"WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?"
To say choosing homeschool curriculum is overwhelming is an understatement. Possibly the most common way homeschoolers choose curriculum is by word of mouth from other homeschooling families. You can find a way to make your homeschool work for you but what works for one may not work as well for another. You must realistically take into account your environment and possible limitations. While you know your child better than anyone else, you also must consider the season of life you are now experiencing. If you have a house full of toddlers, it may be impractical to plan for a curriculum which requires 6 hours of daily intensive instruction. If you are running a small business from your home, you may need your students to work independently in several subjects and accountability may be through an online curriculum or a tutorial. If your family has opportunity to travel, you may need flexibility in the curriculum you choose so as not to be tied to strict deadlines. If you are new to homeschooling, you may want to consider taking a semester or so to concentrate on the basics so as not to overwhelm yourself and your homeschooler into frustration leading to "burn out". (Never discount the wisdom of the 3 Rs learning method!)
Before you fall prey to the bewildering discouragement that can result with curriculum shopping, remember this:
Options mean competition. Competition means excellence.
The more options made available in the world of homeschool curriculum, the more curriculum providers have to be on their toes. If you've seen it around awhile, it's likely a good program and will not be the complete ruination of your homeschooler's academic experience. The freedom to choose is one of the great benefits of homeschooling. It one thing doesn't work, we can try another until our child gets what he or she needs.