How to stop curriculum envy!

How do you stop yourself from looking into every new curriculum that comes out or any book that someone mentions is incredible? What are your best research tips for looking into curriculum? How do you narrow down choices?


This is especially hard as a brand new homeschooling mom! I find myself wanting to buy it all!!! Trying to narrow things down is proving to be tricky! We start homeschooling this fall :slight_smile:


@Luvmyboys, I have two questions for you? Have you determined your homeschool philosophy of education (meaning what type of methodology you want to follow) Here are a few examples: Traditional, Charlotte Mason, Classical. Here’s an article with more info

Secondly, have you considered the learning style(s) of your children?

Once you have made a decision in those two areas it becomes easier to weed out curriculum that doesn’t fit. And if I may also encourage you to allow the Lord to direct you and confidently rest in His leading. The beauty of home-education is that its not a one size fit all. The best curriculum is the one that compliments how the Lord is leading you to homeschool and it meets the make-up of your child(ten)

I’d like to recommend this article for Amy Roberts of Raising Arrows, she offers some great tips on bring our focus back where it needs to be.


@MotherofMany I have spent so much time figuring out our learning and teaching styles. I have been in my knees in prayer more time then I can remember:) my sons learns best auditorly and kinesthetic, I teach best by traditional textbooks…so we don’t exactly match styles:( but, the Lord has softened my heart and I just ordered some different history and science books that better suit my sons learning style:) I feel our hs is a constant journey;) I’ve been hs for 13, graduated our older son through our hs, but my kids are very different…so I feel like I’m a new hs mom all over again!

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I agree with @MotherofMany…know their learning style, what style you want to teach with, and what your main mission is!! I’m figuring out my kids learning style right now and I am seeing that eclectic is probably our best route & teaching my kids about Godly character is #1 priority!!! If they got this kind of character in this world then they’re going to survive as adults no matter where they are academically!! But of course we’ll do our best academically too :slight_smile: A good book that’s helping me to pick curriculums is by Cathy Duffy, “102 Picks for Homeschool Curriculum”. It’s her latest edition. Know what you want, write it down, look only at those curriculums that will meet your list of what you want & need, and get out!! LOL!!! Kind of like going to Target for me!! LOL!! I know for sure Science & History got to have God in it…that cuts my list of curriculums to look at big time!! But I know what I want :slight_smile:


In my last post to this topic I suggested a book to look at…it also talks about this issue…when parent & kid learning style don’t match :slight_smile:

@HSintheCity I 100% agree with having a Christ centered education:) my kiddos have a heart for The Lord, so we are on the right path! I appreciate your encourgment and book suggestions. I do have Cathy Duffys new 102 picks book. I took the survey numerous times, it always came back the same for my teaching style, traditional. My son learns best auditorly and kinesthetic:) hep, we are like night and day😉 I love curriculum so much! I have soooooo much to sell!! I know in my heart that once I find books that will work for any subject TO STOP LOOKING, but easier said then done😜

Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.

I like all the advice given here. Figure out the goals for your child. Determine his learning style and then match it with curriculum that meets the goals and learning styles. What works for others may not work for him…and that is OKAY. :slight_smile:


@KathiJohnson thank you! I know all these things in my heart, but I want so much for my son to be successful that sometimes I over think it all!!!

@Luvmyboys Of course you want him to be successful. :slight_smile: I sometimes worry that I am not doing enough or maybe there is something else out there that will work better than my present curriculum. But we can search and search and still never find it. Sometimes it’s better just to start with what we have and go from there. The most important thing (to me) is that our kids learn in an environment where they feel safe and loved. Curriculum can’t do that. Only you can.


Luvmyboys - great question! Too bad there is no easy answer :-/ I also want to buy everything and of course not only do we not have the money for all of it, but there wouldn’t be enough hours in the year to do everything I want to! After I figured out what style of teaching I/we like, I focused on one subject at a time. I looked at some of my favorite blogs for reviews and ideas. I visited sites and narrowed down by price and overall feeling. I especially like going to teacher stores and holding the materials (even if I don’t buy them there) - just to get a good look at them. Then I take a deep breath and order my choice.

We’re unlikely to always make the right choice. I can’t think of many people who haven’t at one point or another decided they need to change an aspect of their curriculum, and that’s okay. While we feel guilt for putting ourselves and kids through it, and guilt for spending the money on it, in the end, nobody is going to suffer. Our kids are all thriving in different ways, and 1 (or 2, or 3… ) wrong choices isn’t the end of their education.

Know you are not alone! I get crazy HOMESCHOOL CLASSROOM ENVY! I want to buy everything in the pictures… and sometimes I go to the store with a list. Then I realize how much money it’s going to cost, and consider that I could have perfectly matching folders in our classroom… or spend the money on a field trip. That’s all it takes to squash my envy (temporarily!) :smile:

You’re doing great things by homeschooling, and great things by asking these wonderful questions. :slight_smile:


Agreed @KathiJohnson. I think sometimes although I am extremely educated in the ASD and ABA, theraputic techniques, etc…I lack confidence in homeschooling:( that’s where the enemy attacks my heart and mind.

Thank you @triton17 your encourgment felt like a big hug❤️ I need to build my confidence more then anything I have come to realize today. As I mentally struggled today with this, I watched my son excel in telling time (using a game I made up!!), get 100% of spelling words correct, have fantastic handwriting, etc…thank you for the support:) in the big picture, I am doing a great job! I need to relax, and just take the pressure off the curriculum. I prayed about some of my current choices and felt with complete certainty I had made the right choices, THEN doubt creeps in! I need to be ready for the doubt, remind myself the new materials fit his learning style, and keep going:)


I know exactly what my philosophy is, and I know what my teaching style is, and I know how my kids learn. I just love the shiny!
I usually decide that everything is not a good fit after a week or so of wanting, but then something else shiny grabs my eye. I just love to obsessively look at all the options, even when what I have is working great.

@dragonflyer lol, I love the shiny too😋 did you write down your philosophy? My husband and I have just started to really discuss that!

My philosophy is not really written down, but goes something like this:
The goal of an education is to become people who do what they know is right (virtue). To achieve this goal we will form our affections using great stories and discussions and practice doing what is right by following a plan each year.
This allows me to use, chores, school curriculum and leisure time in pursuit of virtue.
We will focus on concrete observations and lessons in the early years, moving to a more abstract understanding in later years.
I choose to pace curriculum based on my children’s developmental capabilities rather than what any third party says they “should” be doing.
I want a schedule that allows much time for play, exploration, and living as a family. This means that I will teach reading first, then spelling, then composition, then grammar. I will focus on only one content subject each year in the grammar years. I will also use my time wisely by listening in the car for any subject that “school” time excludes.
My strengths as a teacher are in math and English. My husband is excellent in history and English. I teach based on the richness of my own self-education and research rather than closely following any scripted program. I also respect those that have come before me and have an excellent group of IRL women (including my mom) who have successfully graduated homeschool children and regularly read from the educators of the past.


@dragonflyer that was incredible, very encouraging:) thank you for taking the time to respond!!

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@Luvmyboys so glad that you found this helpful. Writing it all out makes me feel a bit pompous :grin:
You will find your way, focus more on where you want to go and what you want the journey to look like and the curriculum choices will fall into place.

First…don’t fix what’s not broken!

Second…there is lots of excellent curriculum out there–there is NO perfect curriculum. Repeat as necessary:


Third…Don’t look into curriculum that your friend with brilliant kids uses if you have kids who are more middle of the road or who struggle in areas. When you do need to change something up, look for suggestions from people who seem to have similar ideals and values in the types of curriculum they like, similar children’s needs etc…

Fourth…don’t forget you. If you need different curricula, it needs to be a match for you and not just the student. If you don’t find it easy to use, you likely won’t use it and it will sit on your shelf. You have to be inspired in some way to use it.

More tips on my blog–Grass is Greener Syndrome!


@Merry thank you for such excellent tips! It’s great to hear from a seasoned homeschool mom :slight_smile: I appreciate the link to your blog post. I plan on sharing it with my husband so he can remind me when I’m feeling weak with curriculum:)