Home School Blog

Is It Time to Switch Your Curriculum?

  • Friday, May 10, 2024
Mom or Student at computer considering AOP curriculum

As the school year draws to a close, within the flurry of finishing school work and making summer plans, there’s a valuable opportunity for homeschool parents to pause and reflect. While your memory is fresh, take the time to assess how well your chosen curriculum has met the needs of your family. This period of reflection can provide insights into what worked well and what could use a little fine-tuning, so you can ensure the next year of homeschool learning is a success. 

Choosing a Homeschool Curriculum 

Let’s start by looking at some important factors to consider when choosing a homeschool curriculum. Reflecting on these considerations can help you evaluate how well your current curriculum met your needs as well as potential changes that could improve your experience next year. 

  • Learning style—What is your child’s optimal learning style? Some children learn best through visuals, some through audio, some kinesthetic, and some flourish through a combination of styles.
  • Academic goals—What are your academic goals for your child? Think about whether you prioritize rigor, learning support, holistic development, or other focuses to ensure the curriculum meets these goals.
  • Flexibility—Do you prefer set deadlines or pacing flexibility in your child’s curriculum? Consider any specific interest, needs, or challenges your child may have to define how flexible you’d like their curriculum to be.
  • Teaching approach—Review the teaching approach of the curriculum. Curriculum may be project or task based, mastery or spiral learning, or incorporate a mix of approaches. Consider your teaching style and your child’s learning style to evaluate a curriculum’s suitability.
  • Cost—Some curriculum is subscription-based, while some require a one-time purchase. Also consider whether a curriculum may require additional materials and resources. 
  • Content—Review the scope and sequence of curriculum to assess if it covers the necessary subjects and progresses logically.
  • Personal values—Choose a curriculum that aligns with your beliefs and values.
  • Support and resources—Evaluate the support and resources provided to ensure ease of use.
  • Assessments—Determine how the curriculum assesses student progress and provides tools or resources for you to track your child’s academic growth and achievements.
  • Legal requirements—Be familiar with the homeschooling laws and regulations in your area to ensure the curriculum meets those requirements.

If you find you’d like to consider other curriculum options, AOP has resources to help you identify a curriculum that will meet your family’s unique needs. Let’s dive into some options.

Utilize AOP Curriculum Find Your Fit Quiz.

The AOP curriculum quiz is a good place to start your search. Simply answer a few questions about your child’s grade range and preferred format of study and teaching method. This will highlight the AOP curriculum option(s) that best meet your preferences. 

Lean on the homeschool community.

There’s a whole community of homeschool families out there who can provide insights into strengths and weaknesses of curricula they’ve used. Join homeschool community groups on Facebook and other social media platforms, watch videos posted by homeschool parents sharing their experiences, and read blogs that share best practices for a successful homeschool experience.  

Test out some curriculum options.

You can try Monarch’s online courses for free with a one-month, Monarch Full Access free trial. Designed for online, independent homeschool learning, Monarch has 100-plus core subject courses and electives for grades 3-12. Sign up for the free trial, explore the learning platform, assign your child any courses, core subjects or electives, and get started! Your child can work through lessons and complete assignments. Parents can review the curriculum, view their student’s work, complete grading tasks, and run their student’s reports. The free trial provides both you and your child the opportunity to experience all aspects of Monarch so you can not only evaluate the curriculum content and style, but also the full user experience. Guided self-paced onboarding is available once you log in to Monarch. If you prefer to ask questions as you learn, live group training is available starting June 2024.

You can also download samples of the LIFEPAC and Horizons print curricula. Print curriculum may meet preferences like the flexibility to learn offline in a book at a student’s own pace. However, LIFEPAC and Horizons curricula are quite different in teaching approaches, as LIFEPAC uses a mastery learning model and Horizons uses a spiral-learning model. If rigor is a priority, LIFEPAC may be a better fit. If additional learning support is a priority, Horizons may be a better fit. LIFEPAC is also designed for independent learners, while Horizons is meant to be parent-led. Downloading samples will give you insights into the curriculum content, teaching approach, and more so you can evaluate the curriculum’s suitability for your family. Horizons does not include all core subjects in its curriculum.

Dig into curriculum details.

You can also learn a lot about potential curriculum from the scope and sequence. All Monarch, LIFEPAC, and Horizons curricula have scope and sequences that detail topics and skills covered in the lessons. This information can help you identify the curriculum’s suitability for your child’s grade, potential to customize your curriculum by combining different curricula, whether content flows in a logical pattern, and how in depth topics are covered. This can also provide insights into whether the curriculum content supports your personal values and beliefs.

Start preparing for the next school year.

As you make your curriculum decisions to prepare for the next school year, identifying School Choice resources can help you ensure your curriculum choice will meet legal requirements for your state and also identify ways to make homeschooling more affordable. Some great resources for your research include:

The “Find Your State” menu on EdChoice provides detailed information on state policy and regulations regarding homeschool curriculum, assessment and instruction. Yes. Every Kid. features a blog with regular updates to current news on school choice policy movements and changes throughout the U.S. And on any of these websites, you can find information on education savings accounts, scholarships, tax credits, and other funding options for your state. 

You can also learn more about ways to make home learning more affordable on AOP.com, including state funding information, scholarships, appreciation discounts, and the referral program. Connect with School Choice experts over the phone or register to access the on-demand video library for steps to take in your state because every state’s program is unique. 

With some reflection and research, your family will be well prepared to take on the next school year!

Related Articles