their attention and we never returned after reviewing.
Monkey loves math and I thought for sure Math U See would be amazing because everyone loved it. It was much like Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. Started out great and even a bit exciting and by the end it was like pulling teeth to get Monkey to do it. We learned that our children learn so much better with hands-on board games for drilling than worksheet after worksheet.
We became Mother Goose Time Ambassadors and got to explore the most comprehensive play-based preschool curriculum I could ever imagine. We even adjusted it so the older children could enjoy learning with the younger kids.
A couple months ago I met an amazing woman that had 15 children and created a homeschool curriculum the children can almost run on their own. Her Fun schooling books became a big part of our lives and will be our summer curriculum while we prep Monkey for middle school.
This is not even all of the curriculum we have tried. Astronomy from Apologia, Jolly Literacy, Homeschool Copy Work, Electic Foundations, Algebra for Breakfast, Patriotic Penmanship, Exploring French with Kids and many, many, many more.
The lesson we learned in all of this? That each child is different, our learning styles are different and when something is not a fit for you don’t push it. Walk away and try something new until you find something you love and remember that even if you love the program one year for one of your children that does not mean you will the next so be ready to go with the flow.