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How to Know if Your Homeschool Curriculum Is Working

by Jessica Parnell | Dec 02, 2016 | 2 min read

As a young homeschool mother, I chose many different kinds of curriculum in an effort to find the “perfect” fit. I soon found out that no homeschool curriculum is perfect because the curriculum is just a tool. But, finding a curriculum that matches your needs, your child’s needs, and one that keeps your learners challenged is essential. Here’s how to know if your homeschool curriculum is working and is just what your learner needs.

Five Signs Your Homeschool Curriculum is Working

  1. Your learner is making steady progress. One clear sign that your homeschool curriculum is working is that your student is clearly mastering the concepts you are teaching and is moving through the curriculum at the pace you expect. Of course there will be instances when you hit road blocks and concepts that will be more difficult to understand than others. But, if your learner is able to conquer what you’re presenting at a relatively good pace, and without much grumbling, your homeschool curriculum is a good choice.
  1. Your learner is engaged and wants to learn. The best homeschool curriculum will keep your student busy and active in the learning process. There should be a variety of hands-on activities and lessons that allow your homeschooler to show what they’ve learned in a way that keeps them looking forward to each day. And you should be hearing things like, “This is fun!” and “I like this!” often enough to make you encouraged as a teacher.
  1. The curriculum matches your child’s learning style. Your child should learn in the way that is best for them. We all learn in different ways, but we each have a preferred learning style that will help to unlock memories and enhance the learning process in the brain. Choosing a curriculum that meets your child’s learning style needs is critical. Also, your curriculum should include lessons, activities, and assessments that speak your child’s learning language. Don’t know your child’s learning language? Find out here!
  1. The right curriculum moves at a steady pace for your learner, and for you. You shouldn’t feel like you’re always behind, or as if you’re having to fill spaces with activities and learning ideas of your own. The right curriculum should move at a good pace and correspond well to the schedule that has been set up or offered in the curriculum. If you’ve adapted the curriculum to add your own pacing, that’s OK! Just make sure that you’re able to follow the lessons at a pace that accomplishes all of the goals and works for your family and needs.
  2. Your family values are represented and your flexibility remains. The best and right curriculum will meet your child’s needs and will reflect your family values. Your standards and beliefs are of utmost importance to you. They are your legacy. Choose curriculum that represents you well. After all, you have the freedom and flexibility to do so because you are homeschooling! Your curriculum should also allow you the freedom you need to maintain your schedule and engage in those activities that are important to your family. Curriculum should never hold you back, but should be a complement to what matters to you most.

If you’re searching for curriculum, put away your desire for perfection. Instead, seek the best fit based upon your child’s learning style, and look for the signs we’ve given above. You’ll find that you’ll be more successful and enjoy homeschooling more when the curriculum is a good match for you and engages your learner well.

What’s your favorite homeschool curriculum? Tell us in a comment below!

Jessica Parnell
Hello everyone! I’m Jessica Parnell — mom, homeschool evaluator, teacher, and CEO of Bridgeway Academy. In my 20+ years of experience as a homeschool mom and evaluator, I have had the privilege of meeting homeschoolers that take a variety of approaches to their education. It is their many stories and successes that inspire me in my own homeschooling and I love to pass on the knowledge that I have gained from them to other homeschooling families. The one constant that always remains true is that there’s no such thing as a “cookie cutter child.” Each child is fearfully and wonderfully made and as a result, learns and functions differently. It’s our job to ensure that we’re raising each child to fulfill their individual purpose and when we can teach in a way that inspires them, we are on our way to homeschool success. When I’m not writing or teaching my children, I like to ski, write and participate in triathlons. I graduated from Kutztown University with a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Masters in English and I am currently pursuing a degree in Neuroleadership.
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