***Prater 5 Media, LLC may have been compensated by either finances or product in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own thought. ***
One question I see being asked a lot is whether or not to use box curriculum for High School as part of homeschooling. This question becomes a bit more urgent when your child approaches the high school years.
As a homeschool parent, I’ve been on both sides of the boxed curriculum question. This article will explore the benefits and disadvantages of boxed curriculum.
The Benefits of Creating Your Own Homeschool Curriculum
Many homeschoolers prefer to put together their own curriculum and I can see why!
You can customize everything
For one, many of us chose to homeschool because we want to be able to create a customized learning experience for our children. Developing your own curriculum (whether by creating materials from scratch or mixing-and-matching educational resources) is definitely one way to do that. When you customize a curriculum, you are able to cater to each child’s needs and interests. This means that you can create a curriculum that fits your child’s learning style. You can make sure that they get plenty of practice with topics they struggle with and have plenty of time to dive deep into subjects they really enjoy.
You can save money
Another benefit of creating your own curriculum is that it often enables you to save money. You don’t have to buy anything that your child doesn’t need or won’t enjoy. Instead, you can invest ONLY in the things that will help them meet their specific educational goals.
The Disadvantages of Creating Your Own Homeschool Curriculum
While there are definitely some benefits of creating your own curriculum, there are also some disadvantages.
It takes more time
For me, the biggest disadvantage of creating your own curriculum is the amount of time that it takes – especially as your child gets older and their educational needs become more complex.
You have to figure out what to include
Part of what makes creating your own homeschool curriculum so hard is knowing what you should focus on. You run the risk of either trying to squeeze in “all the things” or leaving wide gaps in your child’s education. Something else to consider is that different states have different homeschool laws. When you are putting together your own curriculum, you have to be sure that you are compliant with the rules for your area.
Some resources may not work well together
Another problem when piecing together a curriculum, some of the “pieces” may not fit well together. In a smooth curriculum, the various parts will build upon or support one another. However, unless you have curriculum development training or experience, things may not go as smoothly as you like. The result is you may waste a lot of time (and money) on homeschool materials that just don’t work for your family
The Benefits of Using Boxed Homeschool Curriculum
You can save money
I know, I know. I said that you can save money by putting together your own curriculum. But, depending on what you need, buying a boxed curriculum could very well be a lot cheaper than buying everything individually.
You save time
One of the biggest advantages of using a boxed curriculum is how much time it can save you. Not only do you not have to spend a lot of time putting the curriculum together, a lot of the boxed curricula out there are set up so that you simply pull out the lesson and teach. Of course, there are some differences in how easy it is to do this, so be sure to shop around. However, a lot of curriculum developers know that homeschool parents are busy and want things to be as simple as possible.
You don’t have to stress about what to include
By buying a curriculum that is already done for you, you don’t have to stress out about what to include and what to leave out. They’ve done all of the work for you.
It is more likely to align with state homeschool laws
On the same note, if you buy a high-quality boxed curricula, you usually don’t have to worry about whether it meets all of the standards that your state has set for homeschoolers specifically and education in general.
You can supplement it if you want to
Finally, the beautiful thing about using a boxed curriculum is that it doesn’t keep you from supplementing. You’re still a homeschooler, so you’re free to add in any topics or lessons that you want to!
The Disadvantages of Using a Boxed Homeschool Curriculum
They can be quite expensive
Although there are definitely some boxed homeschool curricula that are highly affordable, others are on the higher end. You’ll have to do some research to find the perfect one that fits your budget.
They may not have everything you need
Another disadvantage of using a boxed homeschool curricula is that they may not include everything you need. Some people feel that if they are going to buy a boxed set, it should come with every single thing you need to use it, but that’s often not the case. For example, you’re probably still going to need to buy homeschool supplies (but I personally think that is a given).
Our Favorite Boxed Homeschool Curriculum
It offers a variety of learning options
If you want to only use the textbooks, you can. They each come with a teacher’s edition to easily navigate through the program correctly. However, there are also options for those homeschoolers who prefer digital or online schooling, such as the hard drive, distance learning, or DVD programs
It provides a comprehensive Christian education
With a focus on its bible-based heritage, BJU Press Homeschool provides students with a biblically sound education.
It is well-organized
The BJU Press Homeschool Curriculum is very sequential in nature and it’s systematic presentation lends itself well to learning new information because it all builds in a logical way.
You can get a full grade set or just subject sets
Another thing I love is that you can either use Bob Jones for everything or just for specific subjects. Whichever option you choose, you receive a 13-month lease of the DVDS, textbooks, and teacher handouts to help you prepare.
It offers testing/evaluation
Worried about assessing your child’s progress? Bob Jones University Press offers fully authorized testing and evaluation services! These services are offered with nationally recognized tests.
It offers record-keeping services
Another thing that BJU Press Homeschool does is keep track of grades and academic progress so that you don’t have to stress about it.
Your child gets an official transcript
To make matters even better, they are also able to provide your child with an official transcript from a private institution to make the college application process easier.
Your child can cross the stage at graduation
Last, but not least, at BJU Press, students have the opportunity to participate in an official, physical graduation ceremony. So, if you are worried about your child missing out on that high school experience, BJU Press Homeschool is worth considering.
In short, BJU Press Homeschool is a worthy option for homeschool parents who want a high school experience that is thorough, Christian-oriented, and well-organized. It is also great for those who worry whether they are tracking the right things, whether their kids will miss out on certain experiences, or whether they will have everything they need when it’s time to apply to colleges.
I was recently blessed as an affiliate for BJU Press Homeschool to be able to review their 9th grade High School program this year! This review will be on going throughout the year. Here is the box opening video from when they sent the curriculum for my oldest son to use. You may also want to subscribe to my you tube for more!
Stay tuned for more posts throughout the year on this wonderful program and curriculum!
Do you have any questions or insight about using a boxed homeschool curriculum? If so, let us know in the comments below!