This time of year, our local support group email lists start buzzing with questions from parents who have just made the switch from traditional schools. And one of the first things they usually ask about is which curriculum to buy.
Of course, helpful veterans on the list are quick to jump right in with their suggestions. But I always think back to one of the first support group meetings I ever attended, when my oldest was still a preschooler. Over and over, I heard stories from parents who spent $200 or more on a curriculum their first year, but only used it a few weeks or months before discarding it and finding their own resources.
I decided there and then to skip the "spending $200" part and go right to creating my own curriculum -- a method sometimes called Eclectic Homeschooling because it borrows from many different education styles and philosophies.
This worked so well for my family that whenever homeschooling newbies ask for advice about which curriculum to buy, I always chime in with, "You don't have buy anything, you know!" And then I give them some ideas for things to use instead of textbooks.
Do you use a curriculum, pull together your own resources, or rely on a mixture of both? What are your favorite non-traditional resources?
Image: Houghton Mifflin