We are in our 4th year of homeschooling now, and during that time, I’ve learned a lot. However, there are two important lesson that I’ve had to learn several times when it comes to buying curriculum (which is this former teacher’s Achilles’ heel).
There is so much homeschool curriculum available that it can become overwhelming. Add in the fact that unless you go to a homeschool conference, you aren’t able to physically look at the curriculum. Sure, some places let you look at a few pages as a sample, but judging if the program will work for your child is still really difficult! It’s very easy to buy too much curriculum.
I’ve been guilty of buying a homeschool text, looking through it, and then promptly selling it because it wouldn’t work for my kids. You know how my goals every week lately include selling homeschool items? Those are items I discovered wouldn’t work for my kids once I physically had them in my hand or items we’re done using.
But in some instances, I don’t think overbuying can be prevented because I need to LOOK at the curriculum in person. So, overbuying isn’t my curriculum problem.
What IS my problem is falsely thinking that because one curriculum worked great for one kid, it will work for another AND buying too much curriculum in advance when I see it at a great price.
The Same Curriculum Likely Doesn’t Work for All Your Kids
Our kids all have different learning styles and likes and dislikes. If kids go to the public school, they don’t have much choice with the curriculum they have to use. However, when you homeschool, you can choose the right curriculum for your child and his or her interests.
For instance, PB & J Girl zoomed through ABCMouse.com and completed all of the levels. Cuddle Bug only completed one level because she got sidetracked by all of the games.
I had to try several reading programs with PB & J Girl. What finally clicked for her was My Father’s World. She’s in the middle of completing the 1st grade curriculum. We’re only using it for learning to read, and it works perfectly for her.
Cuddle Bug HATED My Father’s World Kindergarten. She complained every time she had to do it. Luckily, we had the opportunity to review Memoria Press’ First Start Reading, and she LOVES the program. First Start Reading has the children start blending and making words within the first 7 lessons, which is just what Cuddle Bug needs.
This week I just sold My Father’s World Kindergarten. What works for one child doesn’t always work for another child. The other lesson I learned about buying curriculum is also tied up in this example.
Don’t Buy Curriculum Too Far in Advance
I shouldn’t have bought My Father’s World 1st grade consumables for Cuddle Bug before I knew if she would even like the kindergarten program.
You never know what’s going to happen with your kids. Maybe they’ll go to school. Maybe you’ll join a co-op. Maybe their interests will change.
I like to buy used curriculum, especially when I can find it at a great price, but now I limit myself to only buying it a year in advance. You just never know what will happen in life, and you’ll likely be able to find a great price next year.
If you’re new to homeschooling, take my advice and remember that not all curriculum is a good fit for all of your kids and that there’s no need to buy curriculum too far in advance because life happens.
What curriculum lessons have you learned on your homeschooling journey?
This post is part of the TOS Crew Review’s annual blog hop. You can find more posts about curriculum from bloggers who homeschool children of different ages and who have homeschooled for a variety of years by clicking on the link below: