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Ask the Expert: Which Curriculum Is Right for You?

Posted by on Aug. 12, 2011 at 3:29 PM
  • 44 Replies

Do you use a specific curriculum when you homeschool? How do you know which curriculum to choose? Do you need some guidance finding the best curriculum fit for your family?

CafeMom is excited to welcome Cathy Duffy to the group to answer YOUR curriculum questions. She is a curriculum specialist and author of "Top 100 Picks for Homeschooling Curriculum."

Cathy recommends that you start any curriculum search journey by checking out both (a free curriculum recommendations service) and (Cathy's homeschool reviews site).

Cathy will be in the group from August 22 to August 26. You can ask your questions now, as replies to this post. Cathy will post her replies here as well.

Welcome, and thank you for joining us, Cathy Duffy!

by on Aug. 12, 2011 at 3:29 PM
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Replies (1-10):
by on Aug. 12, 2011 at 3:45 PM

Hi Cathy :)

Just wanted to pop in to say your website ( has been super helpful to me during my curriculum choices.  


by Bronze Member on Aug. 12, 2011 at 4:10 PM

 Hi Cathy:

Thanks for taking time to answer our questions.  This is going to be our first year homeschooling.  I have looked at curricululm until I am blue in the face and while I thought I had it pretty much narrow down, I am not sure.  I have a son who will be starting 5th grade this fall. He has ADHD/autism and learns best by hands on and visual, (movies, DVD's etc).  He does really well in math and science, but struggles with reading and writing. 

I was going to use Systematic math, growing with gramar, sequential spelling, and Learning adventure unit studies for everything else.  I was also thinking about unschooling for a little bit to start with, as my son has had a really hard last couple of years in public school.  He has so many things he says he wants to learn about, most of which revolve around science, history and math.  What would you recomend for a child like this?  Thank you.


by on Aug. 12, 2011 at 4:25 PM

Hi Cathy. We are thinking about using My Father's World for Kindergarten. Do you think we need to supplement some subjects, or is a complete enough curriculum? 

by on Aug. 12, 2011 at 4:46 PM

Hi. Thanks for all your insight into curriculum.  Like most things - the more choices we have, the better overall quality.  Yet, the more choices we have, the harder to make a decision!  My question:  I'm very interested in a Christian / Faith-based curriculum for 4th Grade.  which do you recommend?  What is the best place to find this for the cheapest possible price?  Thanks for supporting home school moms.  This has been a scary rollercoaster for me.  Your work has made it so much more easy.  When I first started homeschooling I really would stay awake at night wondering if I was screwing up my kid..........It really is a set of tough decisions. The information you have imparted as made those decisons easier for me.

by on Aug. 12, 2011 at 5:30 PM

 welcome cathy! enjoy your books! even after all these years we are still using the first 'curr. education mannual elementry and the jr./hs ones!



by on Aug. 12, 2011 at 5:46 PM

I'm stuck.  I love Abeka and LifePac (well, from what I've seen, I haven't used either).  They seem so similar...

by on Aug. 12, 2011 at 6:31 PM

My little boy is also ADHD and has Asperger's Syndrome and he is five years old.  I need to come up with a plan that incorporates lots of time for physical activity bacause he can't sit for very long at one time.

by on Aug. 12, 2011 at 8:31 PM

I am currently using Rod and Staff but I went and bought every single book to the curricullum for all three kids and I am feeling very bogged down by textbooks! Any suggestions?

by on Aug. 12, 2011 at 9:14 PM
Hello! I was wondering what you thought of"my fathers world" for kindergarten? I want to use ambleside onlines curriculum for 1st-12th other thought is maybe living books for kindergarten. I'm not sure what all other subjects I'll need with ambleside and what else extra. Is there another curriculum similar to ambleside as well?
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by Sonja on Aug. 12, 2011 at 9:31 PM
Hi. I have been homeschooling for 11 yrs now and I would like to know the difference between homeschooling and unschooling. I don't have any particular type of corriculum. I have 7 kids. 5 of whom I am teaching at the moment and 2 of which I write their school work for by hand. We are on a very tight budget. Is unschooling any cheaper than just plain old homeschooling? Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedual to answer all our questions and such.
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