Does shopping for homeschool resources cause you to get anxiety? Making choices about what to buy and what to pass over can be hard. For me, shopping is not a pleasant experience. I hate making decisions on the fly.
If you already have your list written up of what you want to be looking for in materials and books, the next step is to go out and browse. I always start online because there is no pressure and I can see reviews of what other homeschoolers are saying about the products.
Take one step at a time
Try not to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of options out there. Refer to your list often and use these tips to make shopping easier:
Don’t shop for the entire year
It is tempting to want to buy an entire packaged deal. Sometimes they are great bargains, and if they will work for your child then they are well worth your money.
However, don’t feel you have to buy an entire year’s worth of curriculum in every subject.
History and science can be covered in sections. Any subject, really, can be broken into smaller chunks.
Focus on a few topics/subjects
Don’t overload your schedule trying to cover every single subject and topic. Remember that you have years of homeschooling to do. Slow down and try to choose a focus.
You won’t be able to do foreign language, music lessons, art studies, nature journals, history timelines, and science experiments all at once unless you are superwoman or you can devote hours and hours to prep work.
Pick one or two unit study topics, or the main subjects you want to cover and shop for those. You can always supplement with free resources online and at the library.
Use 1 resource before going onto another
Are you really going to read 12 books about the American Revolution this year? Or are you buying them just because they are recommended as a set?
Instead of buying all your resources at once, why not try buying them one at a time? When you have used and successfully liked the first workbook, reader, or video- you can purchase the next one. This saves you from doling out major money up front, and prevents regrets when a series or set doesn’t appeal to your family.
Take breaks to re-evaluate
It is a good idea to take breaks throughout your homeschooling year in order to step back and evaluate whether what you are doing is working.
I would call these times “mommy-focus” sessions. I usually had my husband watch the kids for an evening or a weekend while I find a quiet place to reflect on what we have done. I would ask myself:
- Are the resources I chose working?
- Do the kids enjoy learning or are they burned out?
- What interests are they showing that we could incorporate?
- What resource was the most interesting to us?
- What resource could we have skipped using?
As long as you don’t turn these sessions into a time of wishful thinking, they can be extremely useful for preparing your next round of resource shopping. Just remember that there is no perfect curriculum, material, or resource out there.
Article by Aadel Bussinger
Aadel has been married to her career Army man for 11 years and they have 2 daughters and a freshly made son. She is a homeschooling mom, volunteer, and online college student. Her hobbies include cooking, organic gardening, sewing, and crocheting. She blogs sporadically at These Temporary Tents.
Aadel has written 82 awesome articles for Natural Family Today.
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