1. Do your homework before buying curriculum – reading some basic parent-help books can answer many of your concerns, help you develop your own “philosophy of education,” and maybe even suggest some programs that especially appeal to you.
2. Spend money slowly – it’s easy to be convinced by a knowledgeable salesperson that his program is absolutely the best, that is, until you hear the pitch from the next person. Almost always, you can manage with fewer resources than you think you might need.
3. Consolidate grade levels whenever possible – teach as many of your children as you can with the same resources at the same time. Generally, aim toward the older children when choosing books for the “group”.
4. Control your curriculum rather than letting it control you – almost anything you choose will need to be adapted in one way or another to work well for your children. Use as much of a resource as is useful. Supplement if necessary. If what you are doing is not advancing your child’s knowledge or skills, go on to something else. Skipping pages in books is okay!
5. Remember that your children are individuals – what works for one might not work so well with another. Get to know the strengths and weaknesses of each child so that you can choose resources that teach to their strengths and help them to overcome weak areas. But don’t expect to be able to do this well in your first year home schooling!
6. Try to use materials from publishers that view education the same way you do – publishers differ from one another in how they believe children learn best. Some prefer memorization and workbook activity while others recommend more hands-on type learning. With a little experience, you will begin to easily spot those who are on your wave-length.
It is important to plan NOW for your child’s future study options. Before determining the resources and materials for your home education program think ahead to TAFE, College, University or career. This is especially important for children of high school age. Choose subjects, levels and course units at a level sufficient for entry into further study, apprenticeships or careers. You as the home educator provide the opportunities for your child. It is important to keep evidence of this to support university applications.
More about Choosing Curriculum: Home Education Teaching Approaches