Many families choose curriculum products to help their students learn at home. Even those opposed to the general idea of following a curriculum may turn to it once in a while, either for difficult courses, or ones they’d prefer not to teach themselves. (What is curriculum?)
The extent to which families use curriculum can vary. Some people buy (or develop their own) curriculum for one subject. Others buy an all-in-one curriculum and use it all year long.
It seems many homeschoolers choose at least some curriculum when first starting out. Parents can feel comfortable with it, since it’s what they think school at home should look like. New homeschoolers — especially those lacking confidence about it – can be attracted to the organized lesson plans and the feeling that some expert is telling them what to do.
Over time, some curriculum users decide there are other ways they want to homeschool instead. On the other hand, some families like curriculum so much, they use it for the next 10 or 12 years.
“Curriculum Method” just refers to using curriculum products most/much of the time. It’s a phrase that just means, “Curriculum products work for us. So, we use them.”
When using curriculum products — that is, those sold from a publisher or found on the author’s web site – the emphasis is always on following a sequence of lessons plans. All of the activities are planned in advance, and they’re listed in order, so they can easily be followed.
Curriculum lessons can be general, leaving the parents and student to interpret them on their own. Or, they can be very specific — even scripted – telling parents exactly what to say to the student.
When shopping for a curriculum, it’s helpful to look for the scope and sequence. By reading the scope and sequence for a curriculum, parents can tell exactly what is going be covered. After reading the scope and sequence for a couple of different products, parents can choose the one they like best. (What is scope & sequence?)
Curriculum products are usually sold by grade (example: 4th grade, 9th grade or 12th grade), but sometimes they’re advertised for a range of ages instead (example: ages 5-8, ages 6-12).
Curriculum users can follow along 100%, or can choose to move around to different lessons or different sections instead. Contrary to what you might hear, curriculum users aren’t bound to finishing the whole thing, and can use it any way that works for them.
It would be impossible to list all of the many curriculum products that are available. But, you can find a list of some of the most widely available curriculum products in my BIG LISTS section. There, you’ll find the names of just some of the curriculum products that are available to you.
And don’t forget you can create curriculum of your own, too!
Still have curriculum questions? I’m always happy to help!