Curricula and lesson plans are important elements of homeschooling education. These are the backbone of teaching your child, and when you are able to find what works to match your child's learning style, you will find success comes easier and the act of learning is more natural and more enjoyable.
Find your child's learning style. There are numerous materials available for this online. A quick search on Google for "learning styles" will provide you with a good starting point. Some possible learning styles include visual, audio, and kinesthetic. Once you know your child's learning style, you can begin to think about what strengths your child has and what gifts you need to encourage and nurture.
Start researching available curricula. There are more than you can possibly ever review. Begin your search by deciding what is important to you and your children in a curriculum. If using a faith-based curriculum is an important factor for you, use that as part of your search criteria. If you want a complete curriculum, search for those. Many people find that they use a different curriculum for each topic, such as one curriculum for math, then a different curriculum for foreign language. If your child is a visual, kinesthetic learner, you would want to look for a math curriculum that focuses on these learning styles and uses manipulatives and videos to teach.
Review the results that you have found in your research. Pay attention to the feedback that other customers left for the product. Take all of the feedback into consideration. Even if the feedback may be negative, it may tell you information that is important to your decision about the materials.
Look for free samples. Often there are samples of worksheets and lesson plans that you can download for free. Do so. Look over them. Let your children look over them with you. Talk about the good points of the materials. Discuss the negative points of the materials, if any.
Make a decision. Order the materials. Put them to good use. Once you have given your child enough time to work through some of the materials, review your child's progress and discuss whether or not the materials are a good fit.
Keep track of the materials that work and the materials that do not work for your child. If you do so, you will see a pattern of the curricula and lesson plans that work best for your child.
Review the additional materials from the companies that produce the curricula and lesson plans that have worked well for your child. You may find that you want to stick with one company for the entire breadth of the subject. For example, if you have a visual, kinesthetic learner, you may find that Math-U-See is a good fit, and if so, your child may want to continue with that program from the basics through Pre-Calculus.
Continue to look for new materials and supplemental items that match your child's learning styles. Add to your materials as you can.
Consider setting aside a certain amount of your budget per month for educational supplies. This way, when you find materials that you think will be a good fit for your child, you can purchase them without problems.
Remember the library. You can find materials to use in unit studies and for the literature approach to homeschooling in plentiful supply at your local library. The materials that they do not have can be received from an inter-library loan. The only downfall to using the libraries' materials is that these have to be returned. However, you should certainly remember to check here.
If you need additional assistance when preparing homeschooling curricula, don't forget that a few online educational classes can give you all the guidance you need!