The Best Homeschool Curriculum

By Rick Gonzales | 2 weeks ago

best homeschool curriculum

As the mask mandates begin to slowly creep back into the public school system, parents are once again having to make decisions. After living through the public education nightmare that the COVID pandemic created, are they willing to do it again? Many are opting not to, and homeschooling is becoming one of the more popular alternatives. You can see a full breakdown of the homeschool landscape in our Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling. And once you make the leap, it’s time to start finding the best homeschool curriculum out there for your child.

Choosing The Best Homeschool Curriculum

It should go without saying, but we will. There is no one perfect homeschool curriculum. There are pros and cons to all curriculums, something you’ll figure out when you determine how to start homeschooling. So in order to find the best homeschool curriculum, you will need to do some research.

Your research can start in the form of talking to parents who are already homeschooling their children. They can give you tips and hints on where to go, what costs you may encounter, and what setup you may need for different homeschool programs. They may even really push the homeschool curriculum they are presently using. There’s a good chance others you know are using the ones you are researching.

There are so many factors you, as a parent, must take into consideration when choosing the best homeschool curriculum. First, there is the cost. While there are plenty of free homeschool curriculums on the market, there may be secondary costs you aren’t aware of. For access to education materials, you may need to increase internet speeds or storage capacity, maybe a computer upgrade becomes necessary. Those are just a few cost items you’ll want to consider.

The second would be the type of education you are wanting for your children. How old are they? That plays a big part in what type of curriculum you choose. When searching for the best homeschool curriculum, you’ll also have to decide if more than one is in order. What happens if you have two or three children and they are of different ages? A curriculum for a kindergartener definitely won’t work for a middle schooler. Some scale with age, but might not cover tons of years.

Along those same lines, some children learn faster than others. Interests can be vastly different. Some kids lean into math and science while others prefer music and art. Choice is key because you want to keep your children engaged. You want them to love the homeschooling you are providing.

A third consideration is yourself. What do you have time for? Homeschooling is not a simple chore where you just toss something in front of your child and let them have at it. You need a plan. Not just for one day or one week, but a plan that will take you through an entire school year. Is your homeschooling going to remain strictly at home? Are you going to try a field trip or two? Planning is key and some of the best homeschool curricula make planning easy. Ultimately, though, the question you will need to ask yourself is – what will work best for my children? Their education is what’s at stake here.

With all that in mind, we have put together a list of some of the best homeschool curriculums. Understand, though, that there are literally hundreds and hundreds of homeschool curriculums out there. Some are very specific and focus on individual subjects such as math or reading. Some offer a wide range of studies. Some lean toward specialty curriculums such as art or music.

For our list, we tried to find the best homeschool curriculums that were all-encompassing. Ones that touch on all subjects, much like you would see in a public school setting. Some of these will have costs associated with them and some of them are free. Let’s take a look!

The Best Homeschool Curriculums

Stride K12

best homeschool curriculum

WHY YOU WILL LIKE IT – One of the best homeschool curriculums out there. K12 offers a very customizable curriculum that allows you to fully enroll your child into their online school. Or K12 lets you pick and choose only the subjects you wish your child to learn. You can find which works best for your family.

Among their homeschool options are a tuition-free virtual public school that is offered for grades K-12. They also have options for private schools that are tuition-based. K12 also offers summer school and stand-alone courses for children who show a special interest aptitude or those kids who feel they need to brush up on a particular subject. All classes are taught by state-certified teachers.

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If a full-time homeschool curriculum isn’t exactly what you are looking for, you can use K12’s Digital Literacy Solutions. This is their free library that houses over 21,000 eBooks along with numerous literacy tools to help children learn. K12 also offers free game-based learning for children in grades K-8. If for some reason you don’t feel like your teaching skills are enough to help your child, the K12 teachers offer live, online tutoring.

ANY CONS? – There aren’t many complaints about the K12 curriculum. One possible snafu may be that you live in a different state than the school your child enrolls in. Some of the programs offered will require a significant number of online hours in order to complete them. There have also been a few complaints about website issues and customer support.

COST – K12 offers its best homeschool curriculums for kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high school for free. For their tuition-based curriculums, the full-year courses start at $900. You can get a much better cost breakdown here.

KHAN ACADEMY

best homeschool curriculum

WHY YOU WILL LIKE IT – When the Khan Academy first came onto the scene, the award-winning non-profit was offering free high-quality test prep materials for those preparing for their SATs. But as time went on, the Khan Academy, founded by Sal Khan in 2008, has since expanded to be one of the best homeschool curriculums on the market. And they are still free.

Sal Khan has made his best homeschool curriculum very easy to navigate. You simply signup, log in, and select your child’s grade level and the subject you wish them to learn. Whether they are simply preparing for a test or wanting to learn a specific subject, Khan’s curriculum can do it. After the subject is chosen, the student is sent off to earn “mastery points” and then progress through learning levels. They have easy-to-follow video lessons to help them along as well as practice quizzes and unit testing so parents can track their child’s progress.

Khan Academy is popular for its cost (there isn’t any), but also for the vast number of content it offers. They offer so many different courses that there are even niche subjects for adults and high school students, things you’d see in other online learning programs. These include computer animation, programming, art history, personal finance and entrepreneurship, and English as a second language.

ANY CONS? – One of the main complaints surrounding Khan Academy is that it doesn’t offer any one-on-one teaching. All of the instruction is done by video and there are some students who have a hard time learning in this fashion.

COST – Free

ABC MOUSE

best homeschool curriculum

WHY YOU WILL LIKE IT – ABC Mouse is directed solely at the youngsters. Aimed at kids aged 2-8, ABC Mouse is an early learning academy. Considered one of the best homeschool curriculums for the young ones, ABC Mouse has 850 lessons that span 10 levels of learning. It includes an impressive reading system to go along with math, social studies, art, and science.

To keep the young ones entertained, the curriculum is set up with music, puzzles, read-aloud stories, and educational games. Keeping young children engaged is always an issue, wherever they are learning, so the design of the ABC Mouse curriculum is a smart one. As kids learn and grow in this system, they earn tickets. These visual incentives allow them to purchase visual treats like fish that they could put in their online classroom aquarium.

ANY CONS? – It is strictly for early learners, so if you have older children, this homeschool curriculum will not work. Another issue could be your young one’s ability to use a smartphone, tablet, or computer. They will need one or the other to take part in ABC Mouse activities. Some kids may not find the teaching challenging enough for them.

COST – Around $13 per month

THE CLASSICAL CURRICULUM

WHY YOU WILL LIKE IT – If your child has the propensity for learning, the Classical Curriculum might be the way to go. We have covered this style of homeschooling before, but it is worth noting once again. You will immediately know if this type of homeschooling is for your child or not as it uses the great books model (or classical books) as its means of teaching. It also uses languages like Latin, German, French, Classical Greek, and even Old Norse as a means of teaching and learning.

Obviously, your child should have the “want to” when it comes to this classical curriculum, but if they do, it can be one of the best homeschool curriculums out there. Be forewarned, it isn’t for the faint of heart as it requires a lot of reading and a lot of studying. If you plan to be the “teacher” in this type of curriculum, then your knowledge must also be up to snuff.

ANY CONS? – This style is very specific in its teachings and not many kids will take to it.

COST – Free

ALPHA OMEGA

WHY YOU WILL LIKE IT – Options. We all love having options and this is exactly why Alpha Omega is considered one of the best homeschool curriculums on the internet. To start, you are given four separate options to choose from. Switched on Schoolhouse, Monarch, Lifepacs or Horizons, and Weaver. All of these options are very popular amongst homeschoolers and if you don’t wish to order these complete packages, Alpha Omega allows you to take bits and pieces of each and make them your own.

ANY CONS? – There is a cost associated with each and every option and it isn’t cheap when you add everything up.

COST – 5-subject sets in grades 2-12 start at $389.95. 1st grade 5-subject sets start at $459.95.

TIME4LEARNING

WHY YOU WILL LIKE IT – If you are looking for a 100% online homeschool experience for your children, Time4Learning is the place to go. You simply sign up your child, log them in and let Time4learning take over. It is considered one of the best homeschool curriculum options because they do all the work. They do the planning, so parents won’t have to. This program sets up the grade-level curriculum, so all the guesswork is no longer.

If you want to keep your children on a more traditional type of education path, one that resembles public schools, Time4Learning is that choice. Depending on grade level, your child will see hundreds of lessons – animated, activities, worksheets, quizzes, and complete tests – each designed for grade level and state learning standards. They offer resources as well (planning tools, style guides) all to help you track your child’s progress.

ANY CONS? – If you are trying to remove yourself from the clutches of the public school education system, then Time4Learning may not be the best choice. If you are in Time4Learning but decide to close your account, you will lose all of your child’s records. While Time4Learning offers many learning subjects, some may not cover as much as you wish, so a supplemental lesson may be necessary.

COST – Around $20 a month for the first child and $15 a month each for any additional children. $30 a month for high school students.

Final Thoughts

As we mentioned earlier, there are so many homeschool curriculums, we’d never be able to list them all. The above are just a few of the best homeschool curriculums we could find. Our best piece of advice would be to take a look at those we’ve listed and see where they fit. Here are a couple of additional resources that can help you navigate the best homeschool curriculum waters.

How To Homeschool is a nice resource as they list dozens of homeschool curriculums. These are broken down into individual programs such as reading, writing, math, and even Christian homeschooling. Homeschool Made Simple is one more resource. They offer what they consider to be their top-10 in homeschool curriculums.

The bottom line is research. Understand your child’s needs and also understand the time involved. Homeschooling can be very rewarding for your children, it all comes down to planning and finding the best homeschool curriculum.