Selecting a science curriculum that’s a good fit for you and your students is the first step toward a great science learning experience. Because every teacher-student situation is different, there is no one science curriculum that is best for every homeschool family. This article explains how you can quickly use a free selection guide, developed by HST, to evaluate different science curriculum and choose the one that’s best for to your situation. The selection process takes about 30 minutes and is ideally completed it in one sitting.
Start by opening and printing out one of our science curriculum selection guides. Choose the Elementary Guide for grades K-6 or the Middle/High School Guide for grades 7-12. If you have children in both categories, begin this process with the Elementary Guide, then come back and repeat with the Middle/High School Guide.
These guides are a compilation of in-depth science curriculum reviews by our staff of experienced homeschool parents and teachers. We use the following five-star rating system for most of the criteria in these guides: 5-Very Good, 4-Good, 3-Fair, 2-Poor, 1-Very Poor.
- Review the criteria on the left side of the Selection Guide. Circle the five criteria that are most important for you. Don’t overthink it! Your first choices are usually the best ones. Don’t circle more than five criteria, as it will only complicate the selection process. While cost is an issue for most homeschool families, we recommend that you ignore the cost criteria at this time.
- Now, out of the five criteria you selected, choose the two criteria that are very most important for your situation. These are the two criteria that absolutely must be met well by the curriculum. Put stars next to these two criteria.
- Go down each different curriculum column and identify the columns containing four or five stars in both of your two very most important criteria. Circle these columns. They represent the curriculum that will best meet your needs. Work only with these columns going forward.
- Now highlight or circle the row for each of your five most important criteria that you circled in Step 1.
- For each circled column, add up the total number of stars for your five most important criteria. Record these at the bottom of each column. When you are finished, you will have one to three curriculum that score higher than the other circled columns. These are the science curriculum that will best fit your specific needs.
At this point we recommend that you read through our in-depth science curriculum reviews (see links below) for the highest-scoring curriculum. If you are satisfied with this curriculum overall, then choose it! If there are factors like cost or other weaknesses that concern you, then go on and read the in-depth review of your second highest scoring curriculum. Remember, there is no perfect science curriculum. Your goal is to find the curriculum that best meets your most important needs. Stay focused on that and be willing to accept some trade-offs on less important criteria.
Once you have selected the science curriculum that best meets your needs then, shop our store (see links below) for the curriculum and/or the curriculum lab kits. Our unique science curriculum lab kits save you time and money by providing everything you need to complete the hands-on activities or labs. These kits are all easily customized so that you don’t buy items you already have at home.
Why Teach Hands-on Science?
Our reviews evaluate the hands-on learning value for each science curriculum. You may be wondering why hands-on science is so important. Children of all ages are naturally curious and love to explore the world around them. You can easily feed this curiosity engaging them in learning real science hands-on. This is learning that lasts a lifetime and enriches their future. We believe hands-on science is the only way to teach science. Watch this video to see what other parents have to say about hands-on science. And remember, we are always here to help you successfully engage the curiosity of your young scientists.
Note: Home Science Tools is not affiliated with any of the above science curriculum publishers.