Tag Archives: curriculum

7th Grade Homeschooling Curriculum

Updated February 22. 2014

Don’t you feel great when you finally decide on the homeschooling curriculum plan and schedule for the next year?  I know that I struggle with each subject and the multitude of choices.  I always ask the question…Is this the best for my student?  Does the curriculum cover the subject fully with clarity?  Do I need to supplement the curriculum?  Will she be bored or excited with the curriculum?  Did I choose one too challenging or too easy?

From February until May, I spend countless hours reviewing each curriculum option, including the scope and sequences for my student.  I compare these to the typical subjects expected at her age or grade.  Then, I pray for guidance, clarity, and yes, the funds to buy the curriculum.

When looking at our curriculum choices, it is important to remember that we homeschool year round with our year starting in June.  We take breaks throughout the year, rather than taking the summer off.  Following this year-round schedule, we find that her math, grammar, and writing tend to remain at a constant growth and achievement.

In addition, I believe in having a primary curriculum combined with a less intensive supplemental curriculum.  Granted this may seem like a lot of material to cover in one year, however I do believe that it is important to learn subjects from two viewpoints or presentations.  For example, we use Saxon Math along with Life of Fred.  While Saxon Math is thorough, my daughter simply enjoys math with Life of Fred and thinks that Fred is the most adorable math whiz! The result is that she enjoys math.  I have listed our main homeschooling curriculum or resources as ‘Primary’, with the supplementary curriculum as ‘Supplementary.’

***Update: We have made some changes to the curriculum for 7th grade.  Deleted changes are in Red and additions are in Green.

Bible:

  • Bible – Primary
  • Heaven for Kids – Primary

Math:

  • Saxon 8/7 – Primary
  • Life of Fred – Supplementary – Deleted – We are continuing with Saxon 8/7 
  • Added: Saxon Algebra 1/2.

Science:

  • BJU Life Science Grade 7 – Primary
  • Apologia General Science – Supplementary – Selected chapters only

Logic/Critical Thinking:

  • The Fallacy Detective – Primary – Deleted.  I think this would be a little better when my daughter is older. 
  • Red Herring Mysteries – These do not always fall in the school day.  We like these as puzzlers when driving somewhere or waiting for an appointment.

Language:

  • BJU Grammar and Writing – the Grammar section only – Primary
  • Holt Elements of Language – the Grammar section only – Supplementary

Writing:

  • Writing with Skill Level 1 – Primary – Deleted
  • Replaced WWS with IEW Medieval History Based Writing Lessons
  • Assorted research papers, writing projects, presentations, and models throughout the year

Spelling/Vocabulary:

  • Spelling Power – Primary
  • Vocabulary Cartoons – Primary
  • Word Power – Duke TIPS

Health:

  • BJU Health – Postponed 

Reading:

  • Sonlight H – Primary
  • Reading lists – Supplementary
  • Added – BJU Literature 7th grade
  • Added – C.S. Lewis Narnia Series

Latin:

  • First Form Latin

History/Social Studies:

  • Sonlight H including Story of the World – Primary
  • Chester Comix – Supplementary
  • Classical Conversations Timeline Cards

Music:

  • Piano Lessons
  • Composers and Orchestra

Art:

  • Thomas Kincaid Drawing Basics
  • Architecture Camp

Sports:

  • Swimming

Classes:

  • Classical Conversations
  • Summer Camps

*The subject bolded are the core subjects covered each day.  The remaining are scheduled throughout the week or year depending on the length of the course or curriculum. 

Ultimately, I do not schedule all the subjects at the same time.  Some of the subjects and curriculum are not a year-round curriculum.  Therefore, we may do one to two lessons a week thus spreading it out over the year.  My daughter, while challenged, is not overwhelmed.  That would be counter-productive.  I carefully schedule things and adjust as necessary.  Although we have an active academic schedule, my daughter has friends, activities, church, family, and sports to keep her busy and happy as well.  Finding the perfect curriculum does not guarantee a successful school year.  Nuturing the love of learning, does!

Have a wonderful day!

Updated February 22, 2014

 

Christian Non-Traditional Homeschool Curriculum Review : Memoria Press

HomeschoolingOne is continuing the Non Traditional Homeschool Curriculum review of four Classical and Literature based curriculum on the market.  Memoria Press is the second of the reviews.

Memoria Press

Memoria Press presents a combination of Memoria Press written Classical books and workbooks including Logic, Literature Guides, Latin, Composition, Christian Studies, and Classical Studies with other curriculum vendors.  Memoria Press provides full curriculum packages for each grade from K-12.

Many people are familiar with their curriculum through their Latin series, Prima Latin, Latin Christiana I and II, and First Form Latin series. While much of the curriculum is their own, they do use Rod and Staff Mathematics, market available literature, Story of the World, and various science books.  Some of the literature books for the Second Grade level are Little House in the Big Woods, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, and The Courage of Sarah Noble.  The seventh grade literature includes The Wind in the Willows and Robinson Crusoe.

Cost

Memoria Press curriculum is reasonable with the 2nd grade priced at $370 and the 7th grade at $475.  This included everything you will need for the year.  One thing that was very nice about Memoria Press is that they offer a package for families who have already bought previous grades.  Therefore, you only buy what you need.

Author’s Opinion

Little House in the Big Woods, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, and The Courage of Sarah Noble are all books that are well within the reach of an average 2nd grader.  In addition, The Wind in the Willows and Robinson Crusoe is also well within an average 7th grader.  For the family with avid readers, you may explore supplementing the literature with additional reading.

A side note: We used the Prima Latin curriculum and found it to be the perfect start to Latin.  Although I found the videos dry, my daughter enjoyed them very much and asked to do Latin.  While I do not like the price of the First Form Latin of $115, we will probably be purchasing this Latin curriculum this year.

The Bottom Line

Memoria Press definitely fits a need for many homeschoolers with their Classical approach.  There are so many great curriculum choices, Memoria Press is among the top choices.  They provide a full curriculum for all age and grade levels.  Take advantage of supplementing the reading with books from the library!

 

Update:

 

We bought the First Form Latin!  We can’t wait to get started on the curriculum! We found the curriculum for $109 at Christianbook.com and combined it with a free shipping coupon.

Have a wonderful day!  Smile

 

Christian Non-Traditional Packages: Classical and Literature Curriculum

 

Are you having a hard time choosing a Christian curriculum?  It is that time of year, when homeschoolers are actively looking for curriculum.  Many will review the various curriculum packages and choose one for all their subjects.  However, many others will choose a more customized approach, selecting Reading with Publisher A, Math with Publisher B, and Science with Publisher C.  There are curriculum providers to meet those needs that specialize in assembling homeschool curriculum packages.  This can save hours of researching, planning, budgeting, and lesson building.

Homeschoolers are as busy as the next person, raising and educating their children.  In general, homeschoolers dedicate their time to providing an excellent education, well-managed home, and active community life including church.  There are many of us, who turn to package curriculum, in order to help assemble well-planned curriculum for our children.  Early in our homeschool, we started out purchasing a single publisher traditional packaged curriculum for three reasons.

  1. New to Homeschooling – Homeschooling for the first time can be overwhelming especially when this was not your original plan for educating your child.  Starting with a Grade level package is a great way to make sure that all the subjects are covered and to assist the parent in lesson planning.
  2. Gain Confidence – Although I have multiple college degrees and many years of experience, I was nervous about homeschooling.  I was breaking away from the conventional education to educate my own child.  That first year of using a traditional grade level package helped me gain confidence in my own abilities to teach my child.
  3. Private School material – I chose the same curriculum that private schools in our area provided for their students.  In the back of my mind, I thought.  If this did not work out, my child would not behind. It was my Plan B.

Throughout the years, we have moved toward an eclectic program with Classical, Literature, and some Traditional curriculum. Although our homeschool curriculum worked well for us this past year, I always re-evaluate each subject during the springtime.  It provides a closure the end of the year and a bridge to the next year.

This year, I spent time reviewing Veritas Press, Memoria Press, My Father’s World, and Sonlight.  I wanted to highlight a few of the Christian package curriculum providers that do not produce all their own material thus supplementing with additional curriculum producers.

  • Veritas Press
  • Memoria Press
  • My Father’s World
  • Sonlight

Author’s note: When purchasing any of these homeschool packages, please review the material.  The curriculum complexity and student’s depth of understanding does differ between vendors.

Is Traditional Homeschool Curriculum Right for Your Homeschool?

Does a traditional package homeschool curriculum solve your teaching challenges?  When choosing a curriculum there are a few questions that you need to honestly ask yourself:

  1. How comfortable do you feel about this subject, level, or type?
  2. How involved do you want to be?
  3. Is the curriculum within your homeschool budget?

Answers to these questions will help you narrow down your choices of packaged curriculum.

3 Popular Traditional Package Homeschooling Curriculums:

Listed below are quick reviews of three popular homeschooling curriculums in textbook format.  While each curriculum has its strengths, there are meaningful differences.

The parent involvement is nearly equal between the 3 curriculum providers, ranging from 15 minutes – 30 minutes per subject.

Abeka

www.abeka.com Abeka is a complete packaged curriculum that is a traditional method.  The package includes student and teacher books for each subject.  The lessons outlined exactly what the parent will teach each day.  The complete grade package includes math, language, spelling, reading, science, history/social studies, and health. This curriculum is a great place to start especially when coming out of the public school system.  Abeka provides the parent a quality curriculum that helps with the transition.

Our Abeka Experience:

We used Abeka from Grades 1-3.  It is a good solid curriculum especially for the new homeschooler. Their phonics program is one of the best.  I attribute my daughter’s strong reading ability to the Abeka Phonics Program. While we changed our math, science, reading, and health after 3rd grade, we continued to use the language workbook until 5th grade.

Cost of Abeka curriculum

Approximately $370 to $600 depending on the grade plus $100 or more for manipulatives and charts, which can be creatively made at home.

 

Bob Jones University Press (BJU)

www.bjupresshomeschool.com Bob Jones University Press is a complete package curriculum that uses the traditional method.  The package includes a student and teacher books for each subject.  It is good for the parent who is comfortable with more traditional teacher textbooks rather than homeschooling teacher textbooks.

Our BJU Experience

We used the Grade 6 Spelling, English, and Science.  We dropped the Spelling after 12 weeks and moved to Spelling Power.  We continued with the English Writing and Grammar and the Science until the end of the year.  It was okay, but the teacher books are written to be used in a school.

Cost of Bob Jones University Press

Example Grade 6  $737.00


Alpha Omega Publications (AOP)

Note: AOP Horizons is not a complete curriculum but worth reviewing.

www.aophomeschooling.com AOP Horizons product line is geared toward the traditional method.  There is a student and teacher book for each subject.  The student workbooks are colorful and a bit more advanced than others with the exception of Abeka.  One challenge with Horizons product line is that many subjects only go up to 3rd grade.  In addition, a parent would need to add a language arts (grammar), science, history, geography, art and music to the 3rd grade curriculum.  Horizons Math does continue to Algebra.

Our AOP Horizons Experience

We really liked the Horizons math for Grade 5.  The student workbook is colorful and fun while learning the basics.  The math is broken into two workbooks, which is actually a really nice feature.  The workbooks do not become cumbersome to the student.

Cost of  AOP Horizons

Example: Grade 3 $310.00 with current prices.  Please note: For Grade 3, one would need to add Language Arts (Grammar), Science, History/Social Studies, Geography, Art and Music to have a comprehensive program.


Is Traditional Method for You?

The Traditional method of homeschooling is great for the parent who wants to stay close to the traditional schoolroom teaching.  It can be a more comfortable entry into homeschooling for the new homeschooler.  However, the traditional workbook method can be frustrating to some students due to the emphasis of worksheets and fill in the blanks.

Some parents stay with the traditional method throughout their entire homeschooling experience.  However, many homeschooling parents will explore other curriculum, as they feel comfortable with their abilities to homeschool.  If you are new to homeschooling, visit a curriculum fair to see if Traditional method is for you and your student.

Note: All the curriculum providers listed below have online schools or Distance Learning.  Those programs will be mentioned in the article regarding Online Schools.

Have a wonderful day!

Homeschooling : What Are You Doing Next Year?

 

I do not like this time of year. I do not like it here or there.  I do not like it anywhere! There I said it! 

It is the time of year, when many homeschoolers are trying to decide what they are going to do in the next school year.  They are deciding a curriculum, programs, classes, or coops.  In the beginning of homeschooling, there was little choice.  Today, there are so many programs, classes, curriculum, and coops.  The choices are overwhelming.

Homeschooling one child does present an additional challenge.  As a parent, I know that my student needs to have social interaction, but which one.  After exploring many different opportunities and curriculum, I can say without a doubt, that no curriculum or program is perfect.  The challenge is finding one that meets your and your student’s needs.

I will explore the basic types of opportunities found in homeschooling:

  • Homeschooling Curriculum – Packaged Complete and Individual
  • Online classes
  • Online schools
  • Coops
  • Schools
  • Umbrella Groups
  • Church
  • Family and Friends
  • Home based solutions

There are many choices.  Here is the real deal.  You do not have to make up your mind right away.  Do not feel pressured to find a solution in January or February for next September.

There is pressure to sign up for classes because these organizations want to have a good idea of who is attending.  This helps them hire or obtain teachers and helpers. It is a legitimate concern.  It is one of those chicken and egg quandaries.

A homeschooling parent truly wants the best for their student.  A homeschooling one parent many times feels pressured from inside to find the perfect program with the right amount of socialization balanced with the academic excellence.

Come explore a new series of Homeschooling Choices in future articles.

Have a wonderful day!

Saxon Math Homeschool 7/6 versus Teaching Textbooks 7

“Do we have to do math, today!” sighed my daughter.

My daughter actually really likes math.  She wants to grow up to be an architect, engineer, or scientist however not the biology, dissection kind.  We used Saxon Math for the past few years, 5/4, 6/5, and then 7/6.  However, I decided to shake things up a bit this year.

Instead of doing one math curriculum, we actually did two.  Yes, we did two math curriculum in one year!  The two math curriculum we chose for this year were Saxon Math Homechool 7/6 and Teaching Textbooks 7.  Here is my assessment of the two math homeschool curriculums: Saxon Math Homeschool 7/6 versus Teaching Textbooks 7:

Saxon Math Homeschool 7/6 by Saxon Publishers

Saxon Math is the gold standard.  It is the math program, which so many homeschoolers use. They are confident that Saxon will do a good job at covering math.

While I agree that Saxon Math Homeschool 7/6  is thorough in math coverage, there is a lot to be desire for making math interesting for the student.  The pages are plain text with few graphics. However, Saxon Math is a thorough program and prepares the student in mathematics for upper level mathematics.

Pros

  1. Complete system covers the expected material for testing and standards.
  2. There is a written lesson for the student to read before attempting problems.
  3. There is a substantial amount of practice problems.
  4. The lessons are spiral in nature; therefore, they increase the knowledge of each math concept.

Cons

  1. The lesson material does not explain the concept in easy to understand language.
  2. There are few graphics, which would hinder a visual learner.
  3. There are little supplemental teaching materials for the parent.  There are CDs available for the Saxon Math 7/6.  We used them for the Saxon Math 6/5, but my daughter thought they were more confusing than I am. (Side note:  That made me feel good! )
  4. There is no use of color in the text.  This is a missed opportunity for additional understanding.  It is extremely disappointing since Saxon Math is part of Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt, a textbook producer.

 

Teaching Textbooks 7 by Greg Sabouri and Shawn Sabouri

Teaching Textbooks is really a different type of math system.  It is great for the visual and independent learner.  The Teaching Textbooks 7 math curriculum is setup around video CD-ROMs with an instructor who speaks to the student as a coach.  There is a textbook with lesson material and problems. My daughter uses the CDs and solves the problems on the computer.

Simple explanations and examples introduce the lesson material.  The explanations tend to use real world examples at the student’s age level.  Although the language and expressions are kid friendly, the coverage of mathematics is thorough.

Pros:

  1. Thorough mathematics coverage in a conversational approach.
  2. Provides a second chance option.
  3. Lesson material is presented in a kid-friendly manner.
  4. Good for a visual learner.
  5. Textbook has lesson material and problems that can be used without the CDs, if desired.
  6. The grade book is available for parents to review each lesson, individual problems, and tests

Cons:

  1. No customizing the problem set for the student to enhance mastery.
  2. This is not really a con but a suggestion: Teaching Textbooks 7 digital media is computer only.  In today’s world, it would be nice to have it accessible by tablet as well.

 

Assessment of Saxon Math Homeschool 7/6 versus Teaching Textbooks 7:

My daughter feels she learns more with Saxon Math 7/6, but enjoys math more with Teaching Textbooks 7.  I believe that both math curriculum are good. Find the one that meets your teaching style, available time, and your student’s learning style.

  • Visual learnerTeaching Textbooks 7 would be the preferred math curriculum.
  • Traditional Textbook or Workbook learner (does not need color stimulation to learn) – Saxon Math Homeschool 7/6 curriculum would be the preferred math curriculum.

Practice Tests for Standardized Testing

Good Morning! It is early in the morning and I just finished reviewing my daughter’s practice test for her standardized test in March. We like to use practice tests, to help us make minor tweaks in academic subjects that she may need more emphasis. One piece of advice is to review the practice tests, question by question.

photo-020After reviewing my daughter’s practice test, my assessment is that she did pretty well. Certainly, she has areas for improvement. However, I noticed something. Her strongest academic subject was her weakest overall score on the test. I was confused, so I went through the test, evaluating each question.

When I looked at the test, I felt my daughter did extremely well considering the quality of questions in the practice test book. For example, one problem in the practice test showed a picture of a gray shaded arena with seating sections. The student is to pick out which seating section are the best seats. My daughter got the question right. However, I do not know how she could easily read the numbers to figure out the seating sections. I think she made a good educated guess.

I feel that using practice tests are a sensible idea, especially if your child gets nervous for standardized testing. However, I would review the right and wrong questions to look for trends. In the end, my daughter needs additional review on poetry, punctuation, and government/civics. The information was helpful, but only because I reviewed the entire practice test. If I had taken the scores at face value, she would need to review; reading comprehension, word analysis, language mechanics, and government/civics.

I recommend that parents use practice tests to prepare their children for standardized testing, however be sure to review the details not just the overall scores.

Have a wonderful day!

Reprint with permission Copyright © 2013 123ParentHelper.com

Curriculum Review : Spelling Power by Beverly L. Adams-Gordon

Humbly I admit it, this is the third spelling program that we have tried this year.  We started with BJU Press Spelling 6, finally decided on the Spelling Power program by Beverly L. Adams-Gordon.  Spelling Power is expensive around $60 for the basic program and the student notebook. When it arrived, I excitedly opened the package.  I started with the Quick Start DVD right away.

The DVD got us started quickly, for which I am thankful.  We took the spelling placement exams and she placed higher than I thought.  Then after following all the placement exams, we found her niche in the ‘G’ section and started with the first spelling test.  After the first week, she was cruising along.  The true test of a successful program is an improvement with her spelling while completing writing assignments.  Her spelling started to improve. By focusing on words that she misspelled, she made a better effort to learn those troublesome words.

Spelling Power is different from the other systems that we have tried.  The others give you a list and a rule to learn.  BJU did have activities to perform with the lessons. These activities while fun, proved to keep her busy, but did not help her learn.  Spelling Power is different.  The student is given a list of words to spell.  The list is graded and the student is asked to continue on only those words that give them problems.  The student will write the word, spell the word and say it, spelling the word and look at it and write the word.  Finally, to insure understanding, the student is asked to write a sentence with the word using it properly in the sentence.  There are activity cards to use to take the system further, however I found that the basics were good.

In summary, I like Spelling Power for the following reasons:

  1.  Complete system for all grades.  As a homeschooler who has a budget, this is nice.
  2. A student is encouraged to approach spelling through written, verbal, and visual means.
  3. Most of all, it seems to be working.

In fairness, I do want to say there are a couple things I do not like.

  1. I do not like spending around $60 at one time for spelling, even if it is for all grades.
  2. I do not like add-ons, which increases the price. Ordering Spelling Power will give you the Spelling Power book, Teacher’s Resource CD and Quick Start DVD.  However, they have additional products you can buy such as the Activity Cards and the Student notebooks. I recommend the student notebooks.
  3. It is a complicated system that takes time for the parent to apply, even with the Quick Start DVD.  You do not just jump into this one.

All that said, what a difference a spelling system could make. My daughter is getting better at spelling.  I am not suggesting that this system is good for your child, but it is working for mine.  I will write a follow up at the end of the year to let you know if she is going to survive with spelling skills or we will continue our spelling quest.

Happy Spelling!

 

A Spelling Decision

“Mommy, this is the third spelling course we have tried this year!”

Regretfully, I acknowledged that this was true.  Finally, months into our school year, I found something that is working with my daughter.  It took months of spelling lessons to get there.

We started with BJU Press Spelling 6.  While it is a good solid spelling program, I noticed that my daughter was getting too good at the spelling tests.  You know that feeling when the tests scores are 100% correct, yet misspellings are occurring in her writing on the very words passed in the spelling test. After 12 lessons, I finally clued in.  This spelling system may not be working for her.  I asked myself, what is she truly learning? Definitely, what she is learning is not transferring to her writing.

Consequently, I thought that it was time for a change.  As part of the Classical Conversations group, I thought that we would try the spelling lists and rules in the back of the Essentials guide.  Again, she did great on her spelling tests, but lacked excellent spelling skills when writing.  Confused and concerned that my child would grow up without excellent spelling skills necessary to survive in college or beyond, I started to look for another spelling curriculum.

After exhaustive research on every homeschooling message boards and curriculum websites, I decided to try Spelling Power by Beverly L. Adams-Gordon.  Spelling Power is expensive around $60 for the basic program and the student notebook. The Spelling Power information states that it is a multi-level customized curriculum. That is actually nice for a homeschooling one family. Since we are going through homeschooling once, we are not able to take advantage of economies of scale. Is the spelling curriculum worth the price?

There is one thing that I know for sure.  It is critically important for my child to have an excellent command of spelling for her future. I feel that good spelling skills helps a student or adult to have confidence in their writing skills.

Happy Spelling!

 

Homeschool Curriculum Budget Analysis: 7 Suggestions

Spring Blossoms

Just as the snow thaws and the weather starts to turn warmer, is a time that many homeschool parents begin the process of selecting curriculum for the next year.  Whether you are doing it for one child or many, this can be very nerve racking.  Depending on your curriculum, it can cost a pretty penny.

Homeschooling one child has a unique and sometimes frustrating inherent characteristic.  You are homeschooling ‘one’ child, so that the homeschool curriculum you buy is only for ‘one’ child.  Therefore, the investment cost per child can be higher compared to our multiple children homeschooling parent counterparts.  The homeschooling family wants to get the curriculum right.  You do not want to waste money.

I confess. I have bought math curriculum and discovered 2 months into the curriculum that it was too easy for my daughter.  I had to go out and buy another curriculum.  Did I feel bad that I had to do that? Yes.  Would I do it again? Yes.  The bottom line is that we as parents select the best curriculum programs that we think fit our child’s needs and learning style.

We have a finite amount of money in our family to buy curriculum each year.  In order to maximize the money, we follow a few basic suggestions or ideas:

  1. Assess a starting $$ for your curriculum budget. We start the year with an idea of the amount of money it will take to buy curriculum for my daughter.  Most importantly, we decide how we will put aside the money.  One year, I started saving money for curriculum in the fall of the previous year.  Little by little, the savings added up.
  2. Plan a basic curriculum outline. Decide what subjects you are going to cover in the next grade or homeschool year.  For instance, are you covering the Middle Ages this year or are you covering the Ancients in history, etc.?  It is important at this stage to get an idea of what you want to cover, not necessarily specifics.  By the way, I find that I tweak this throughout the curriculum process.  If you are new to homeschooling, look at some of the comprehensive programs to get an idea of costs.  Some of the programs that I look at to get budgetary costs are Bob Jones, Abeka, Alpha Omega, Classical Conversations, Sonlight, Saxon, etc.
  3. Pad or add extra $$ to your curriculum budget for workbooks, supplies, and experiment requirements.  For instance, we know that we will spend around $50.00 for my daughter’s science curriculum.  However, I usually pad or add extra money on the curriculum estimate.  Therefore, the science curriculum entry is $75.00.  I have learned that sometimes you need that extra money for workbooks, experiments, or other supplements that were not clear in the beginning.
  4. Do not forget about Co-op costs. If you are part of a homeschool co-op, plan to set aside an appropriate amount for textbooks and supplies.  Include this amount into your budget.  I signed up for a Co-op type program late one year.  The books and supplies were above my budget.  Thankfully, I set aside an ‘oops’ budget category.
  5. Create an ‘Oops’ budget category. I find that throughout the year, I usually need a resource or literature book that is not in the library.  The ‘Oops’ category allows me the freedom to be able to purchase the book during the school year.  You may have another name for this category.   I like ‘Oops’, however others like Miscellaneous.
  6. Plan for appropriate level. Starting in the springtime, homeschool curriculum vendors offer discounts. It coincides with the start of the homeschool curriculum conventions.  If you know what curriculum you want, it can be a good way to save money.  However, I do caution at this point.  I found that between March and September, my daughter learns a lot of material.  The books that I felt were the right level in March and April, changed by the time we got to September.  This is why we purchased an expensive math program only to replace with a more advanced math program once the school year started.
  7. Do not assume free curriculum for the budget. Many homeschoolers are tight on budget whether it is curriculum or just daily household needs.  One of the traps that sometimes, homeschoolers fall into is thinking that we can get the curriculum we need free or reduced price.  While we may in the end be able to find the curriculum at reduced prices or free. For budgetary purposes, I have found it better to put a budget amount for each subject.

Building the curriculum budget is a task that I do not take lightly.  It takes a lot of effort to earn the money for curriculum and time to find the right curriculum.  Please do not minimize the task.  You will save money through planning the curriculum budget.  If nothing else, it starts the planning process for the next year.

Look for our next article on Comprehensive Homeschool Budget: 7 Costs to Consider.

Have a wonderful day!

Laura