Do you love to look through catalogues, shop on-line, or do you need to get your hands onto your prospective purchases?
Once you jump into this homeschooling pool you soon realize there is an even larger pool of amazing curriculum you can choose from!
This post isn’t about planning out curriculum day by day, but focuses on the first stages of planning and choosing your curriculum.
I usually start my curriculum search on-line.
Window shopping on-line is a great starting point to your search without adding the clutter of magazines to your desk or counter tops.
While you are on-line, look up some homeschool bloggers who share the resources they are using or have tried.
This is a great way to find homeschool curriculum companies too as they often work closely with homeschool bloggers. With the help help of bloggers, curriculum publishers can promote their products as well as educate us on how to effectively use their curriculum.
Need to know where to start to find amazing homeschool bloggers?
Check out iHomeschool Network, they have a team of wonderful homeschool moms who often do reviews and share how they use their curriculum. As well, you will find many of them offer free or low cost printables which may be all you need for certain subjects.
Once you short list a few curriculum companies, publishers, or educational toy suppliers, you can then seek them out and ask for their catalogues. Most curriculum publishers also offer sample lessons or assessments which is a great way to see if it is a fit for your child.
If you need to know where or how to request homeschool catalogues, check out this post by Jimmie Lanley Where to Request Homeshool Catalogue.
As much as I do search on-line, I love catalouges!
By the time I am done looking through my catalogues, they have sticky tabs everywhere, are highlighted, dog eared, and pen marked.
When I am in planning mode, my catalogues, sticky notes, pen and notepad go everywhere with me!
Get Your Hands On the Books and Materials
Homeschool Conventions are great for us to learn, expand our thoughts, to get encouragement, and also to meet up with friends; but they also have the Vendor Hall!
The first time I stepped across the hallway from the conference rooms to the vendor hall and walked through the doors I was overcome with excitement!
I love books and games, not to mention all the music, art and science stuff! I thought to myself — YES! This will be great!
I started out with a spring in my step eager to buy everything in one stop, however, I did become a bit overwhelmed.
Before I let that overwhelming feeling take too strong a hold of me, I zipped outside for a coffee break and began to focus on what our essentials were.
What curriculum did I need and what could I manage without. (Read: Choosing Homeschool Curriculum for more tips)
Yes, the vendor hall is great, you can get your essential supplies and books done in one fell swoop!
Another benefit of the vendor hall at a homeschool convention is you can hold the curriculum in your hands, and take some time to really look at it!
If you are debating between two Math programs or History for instance, the vendor hall is a great place to be.
You have the opportunity to speak with the publishers or representatives and you can look through their program.
Don’t forget other parents who use the curriculum are also there making their purchases. Don’t be shy, ask if they have a minute to share why they like Math “XYZ”, ask how they use it in their home.
Often other Moms and Dads are willing to take a few moments to help out another homeschooler; after all, we have all been the ones standing there with 2 hands holding 2 different books wondering which one to go with.
Even after 8 1/2 years, I have times where I need to compare and contrast in order to figure out what will work best. In fact, as I write this I am taking a break from looking through some different Science curriculum I borrowed from a friend and comparing it to what we are currently using.
Whether you are a new homeschooling parent or one who has been at it for a while, no matter what method you follow, we all have to plan our homeschool curriculum and books every year for each of our children.
We all have this in common.
What is your favourite way to plan and organize your homeschool curriculum?