Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Curriculum Plans Part 2

I’m continuing my thoughts on what to do when your curriculum plan seems more like a wish-list. Yesterday I shared part of how I confront this challenge in my homeschool. I’m continuing today with my additional thoughts.

4. Ask to borrow materials.

I will admit that this is something I do only if necessary. I have 6 kids and I’ve seen what they can do---lol! I prefer to own the item especially if I’m using it for a whole year or for multiple children. Sometimes though, God uses this method to humble me. If a friend offers, I try to work out a win-win deal.

5. Utilize free resources on the internet.

I feel so blessed to homeschool in an era where information is shared and easily accessible. There are many free or very cheap materials on the internet. This is a whole other post, but here are a few links to get you started:

freelyeducate.com
free homeschool resources
list of free resources compiled by Successful Homeschooling

 6. Use the library.

shadows3
For some families (like ours) the library is not a free resource. It is however, much cheaper to purchase a card than to purchase books. So this is one expense I count on each year. This year the bulk of our history and reading materials will be checked out of the library. I also get many books from Paperback Swap and from using my Swagbucks Amazon gift cards (both are affiliate/referral links).

*Sonlight Families—My friend Connie has a wonderful post on how to use the library to build your Sonlight curriculum on a budget.

7. Search For Sale boards.

This is something I do continually through the year as resources are available. Here are some of my go-to sites:

Hip Homeschool Moms
Homeschool Classifieds
The Well-Trained Mind For Sale Board

8.  Revise plans when needed.

If I can’t get what I think is the “perfect choice” curriculum or product, then I review my plans again. Was this curriculum something that just made things easier for me? What about the curriculum/product impressed me? Is there a similar product that I could consider? Is this something I could use at a later date and save up for instead?

9. Be thankful for the resources I do have.

Looking around and taking inventory of the things I do have helps keep things in perspective for me. Thank you God for supplying my every need.

10. Get creative.

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Photo from an Alpaca Farm Field Trip

You might not consider yourself creative, but you were made in the image of a very creative God, so there has to be a couple of those genes in you. :) For me, being creative might mean using Photoshop to create materials for our homeschool. My friend Julia is creative in another way. She creates learning opportunities for her kids  via field trips—and thankfully she invites me too. She is well-connected with local community resources and isn’t afraid to ask a business if they would be open to sharing with homeschoolers. Sometimes it takes thinking outside of the “curriculum” box to complete your curriculum.

Do you have any other cost-saving curriculum/planning ideas? Please share them in the comments. :)

Later this week I’ll share  our current 2011-2011 curriculum plans.

Be sure to check out all the other “If Homeschool Walls Could Talk” posts.

The Series:

When Your Curriculum Plan Seems More Like a Wish-List Part 1

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6 Comments:

Blogger Michelle said...

A great post!!!

MichellesCharmWorld

August 9, 2011 at 11:51 AM  
Anonymous Honey @ Sunflower Schoolhouse said...

Another excellent post Maureen. Thank you for sharing these resources.

August 9, 2011 at 5:15 PM  
Blogger Jackie said...

Our local homeschool support group holds a huge used curriculum sale every summer. They also have vendor booths set up. The second day of the sale is half-price day. It's a great way for me to find supplemental items. I use Time4Learning for our core curriculum, so I really don't need much else. T4L has science, social studies, math, language, art, spelling, writing lessons and they do the record keeping for me. I mainly pick up things that my daughter wants to focus on for extra learning.

Joyfully,
Jackie
My Attempt at Blogging

August 10, 2011 at 1:41 PM  
Blogger Tiffany said...

A great finale to the first part. Really great advice!! I'm bookmarking this... :)

August 10, 2011 at 3:07 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Thanks for the link about Sonlighting on a budget. We're thinking about using Sonlight in a year or two.

August 10, 2011 at 3:33 PM  
Blogger Connie, the daisyhead said...

hey, girl! Thanks for the shout out about my Sonlight post!

You've got some great tips in this series!

August 10, 2011 at 7:53 PM  

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