Tuesday, July 12, 2016

5 Things to Do Instead of Buying New Curriculum

Here is the next installment of Back to Homeschool 2016!  Check the sidebar for links to more homeschooling posts.


A lot of us have been there.  It can be anytime during our year, and out of nowhere we get that feeling that we need a change.  That our homeschool isn't working.  We need change.  We need a new curriculum.

Not only can this be a dangerous decision but an expensive one as well.  Curriculums can run into the thousands of dollars, easily, depending on what every bright and shiny new package you have your eye on.

So I am going to share with you 5 things to try before you spend any more money on curriculum.  Learn from my mistakes!

1. BOX IT UP
If you get a hankering that you have to try something new, don't sell the old stuff to pay for the new.  Put all the syllabi and what not in a box.  Hide it under bed, in the garage, or in a closet.  If you still feel that way about the curriculum in a year or more, than sell it.

The problem with selling something to buy something else, is what if the new one isn't as good as it seems?  What if you try it and your kids hate it.  Or worse... YOU hate it. Seriously, I have done this more times than I can count and have bought some books two or three times because I have a brilliant idea that I have found the next best thing.

2. SUPPLEMENT
History is boring?  Grammar is just not sticking?  Don't throw away the book.  Put it aside for awhile (see number 1).  Print off some worksheets.  I know, I know, I am not a big fan of worksheets either, but sometimes they are just what you need for a break.  You don't have to stay away forever either.  Even just a week or a month is all it will take to drive you back to your beloved curriculum.

Look online for something that will spark an interest.  Peruse Netflix or Amazon Prime for a movie or a show that is educational (like Liberty's Kids).  Libirvox has a ton of great FREE book choices in history and language arts.  Grammarland can be fun.  Also Our Island Story supplemented with some Horrible History videos can be a great educational break.

3. VACATION
Instead of breaking out the credit card... again... take a week or two off.  Go on field trips, read a book, make play doh for the little ones and go out to coffee with the older ones.  Enjoy each other.  Once the novelty of the mini vacation wears off you will be running for our books.  Be careful not to take too much time off though.  That can be alluring, but, honestly, when everyone is roaming aimlessly about the house because they don't know what to do you will be longing for checklists and school books.

4. PRAY
Spend some quality time in prayer.  Write out your prayer in a journal.  Make a pro and con list, if that is your thing (it is TOTALLY mine).  Really stop and think about if it is worth it.  We all know there is no perfect curriculum.  It just doesn't come in a box.  We are all unique and beautiful creations of God, so don't think that works for Suzie Q is going to work for you... not matter how beautiful her Instagram posts are.  Spend time with your rosary asking for your Mother Mary's guidance and prayer, too.

5. TALK IT OUT
Sit down with your significant other and and really talk about what you want for your kids.  Talk with other homeschool parents.What do you feel is missing from your homeschool?  What about the other curriculum is appealing to you?  Is there something you could do for free?  Maybe add something, like a Morning Basket, if you don't already have one. But focus on what will work for you, that is relatively inexpensive, and would be easy to change back if you need to.

So put your credit card back in your wallet.  Put your wallet in your purse.  Slowly walk away.  Trust me.  Whatever disenchantment you feel is likely only temporary.

Do you have any advice?  What is something that has worked for you?  Leave a comment and share!

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