Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Review of Curriculum Reviews

Once again it is that time of year when homeschooling parents begin to contemplate curricula choices for next year. What shall I use? Will it be a good fit for my child? After using said curricula, will my child be a genius who will now naturally be able to know the meaning of life and the nature of the universe as it unfolds around him?  No pressure.  Clearly only reasonable expectations for the affects of using a curriculum, right?  NOT!

Obviously a parent cannot know everything there is to know about the different curricula choices unless they are happily delusional.  So we all naturally begin to turn to reviews.  They can be tremendously helpful, but only if they are written in a helpful manner.

Most homeschooling parents accept the premise that one size does not fit all.  Children are not interchangeable.  Cookie cutter education will not necessarily be the best thing for their child.  Hence the seductive beauty of homeschooling.  We can hand-tailor our instruction to the unique needs of each child.  We have the blessing of one-on-one instruction (at times when the other children are not demanding attention and creating "Calgon Take Me Away" Moments).  As parents we have the ability, privilege and obligation of searching for what will suit our individual child's needs best.

So to all those out there writing reviews, please remember to give detailed PROS and CONS.  To say that a particular program is "good," "great" or even "the best" is distinctly not helpful.  What about it is "good"?  What SPECIFICALLY makes it a "the best."  Why is the program "terrible"?

Explicit information detailing why something was successful or a veritable disaster for your family can be tremendously helpful to the next family. I have gleaned more useful information from negative reviews of curriculum than from the positive ones.  Negative review people tend to rant about what specifically they did not like.  This is the kind of information that may reveal whether or not the product is the perfect fit for your child.

My most successful purchases have resulted from seeking out negative reviews of a product so that I can actually get a feel for whether or not it will "work" for our family.  Beginning the process of sorting through the myriad of curricula options tends to make one feel trepidation or perhaps even hysteria.  So, I beg those writing reviews, please be detailed in your praises and complaints.  Give us the information that we will need to make informed decisions for our families.  But if all else fails and we purchase a program that is an "unmitigated disaster," then one of the ultimate gifts of homeschooling kicks in.  We have the freedom to throw it away and try something new.

1 comment:

  1. post is very nice i have read it all word found it great and it help me provide information