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100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum: Choosing the Right Educational Philosophy for Your Child's Learning Style

4.09  ·  Rating Details  ·  821 Ratings  ·  77 Reviews
The key to successful home education, homeschool veterans will tell you, is determining your educational philosophy and marrying it to your child’s learning style. Then you can make an informed decision in choosing the right educational curriculum for the child. This is the formula for success.In 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum, homeschool guru Cathy Duffy can help ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published February 1st 2005 by B&H Books (first published January 2005)
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Jan 13, 2009 Adrienne rated it liked it
Shelves: homeschooling
I have read many a homeschooling book and I found this one to be one of the most helpful for choosing my basic educational philosophy. Duffy's "quiz" helped me to evaluate my educational beliefs from several different angles and then pointed me toward the approaches that best encompass those. Very enlightening.

I only gave the book three stars because, as another reviewer pointed out, the word "Christian" really should be somewhere in the title, so you at least know what you're getting into. Duff
Allison Dellion
Sep 06, 2011 Allison Dellion rated it did not like it
I am homeschooling from a secular perspective and I found this book a waste of time and down right deceptive. Of course, I should of been prepared for that, but I was hoping for something less biased. Especially since the cover says nothing about religion. I was not familiar with Cathy Duffy before picking the book by chance at the library and now I am warned.

Coverage of preschool curriculum was dismal. Every curriculum presented was from a religious standpoint, so at least now I know what to av
Sep 05, 2009 Ami rated it really liked it
Shelves: homeschooling
I found this to be an incredibly helpful book. First, Cathy Duffy encourages you to take an honest look at your personality, learning style, time constraints, and confidence (because, like Willy Wonka said, "Confidence is key."). You then deduce these same items in your children. Based upon the results, the author makes suggestions regarding the method or approach you should take in homeschooling.

The second half of the book offers up the author's top curriculum suggestions in the most standard
Nov 29, 2010 Christina rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010, homeschool
I found this to be a fairly helpful guide. It's a bit complex since the author tries to rate curriculum based many different features (ease of use, prep time involved, type of learner the child is, helpfulness of the teacher's guide, etc.) But once you get the hang of all of the ratings, this is a good book for the eclectic homeschooler who is not necessarily looking to exclusively use a boxed set curriculum. I was disappointed to not have more through reviews of companies who provide boxed sets ...more
Jun 16, 2009 Joselle173 rated it really liked it
Shelves: home-schooling
Great book for anyone new to homeschooling who is overwhelmed by the thousands of choices available. Cathy Duffy helps you to define your philosophy of education via a series of questions and a short quiz, which in turn helps direct you in your search for curriculum that is aligned with your philosophy and approach to teaching. My only regret is that the book limits itself to the top 100! I'd love it if she did a series of books such as "the top 100 for elementary", "top 100 for junior high", et ...more
Jul 18, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it
Shelves: home-education
Great place for a newbie (like me) to start. She makes you think about "why" you are homeschooling and then talks about different methods, different learning styles, finally then getting to possible curriculum choices (& what "fits" with what styles). Obviously, she can't possibly mention all curriculum out there and the more the years go by, the more outdated it becomes, but the first few chapters are timeless.
Feb 27, 2011 Kelly rated it did not like it
This book is billed as a great resource for all homeschooling families, but that is just not the case. The author/reviewer is heavily slanted toward curriculum that focuses on biblical perspectives. None of the science curricula listed teach evolution and some of them actively teach against it. I'm glad I did not pay for this book.
Tiffany Day
Jan 13, 2012 Tiffany Day rated it it was ok
The author was far too preachy and political for my tastes -- had some good info in the beginning but the review setup made reading those early chapters a must -- not a basic review type book -- had some interesting tidbits but did nothing in helping to create a curriculum 1 1/2 to 2 stars
The other John
Why did I read this? Oh, yeah, it was my wife's idea. She's on her deliciously long winter break and is looking for something to do. Me, I'm going to be putting in weekend overtime so that we can take a two week trip and not have the kids fall too far behind. So remind me, how is home schooling better than public schools? Seriously, this one is an overview of the wonderful world of home school materials out there. Ms. Duffy picks out what she considers the 100 best packages and offers her review ...more
Jul 29, 2010 Margaret rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: homeschooling families
Recommended to Margaret by: Lynne
I found this one in my local library system. As AppleBlossom's first birthday is right around the corner I have been thinking about the future a lot. One thing in serious consideration is homeschooling. My first choice is a Classical Christian School like I substitute taught at in Georgia. But considering the tuition, and our projected budget, it would be more realistic to homeschool with Classical Christian elements.

Being at the beginning of research, this is the perfect book for people like m
Jan 19, 2009 Cindi rated it really liked it
Since I'm still just investigating home-schooling, I read parts of this book and skimmed other parts. I think it's a great resource for seeing what kinds of materials are out there. It's good that the author started with types of home-schooling and learning types and then rated materials based on those things so that home-schoolers can find their best fit.

My kids are 12, 9, 7, 6 and 2 and four of them are in a terrific public school system. I'm playing with the idea of home-schooling in the summ
Sep 21, 2012 AG added it
Shelves: homeschooling
*There has been an update with some additional curriculum since this edition. I have not seen the updates, however, I would still recommend this book if you are new to homeschooling and would like to delve into your homeschooling 'style'.

The first half of the book there are several questions to answer, open ended, as well as questions to answer yes or no to. This allows you to get a % of interest in different areas. For example I got 90% classical, 87% Charlotte Mason and 82% Unit Studies (and o
Aug 31, 2012 Sheri rated it really liked it
I appreciated Duffy's setup in this book. She began by encouraging readers to consider their personality and their children's and to ponder their purpose in homeschooling. She referred to those elements as she then continued by discussing different styles of homeschooling, sharing the personalities that worked well or poorly with each style and the goals pursued by each style. She ended with a long list of resources for each subject, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses as well as providi ...more
Jen Andrews
May 28, 2010 Jen Andrews rated it it was amazing
This book was so helpful for me, as I am going to try homeschooling in a couple years. It isn't just a review of different textbooks. Before you even get to that part, there are questions for you to answer that help you figure out your homeschooling goals, your child's learning style, what your child needs to learn at what age. Then there are charts that help you match up textbooks or other books/programs to the goals and methods you have chosen for your family. Then come reviews of each book on ...more
Mar 24, 2011 Stacia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: homeschool
This was a wonderful book and more than I expected it to be. I highly recommend this to other homeschoolers who are just starting out or any veterans who may want to reevaluate what their doing, to try and figure out their kids' learning styles or even just to look through the reviews of the different curricula as you head into a new year. It gave me tons of insights and ideas. Once all my kids are established in school I'll probably buy the book (as I'm sure they'll be updates) and until then I ...more
Sep 03, 2009 Moriah rated it it was amazing
This book is great! The first half has you think through what you want to get out of homeschooling, and what your resources/limitations/preferences are. Then there's the list of 100 picks in a table that rates on things like ease of use, whether or not teacher manuals are necessary, how programs suit different learning styles, etc. After that there are nice, in-depth reviews of each of the 100 top picks as well as lists of "honorable mentions" with a brief description. You can then go to ...more
A more thorough resource that is basically the same as the information in this book is her website, which reviews far more curricula than this book. The book also has a "what type of schooling approach interests you" quiz, where my scores were thus:
81% Charlotte Mason
79% Classical education
75% Unit Study
74% Unschooling
69% Eclectic
46% Independent Study
41% Umbrella Program
36% Traditional

Somehow, I don't see a lot of textbooks in our future. :-)

Obviously, I didn't read most o
Sep 16, 2012 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: homeschool
There is another version currently out with some updated information. However, I would say the most valuable part of the book was the first several chapters. They define and sort different homeschooling philosophies, your long-term goals for children being schooled, and your child's learning style. Then, it uses these categories to begin to identify which curriculum might be most helpful in meeting all three of these. I found it a really great place to start our homeschooling journey.
Jun 06, 2011 Beth rated it really liked it
Shelves: home-schooling, own
This book was recommended by a home schooling friend. It is great because the author tells you the top curriculum's she has researched.

It also tells you which curriculum is best for your child based on their learning style and by completing a questionnaire you can tell which curriculum is best for your teaching style.

She also has an updated website online which lists updates.
Apr 14, 2013 Kierstin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: homeschooling
Great read for those who are planning on homeschooling. There is lots of information on discovering your homeschooling philosophy and determining the kind of learners you have in your home and then reviewing lots of different curriculum in every subject. Very helpful and very well organized. I borrowed this from a friends, but I might have to buy it to have on hand.
Aug 01, 2012 Jamie rated it liked it
This was a helpful tool. I sat and read through it in a sitting, and it helped me with my philosophy and specific choices. I chose to buy the outdated $10 version rather than the $25 new edition, with the obvious sacrifice/reward ratio being that my book was sort of outdated (but I don't think the book is worth the higher ticket price). Good resource.
Jan 24, 2011 Laura rated it really liked it
I particularly enjoyed the part about learning styles. It gave a lot more information about learning styles than I have read anywhere else. It was revelatory. Also, the curriculum picks really helped me figure out where to start. I went to the website listed in the book, and it was very helpful in providing me with even more reviews.
Jan 22, 2010 Tirzah rated it really liked it
Shelves: homeschool
This book was a great resource in directing us toward what curriculums to use when we started homeschooling. Up until I read this book I was confused and overwhelmed with the wealth of choices out there and I didn't know where to start. Reading through this book set my mind at ease and got me started in the right direction.
Jodi A
Jan 30, 2010 Jodi A rated it it was amazing
This has been one of my favorite homeschooling books so far. It gives a really good overview of each style of homeschooling so you can see the options you may want to go with. It also gives a lot of good resources and rates each website or book with a star rating so you know which are the best places to check out.
Daree Allen
Nov 08, 2012 Daree Allen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very helpful resource for me as I consider the decision to begin homeschooling at the top of next year. After assessing my child's learning style, I could review all the materials in her book to get a feel for what may work for my child. It makes the task of selecting curriculum a lot less daunting.
Jun 20, 2012 Chelsie rated it really liked it
This is the first homeschooling book I have purchased, and I'm so glad I did. I was totally overwhelmed with were to being and was about to spend a small fortune on resources I found out I dont actually need. I would recommend this book as a great starter for anyone considering homeschooling!
Sep 07, 2010 Corie rated it it was amazing
I always have this book at my side when shopping for the school year. Not only does Duffy give thorough reviews of her top curriculum picks. She also takes you through the process of identifying your learning style and philosophy of education, as well as your child's learning style.
Mar 16, 2010 Anna rated it liked it
Good reference book as a starting point for figuring out your child's learning styles and curriculum to match. I was glad she made also made me think about my educational philosophy for my children. Everyone is different, and it helped me to see what we wanted to do.
May 24, 2012 Haley rated it it was amazing
Are you thinking about homeschooling????? This is for you!!! After wading through the first two yrs wondering what i was supposed to be doing...constantly questioning myself....etc....wished i would have read this sooner!!! Now i'm excited about next school yr!!!
Aug 10, 2013 Diane rated it really liked it
Not really a book you read from start to finish - but I found this to be so helpful in identifying the learning style of my son. It's so easy to get lost in ALL the information available about homeschool and curriculum and this helped me narrow that down.
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