Thursday, February 27, 2014

Researching Curriculums

ResearchingI piece together Mickey’s curriculum.  I feel like this meets our needs as a family and as well as her academic needs.  So around this time of year I take an assessment of what we are using and see if I think that we need to continue on with what we are using or try something else.  Then the long search for what to replace it with begins. 

Currently I am satisfied with most of our curriculum choices and think that we will be sticking with them for awhile.  The area that I am in need of help is History.  This is how I am going about my research.

  • I made a list of what was important to me in a curriculum choice.
    • It had to have hands on activities
    • I also wanted something that I could as a lapbook with it.
  • I looked around my homeschooling friends and looked at what they were doing.  I even asked a question on my homeschooling community what they would recommend and why.
  • I started looking at two websites that are known for their reviews.  Both of these websites have categories on the side that you can click on to see what items have been reviewed. 
      • Reviews are about other homeschool parents who tell their experience with the curriculums.
      • Cathy Duffy is a research specialist who researches curriculums and then tells the reader her take on the curriculum.  At the end of the review she tells you who it is a best fit for as far as Social  Sue, Wiggly Willy, Competent Carl, Perfect Paula. 
  • I narrow down what curriculums I have seen that I think that will work for our family.  Then I begin using Google to find reviews on blogs to hear more about the day to day of how it is working for them. 
  • I go to the curriculum website and begin pricing it.  I see if I have to buy the whole package or if I can make do without purchasing all the books.  I also make a list of books that I can get cheaper through another source or through the library. 
  • If I know someone who is using that curriculum that lives near me I ask them questions and ask to see their books.
  • I am now prepared to go in the vendor halls in a homeschool convention and look and touch the products.  I also don’t have to feel overwhelmed when each table is looking at selling me their great product that might or might not work with our family. 

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