A curriculum is defined as:
1. courses offered by an educational institution,
2. a list of all the courses of study offered by a school or college,
3. a program or plan of activities.
Your "homeschool curriculum" probably matches definition #3, above. New homeschoolers often become confused over "which curriculum to use" or "where to buy a curriculum."
In reality, a homeschool curriculum is simply "a plan of homeschool activities" that you use in your homeschool. It need not be an expensive curriculum, nor does it need to incorporate textbooks or workbooks.
Homeschoolers can use textbooks and workbooks if they'd like. But it certainly isn't necessary.
Your child will learn more readily and more fully when you and they homeschool in a manner that best complements their own unique learning styles. Spend a bit of time determining your child's own learning style. Consult the book, Discover Your Child’s Learning Style, by Mariaemma Willis. Then, based upon your child's learning style, create your own curriculum -- your own program or plan of homeschool activities.
Remember: Homeschooling is not a school at home. Don’t confuse yourself or your children, thinking that it should be. You’ll only make it harder on yourself.
As John Holt warned: “To parents I say, above all else, don’t let your home become some terrible miniature copy of the school. Live together, as well as you can; enjoy life together, as much as you can. Ask questions to find out something about the world itself, not to find out whether or not someone knows it.”
Remind yourself each day that your duty is to guide your child, not force instruction upon him. Your role is to help him learn how to learn and to encourage him to seek answers to questions, find materials and information that will help him learn, explore the things that interest him, and find new and challenging ways to learn.
This, then, will be your family's homeschool curriculum!
For more help with creating your own homeschool curriculum, using homeschool activities, or hundreds of educational ideas for weekly homeschool lessons, see our Home page at EverythingHomeschooling.com.