You are expecting your first bundle of joy. Your mailbox and inbox start to fill up with coupons, discounts and promotions from every diaper company known to man. Baby care magazines mysteriously show up on your doorstep. Then, once you start pinning potential baby names on your Pinterest account, your page is flooded with all kinds of baby advertisements.
People spend piles of money getting ready for a newborn, and baby companies know this. We buy items that eventually collect dust and were only used a handful of times. For example, that Moby wrap that I just HAD to have. The cute baby wrap I searched for on eBay for a great deal because of all the photos I saw of moms loving it.
I used it once, maybe twice and realized it just was not me.
I know I’m not alone. Some items are awesome and I would never regret buying, such as an infant swing (life saver!!) Yet others, were sold at my several yard sales.
Is it the same with homeschooling?
Especially in the beginning. We do not know where to start. Out of the fear of missing something or the excitement over all that is offered, it’s easy to go overboard. My homeschool room (okay, my entire house) can easily look like a used curriculum sale, (just not as organized!) Often I have to look around at my materials and be honest with myself and ask:
- When was the last time I used this?
- Is it integral to our homeschool?
- Do I plan on using this again in the near future?
Once I am honest with myself, I begin sorting through and getting rid of what I do not need anymore. This process is heartbreaking at times, especially when the materials I am parting with cost piles of money or was something I was excited about.
Here are some homeschooling materials I purchased that did not work out for our family:
- Homeschool Planners: Maybe an online version would work better for me because I have tried three, (yes- three!) different types of planners and they would stress me out rather than help!
- Supplemental Reading Programs: Hooked On Phonics is one example but there are others that I have owned that cost much more. I honestly thought they would help my children excel in their reading but the problem with using a supplemental program in addition to the program you are already using is that you run into different methods and teaching styles, which can become confusing! It works for us to just stick with one program.
- *Used* Rosetta Stone Software: Apparently you cannot reuse Rosetta Stone. If you purchase it, it is illegal to resell it. I found it used at a consignment sale and didn’t realize this. When I tried to use it, it wouldn’t work on my computer because I was not the original owner. So if you are going to buy it, buy it new!
- Teacher’s Manuals In The Younger Grades: Now for the younger grades, I only purchase the workbooks for our math and language. I use Abeka for these subjects so the teacher’s manuals simply are not needed.
Homeschool Materials That I Love
- A White Board: I wanted a chalkboard, and actually saw one at a salvage yard once but thought it was too old fashioned, so I went with the white board. It’s obviously not as high tech as a smart board but I love it and it works well for us.
- Spelling Workbooks: The internet is filled with spelling lists, computer spelling games and the like but I have found spelling workbooks to work wonders with all of my kids thus far. I use Horizons Spelling with my oldest two. Each day has a different activity that uses their spelling words and on the day before the test they are encouraged to write a story using several of their words. In addition to the rote memorization of studying spelling, these workbooks are a great way to teach them the practical use of the words.
- Christian Audio Dramas: Best money I ever spent. My kids eat these up, especially The Brinkman Adventures. I could probably quote the first two seasons verbatim to you, my kids have listened to them so much! They also enjoy Adventures In Odyssey, but The Brinkman Adventures are definitely at the top of their list. The kids in stories are homeschooled and missions minded which I think is the big draw.