The premiere site for homeschool reviews!
Cathy Duffy has been reviewing curriculum for the homeschooling community since 1984. She also reviews other resources she believes are important for those interested in homeschooling, education, the origins debate, and related political, and spiritual topics. This site features abbreviated reviews of Cathy's Top Picks from her latest book, 102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum, as well as more than a thousand reviews of other homeschool products. While we stretch beyond homeschooling, our primary goal always remains the same:
To help families successfully educate their own children!
102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum
Want To Know The 102 Best Products In The Homeschool Market?
102 Top Picks is a must-have for new home educators.
“...I would buy it for myself or a friend without blinking. This is an invaluable tool, especially if you are just starting out. Even as i say that, I have been homeschooling for ten years and i am still getting excited about using Cathy’s forms and reading through each section more carefully.” (Amy, www.bowofbronze.com)
NOTE: As of June 2018, the print book is going out of print. (We still have some damaged books on hand, and Ebooks will still be available.) We are working on a new version of the book which will be essentially the same as the first five chapters of 102 Top Picks, giving you the tools to figure out which curricula will work best for you and your child(ren). Rather than our previous chart system in the book, we are creating an advanced search feature for this website which will help homeschoolers narrow down their choices from among all of my reviews. I will continue to identify my Top Picks on the website.
Selecting the right curriculum can be a time consuming, heart wrenching task for any family that chooses home education. Now, homeschooling curriculum expert Cathy Duffy makes choosing the right resources for your child easy in her book 102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum.
Cathy guides you through the process, offering her "Top Picks" from each subject area, narrowing down to a manageable number of choices. Parents no longer need to sort through the entire universe of products before they can find something suitable.
In 102 Top Picks, Cathy simplifies the curriculum selection process with questionnaires and charts. She walks her readers through the process of figuring out their preferences in terms of a philosophy of education, learning styles, and goal setting.
A major feature of 102 Top Picks is the charts showing the 102 Top Picks in relation to educational approaches, learning styles, and practical features such as prep time needed; design for independent, one-on-one, or group learning; and ease of use for the teacher.
Complete reviews of each of the Top Picks provide parents the information they need to make the best choices for each of their children.
102 Top Picks gives parents just the right balance of guidance and choices so they can make well-informed choices in their curriculum purchases.
Following Cathy's previous two books—100 Top Picks and 101 Top Picks, this latest 2015 edition is thoroughly updated with new products added to the list.
102 Top Picks is available in a print edition as well as e-book editions (epub, Kindle, or PDF). E-books include interactive weblinks that take you directly to helpful links on topics discussed in the book as well as to publishers' website for more information on each product. (Weblinks work only on readers that can connect to the internet.)
Epub and Kindle editions will reflow the text to fit the screen. Charts for these editions were recreated in narrower formats and preserved as images. They are not as easy to read as are the charts in the book and in the PDF e-book. Separate PDF files of the charts are available to purchasers of the epub of Kindle edition at no extra cost. PDF files from the PDF e-book or the separate PDF portfolio of charts make it easy to print out charts to write on them.
The epub version should work on most ebook readers other than Kindle as well as the iPad. The PDF version is a duplicate of the print edition and works best on devices with larger screens such as the iPad or a computer.
Customer and reviewer comments:
For a detailed, unsolicited video review, see Tiffany's Simply Knowledge Homeschool blog at http://simplyknowledgehomeschool.blogspot.com.
"Oh my goodness, what a calming & reassuring resource this has turned out to be! I have spent the last couple of years trying to get the hang of homeschooling but floundering the whole time. Yes I have read all the blogs and talked to many other homeschoolers, but it's hard to apply advice from one family's experience and expect it to fit my own.
For the first time I feel like I have a solid direction to head, thanks to Cathy's careful guidance. She has helped me figure out my teaching style/preference as well as my daughter's style of learning.
As with any form of lasting education, the proof is in the application. She helped me connect the dots between teaching/learning styles and the kinds of curriculum that support that. What a relief!! I am entering the new school year with a LOT more peace and confidence.
Thank you, Cathy, for this invaluable resource."
- Esther W - Co-op member
"I just wanted to tell you how your book set our homeschool off with success 4 years ago. I was so lost and even though I majored in Education, I still had no idea what curriculum to choose for our family. Your book was a crash course in educational philosophies and learning styles. AND gave us a mission statement that helped us not waste our time and money on curriculum that didn't support those goals. Every time a mom asks me about how to homeschool and where to start, I buy them your book and ship it to them via Amazon. Then I tell them to call me. I can't tell you how many I have bought! But your book is a wealth of information, I know I can't do a justice. I was having coffee with a friend a couple days ago and she said, "You know what book transformed our homeschool? 101-" And I yelled, "Top 101 Homeschool Curriculum by Cathy Duffy! It's so much more than the title! It totally equipped me in making decisions for our school too!" Anytime I see a new curriculum, I jump on your website. All that to say, thank you so much for your book! And the ongoing reviews for future curriculums. I honestly have no idea what I would do without them."
- Linday G.
"This is one of the best investments a homeschooling family can make! It is extremely useful when considering different curriculum choices. One of the features that had benefited me the most is the section in the beginning where Cathy walks the reader through thinking out your educational goals and then helps you determine your child(ren)s learning style. Armed with this information, I am able use the reviews in the rest of the book to make the best educational choices for each of my children. This book needs to be on every homeschoolers shelf!"
- Deanne S.
"This has been such a lifesaver for me. I' m still fairly new to homeschooling and checking out curriculums here first has saved me countless dollars in purchasing unnecessary curriculum that would simply end up on the bookshelf. This book (as well as her website) is an invaluable source of information! We are now homeschooling in a way that is perfectly tailored to my child....finally!"
- Kathi W., Co-op Member
"One of my first purchases was the Top 100 book—best purchase I ever made on this new endeavor!"
- Andrea, FL
"This book was instrumental in helping me make some difficult choices about our plan for homeschooling. It is so much more than a book of recommendations its a book that will walk you through the process from beginning to end. I felt so overwhelmed by my decision to homeschool all 3 of my boys this year but Cathy's 101 top picks really helped me gain clarity and focus on everything thats important about choosing a curriculum. When people tell me that they are thinking about homeschooling their kids, I tell them to read this book NOW so they can understand what they want and need before they have to face the question of what curriculum they should use. I highly recommend this book and will continue to recommend it to anyone who is considering a change in curriculum or just beginning to think about homeschooling. Thank you so much of helping me face this giant! God Bless you Cathy Duffy."
- Sandra M., Homeschool Buyers Co-op Member
"Cathy Duffy's 101 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum is right a the top of my list of favorite books for new homeschoolers."
- Gena, www.homeschoolpassion.com
"Cathy has saved me hours, if not days, of work! I am so grateful for her book. This year I was revamping all of our homeschooling books (either used up or needed a different style) and needed information for three different grade levels for eight different subjects! I was able to find what would work best for our family and each child individually all within her book. Even after I finished the book, I decided to check out some other suppliers. I was unhappy with them all; either quality, price, or content. I would end up back at what Cathy recommended every time. This has been EXACTLY what I was looking for. I really trust her reviews and love the outlook she shares within her book. I cannot tell you what a blessing this book was for me this year. I am recommending it to all my homeschooling friends. Thank you!!!"
- Amber, Homeschool Buyers Co-op Member
"...I would buy it for myself or a friend without blinking. This is an invaluable tool, especially if you are just starting out. Even as I say that, I have been homeschooling for ten years and I am still getting excited about using Cathy's forms and reading through each section more carefully."
- Amy, reviewer at www.bowofbronze.com
"Our first attempt at homeschooling was, at best, a dismal success. We used pre-packaged curriculum and only one child out of the three was happy with it. At the end of that year I purchased Cathy's first book but we decided to enroll our children in a Charter school so the book was never opened. After much prayer, we felt that it was necessary to give homeschooling another chance. I pulled out Cathy's book and set to work planning an approach to this school year. Her website was another great resource and on it I found a link to update to the latest version of her book. What a goldmine! We are using curriculum tailored specifically to each child in each subject. While homeschooling still has its difficult moments, I'm happy to say that they are not caused by the curriculum. I'm looking forward to calling this year a success thanks to this book."
- Christina Jay, Homeschool Buyers Co-op Member
"I have (and love!) this book as a paperback...and love that I was able to get the e-book version at a discount! It is now easier to carry with me and read wherever I go!"
- Stephanie T.
"Because I am a veteran homeschoolers (20+yrs), I was a bit skeptical about buying 101 top picks. None the less, I bought it and the information was invaluable. Not only did it reinforce some ideas I have learned through the years, I learned about the basic learning styles and the importance of matching curriculum with learning styles. Cathy made it easy to review curriculum with the easily understandable charts which saved me a lot of time. It covers a lot of publishers and varieties of curriculum thoroughly. I recommend this for anyone teaching children."
- Sam W.
"Top Picks assisted me in not only defining my style of teaching but how each of my children learn best. With the curriculum descriptions I was able to select and consider curriculum that would work best for my family saving me much time, money and frustration. I have suggested this book to many other homeschoolers and will always suggest this book to those just entering homeschool."
- Kris P.
"This is a great resource to help you narrow down the many curriculums for homeschooling. Pros and cons are given that help you decide what is best for your family. It is a real time saver when you are looking for new curriculum!"
- Christine T.
"I have loved this book! Before reading it, I wasn't sure which curriculum was a good fit for my family. This book helped me decide which curriculum was a good fit for each kid based on their personality and learning style. I was also able to find some great curriculum that would work for all the kids together, which saves so much time along with allowing us all to learn together during certain times of the day. I have since recommended this book to others."
- Kristin L.