When it is time to choose a curriculum for your homeschooling needs, reading reviews of homeschooling programs provides valuable insight to assist you in making an informed decision.
Who Writes the Homeschooling Program Reviews?
Reviews of homeschool programs are generally written by one of the following people:
- A professional writer who is paid to write the review for the company or a particular website
- A representative of the company manufacturing the program
- A merchant that is selling the program
- Homeschoolers who are familiar with the program
- Professionals who specialize in homeschool curriculum such as the highly regarded author, speaker and curriculum specialist, Cathy Duffy
If the review is written by a paid professional writer, a company representative or a merchant, most likely it is going to be a positive review about the program. This type of review generally includes an excellent description of the program including:
- A program overview
- A description and list of materials included
- Recommended age or grade levels
Reviews written by homeschoolers who have used, or are using, a program you are considering are more apt to be honest, impartial and objective concerning the pros and cons of the hands on use of the program. These homeschooling families share their opinions and thoughts based on experience.
Homeschool curriculum specialists provide an impartial review of educational programs based on their knowledge of curriculum, methodology and learning styles. These specialists provide honest, objective and unbiased reviews of homeschooling books, curricula and programs.
The Benefits of Reading Reviews of Homeschool Programs
Reading reviews of various homeschool curricula and programs you are considering allows you the opportunity to learn as much as possible about each one before making a final choice. Knowing what is included in the program, the recommended age or grade level and the costs involved may narrow down the number of homeschool resources you are thinking of purchasing. Learning of the experiences, both positive and negative, that other homeschoolers had with each program can help you decide which one is right for you.
Popular Homeschooling Programs
The following curricula and programs are popular choices amongst homeschooling families.
- A Beka Curriculum
- LDS Homeschooling Programs
- Handwriting Without Tears
- Saxon Math Curriculum
- Calvert Homeschool
- Saxon Phonics
- Sonlight Curriculum
- Time 4 Learning
- Bob Jones Curriculum
- North American Montessori Curriculum
- Kimber Academy
- Landmark Complete Curriculum
Where to Find Reviews of Homeschooling Programs Online
- A leading website for homeschool program reviews is Cathy Duffy Reviews. Filled with hundreds of reviews of homeschool materials and programs, Ms. Duffy's site also provides an updated list to her popular book Top 100 Picks for Homeschool Curriculum.
- Successful Homeschooling provides reviews of numerous homeschool programs and books written by other homeschoolers. This website has more than 300 pages of homeschooling information and resources.
- The reviews at Home School Reviews are written by homeschool families. Also included in this website is a list of 63 companies offering a complete homeschool program. This website also provides lists of homeschool programs that are subject specific.
- A to Z Home's Cool Homeschooling provides links to many review resources.
Additional Places to Find Homeschooling Program Reviews
Reviews of homeschool programs are in homeschool magazines and catalogs, homeschool forums, message boards and yahoo groups.
- Rainbow Resource catalog
- Sonlight catalogue
- Timberdoodle catalogue
- Mary Pride's Big Book of Home Learning
- Yahoo group: A Homeschool Review
Although reviews of homeschooling programs provide valuable information and insight into the many curricula and programs available, it is important to remember that not every child learns the same way or at the same rate. Be sure to consider your child's learning style, your preferred teaching method and the lifestyle of your family before making a final decision. Many homeschooling families do not use just one program or curricula. They find that an eclectic approach works best when choosing their homeschooling program.