It’s a few months into our “school year” and about time to take a step back and see if what we are doing is working. For the most part, what I planned and scheduled for the year is working out, but some things do in fact need to be switched around! If you are anything like me, and realize that some of the curriculum you have been trying just is not a good fit, then you wonder how you can switch materials on a budget!
I buy most of my curriculum at the beginning of the year and try to plan for an entire year in advance, (we school from August through June with several breaks). If I am going to fork out extra cash midyear, then I better be sure that it is something that will work for my child! Before I get online and purchase everything and anything that has received a good review from someone else, (though VERY tempting at times) I try to see what I can change around, with what I have.
Sometimes, I forget about the resources I have on hand already collecting dust in my basement. I forget about it and then am drawn to the shiny, glittery new packages that I can order online! For example, my pre-schooler did not show any signs of reading readiness this summer but all of a sudden is starting to show interest! I was planning on focusing on reading next year, but fortunately, now is the time that she is ready! As soon as I realized this, I was tempted to go ahead and buy the materials that worked for my middle son. But then I thought about it and realized I had a similar workbook and other manipulatives that I could use in place of what I was planning on buying. I know it may seem obvious, you know, to use what you have on hand, but it is so easy to get caught up in the “am I doing enough?” mentality as a homeschool parent that you are willing to spend extra money that doesn’t need to be spent!
I have changed some things around with all my children and fortunately have only spent a few dollars. I did end up buying one e-book as a biographical resource but I’m thinking for the biographies needed in his history for the rest of the year, I’ll stick with the library! I had to switch my spelling program with my oldest but fortunately didn’t have to spend any money there. I also changed around our history curriculum. I loved the curriculum we were using but the cost of printing ink is just so crazy that I chose to switch to one where I have all the materials on hand already!
If you are in need of some serious switching here are some ideas on how to survive the change; on a budget.
1) Something Old: Look around at the resources that you may have found at curriculum fairs, Goodwill or yard sales. If your student simply needs to work on one or two subjects, see if you can make what you have work rather than spending too much right now and starting completely from scratch. Don’t be afraid to mix and match and make it work for your child.
2) Something New: Maybe you have the teacher’s manual for a new science unit you’d like to try with your child. Check sites such as Rainbow Resources or Christianbook.com to see if they have discounted workbooks. Consumable materials do need to be purchased new but you don’t always have to pay full price for them!
3) Something Borrowed: Do you know anyone else teaching the same materials that you are looking for? Maybe they have children within the same age range. Don’t be afraid to ask to borrow materials, especially teacher’s guides and media materials!
4) Something Blue: Just kidding. I’ve got nothing on this one.