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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Swimming in the Sea of Homeschool Curriculum

Every homeschool mom has felt the initial fear of swimming in the sea of homeschool curriculum. I remember the first book fair I walked into at my state's homeschooling conference here in North Carolina. Talk about feeling overwhelmed! A fellow homeschooling friend had warned me, but I still remember, even today, that sinking feeling I had as I entered through those double doors of the book fair.

I didn't go in prepared and boy did I sink fast in the sea that surrounded me! I won't even say how much I spent that first year I began homeschooling {blush}, but I learned from my experience, and today I want to share my 5 tips to help you swim like a pro in the sea of homeschool curriculum.

5 Tips to Help You Swim Like a Pro

Tip #1: Decide Your Homeschool Approach

This will be a huge factor when it's time to do your research on the various curriculum that is available. There are five different approaches: Charlotte Mason method, classical, eclectic, unit studies and unschooling. I'm working on another post to cover these different approaches to homeschooling, so be sure to check back here at Grace-Filled-Moments for that post.

Tip #2: Do Your Research

Once you've determined your homeschool approach, you'll want to begin researching curriculum that fits into the method you chose. Two great resources to use to tread the seas of homeschool curriculum are North Carolinians for Home Education (this link is for my state...check your state's homeschool website) and Cathy Duffy Homeschooling Curriculum Reviews.

Tip #3: Make a List

Before you buy anything, make a list of what you are interested in from your research efforts. Be sure to include prices, strengths and possible weaknesses of what you're interested in, and whether or not you can get the curriculum used. Use this list to narrow down your final choices once you have made your curriculum budget.

Tip #4: Have a Curriculum Budget

Setting a curriculum budget will help you from overspending...if you stick to it. For curriculum junkies, like me, I have to maintain a high level of self-control when when it comes to shopping for curriculum. Otherwise, I will blow my budget totally out of the water. Once you have set your homeschool budget, take your list and begin making your final choices.

Tip #5: Buy Used Whenever Possible

I learned very quickly in my homeschooling journey that buying used is nothing to be ashamed of. It has helped me to be able to stretch my homeschool curriculum budget and get what I want on my list. There are several used homeschool vendors at my state's book fair that I always go to first at our homeschool conference. You can join "used curriculum" Facebook groups where you can buy used items on your list. Go a step further and sell your used curriculum there too so you'll have money to put into your budget. Another great source for buying and selling used curriculum is VegSource.

I hope these tips will help give you the confidence you need when it comes to swimming in the sea of homeschool curriculum! Do you have any additional tips you would like to share? If so, please feel free to leave them in the comments below.

Walking in His Grace, 


  1. Excellent tips, Laurie! Thanks for sharing. For those who enjoy the "Eclectic Method" of homeschooling, there are also some wonderful free and low-cost options online. Since we are on a strict budget, most of our curriculum is either free or borrowed. Sharing with other homeschool friends is a great way to lend a helping hand. :) Great blog!

    1. Thanks for sharing such a great tip, Christy! You are so right about the free and low-cost options online for those of us who are Eclectic. I have a a folder of links in my "Favorites" online. I'll have to create a blog post to share those. Thanks for stopping by and commenting! :)