We did not go through a complicated process to create our homeschool curriculum. We were constrained by a desire to meet the University of California a–g requirements (although we can use test scores to dodge most of the requirements), so we knew we needed math, science, foreign language, English, and history. Toss in the desire to do science fair, theater, and the MATE underwater ROV competition, and we had a full set of courses. (PE came for free from bicycling to and from the community college for Spanish classes.)
Individual courses still took some effort to design. I chose the text and structure for the physics class, as well as designing the labs. My wife chose the texts and structure for the English and history classes, as well as coming up with the writing prompts and providing feedback on the writing. I coached the robotics club for the underwater ROV contest and found a mentor for my son’s science fair project. (Spanish, theater, and math were easily, if not cheaply, obtained from outside providers.)
People doing homeschooling for younger kids or with a less constrained goal or tighter budgets of time or money may need to put more thought into curricular design. I was just pointer to a series of blog posts that provides one parent-teacher’s approach to curricular design that seems reasonable, if a bit too ed-school for my taste (particularly the “writing goals” step, which we did not do):
Of the steps in these posts, the one that caused the most trouble was “pacing”. Trying to balance all the things we wanted to do against how much time we wanted to spend doing them was tough. By the end of the year, we had accomplished less history and English than we had set out to do, and science fair, robotics, physics, and math had taken up more time than we’d expected. My son kept time logs for the consultant teacher, and we’ll analyze the logs carefully when planning for next year, as we expect a very similar mix of courses.