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The school is about to start if you are in Ontario at least, I know that some folks have already started back to school already. Will the curriculum you picked work out in the long run? What if you or your children absolutely hate it? How will you handle it? Needing to know how to save money on curriculum is vitally important.
Curriculum isn’t working
So let’s say your curriculum simply isn’t working. What do you do? Do you keep plugging along or do you set it aside? It depends on what the problem is.
I’ve run into situations where the graphics caused my lad no end of distress, so we learned to cover them up. Just do the work, ignore what is under these little pieces of paper and voila problem solved. Quick problem-solver eh? 🙂
Sometimes though, the problem isn’t so easy to solve. The way it’s written doesn’t work for your student, or it’s too difficult or way too easy, or whatever. The curriculum simply won’t work. Then you need to find an alternative. Perhaps the rest of the year you can make use of free math, art, or foreign language programs. Sometimes your student needs to learn to deal with material they don’t like. This too is a life lesson. Otherwise, you may just need to buckle down and get a program better suited. In that situation you may not save money, but hopefully that won’t happen often.
At other times, simply changing one aspect of a curriculum or revamping it in some ways does the trick. One year my son and I were reviewing an geography program that was not doing over well. We changed how we did it, adding extra elements, reducing the disliked portions and by the time we were done with it, it had become a favourite. Saved us tons!
So you find yourself needing to buy a curriculum to replace a disliked one, or simply because you need something that perhaps you forget or haven’t been able to get ahold of. How can you save money?
You want to own your curriculum:
- Used curriculum sales
- Book Fairs
- Library book sales
- Thrift stores
- Fellow homeschoolers
- Check through what you have
- Repurpose another curriculum by adding something to it.
You are okay not owning it
- Library book shelves
- Co-op library
- Fellow homeschoolers
- Sharing with someone already using it (form a small class).
Don’t forget the Older Curriculum
My son has used old textbooks, elderly science notebooks, Sunday school material, ratty student notebooks, and more. Old stuff is a treasure trove of information. Ignore the natty covers and see what’s actually inside them. You might need, at times, to update information. But for the younger years, you want to build excitement in learning… and some of those old materials do an excellent job of doing just that. 🙂
Use them well and because they are old, you can either toss them, pass them along, or thrift store.
It’s always your choice
At the end of the day we have to remember…. New curriculum is wonderful. Like really.. the scent of a newly opened textbook. It is great. BUT what is even better is being able to buy more books and more curriculum because you stuck with your budget. Find those budget friendly options and use them well.