Choosing Curriculum

Curriculum, Curriculum and More Curriculum                 

Have you ever walked into a curriculum vendor hall or a used curriculum sale? If you are unprepared, feelings of being overwhelmed will engulf you. Curriculum, curriculum and more curriculum meets your eyes. Preparation is the key in successfully navigating your way in, through and around all the curriculum tables.

In planning your homeschool year, it is important to take note of what did and did not work for you in the past year. Take that a step further and jot down homeschool resources, materials, supplies, books, courses, curriculums and programs that others have recommended to you that were of interest to you for your homeschool.

Now if you are a part of a homeschool support group or network, schedule that into your plan. Make sure their suggestions are included in your list. Take advantage of any upcoming classes or gatherings they may be offering.

Next, consider what your needs and those of your children are and prioritize the above list with these needs. You will find that this will eliminate a lot. Then research everything on your needs list and maybe even a few wants. Be sure to ask veteran homeschoolers where you can find the best price.

There is something to be said about frequenting used book and curriculum sales, especially since you can often find desired items for more than half off. However, inevitably there will always be certain items that will have to be purchased new, like that CD or homeschool software that you really want. This is when curriculum fairs at your state homeschool convention can play an important part in preparing for your new school year. The state homeschool association often provides curriculum vendor halls at conventions, including advertising specials like free shipping or conference discounts. Take advantage of the savings offered there.

Sometimes it isn’t the new curriculum choices that bogs down the homeschool parent, it is the amount of curriculum they own already! This alone can wear on mom and also the children. It is a time waster not to have your homeschool supplies organized, but organization is not the purpose of this article. Rather, the focus is on what to do with so many choices of curriculum.

If you have fallen prey to the wantsies and bought more than you have needed or used, then perhaps it is time to go through it. Doing this will be freeing for you and your family. 

There are lots of options available to you to help unload your home of your unused materials. Try having a garage sale, targeting homeschoolers in your advertising. Look for opportunities to have your own table at those used book and curriculum sales mentioned earlier in this article. Make an announcement at the next support group or network event. Donate some to a needy homeschool family or homeschool group. Or you might even want to try setting up your own market place online – eBay and Homeschool Legal Dense Association’s Market Place provide you the opportunity to auction off your items. EBay does have fees; however, HSLDA’s site is free.

Whether you are buying or selling, curriculum does not have to set your mind into a dizzy spiral. There will always be more choices - therefore, planning, preparation and organization are the solutions to the “curriculum, curriculum and more curriculum” syndrome. 

© Annette Yen 2013