Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Curriculum Planning & Shopping

Curriculum Planning isn't something that just happens at the beginning of the year for every homeschooler. In fact, some of us continuously plan throughout the year, which also leads to shopping throughout the year. Pause right here for a minute..there might be some of you financial whiz kids picking up your jaw right now..I agree it sounds down right naughty doesn't it?!  Let me show you how our family homeschool buying works. 

We Save Tax Return Money. After some big things are paid off, we take a nice little chunk and save it for the homeschool conference in July. This helps us have a game plan going into conference and take advantage of the curriculum sales!! 

We Plan Ahead!  For our high schooler, we try to think ahead and write down elective ideas that he might be interested in. We try to figure out what foreign language he wants to take, which science classes appeal to him, and how far he wants to go in math (as long as we check the state standards' boxes). The electives aren't usually a financial burden, however, he is currently taking an Aviation class- and that took a respectable amount of his funds.  Some of the previously bought curricula can be handed down and used by the other children, or you may need to simply purchase the workbooks that go with the texts. I've also found some curriculum hard to read, understand, or plan with, so those found a new home. If you buy most of the current year's curriculum in July or August, start planning for the spring and following year!! 

Each Child has an Allotment.  This will vary for every household. I won't even share how much we set aside, because I know homeschooling on one income can be a real sacrifice for some families, and truthfully, we could one day be in the same boat.  I do think it is very smart to set aside specific amounts for each child and you can do this by grade. Obviously a High Schooler needs to meet certain graduation criteria, so you have to allow more room for those lab costs and electives, and potentially drivers ed (gasp..that's sneaking up on us as well). A Middle Schooler would need a fair amount also for their own electives and possibly a few labs. Our Elementary schooler uses a laid out curriculum which typically costs about $500 for the year and we leave room for books, music lessons, and dance. 

We shop quarterly. Have you ever realized you forgot to purchase a science book or history guide? With three children in our home (one in elementary, one in middle, and one in high) we get pretty detailed in what purchases we need. Sometimes things slip between the crack and we can forget an important book. I upload all of our book purchases into an online library (Libib) to help keep track! 

Staying Organized is Key. I use curriculum planning sheets, book wish lists, and a binder with dividers to set up each child's shopping plan. It really helps keep me organized. All of our favorite curriculum catalogs stay in a file box too. I am a visual learner, so keeping those handy is better than shopping online. If you're an Amazon addict, organize your wish lists by unit studies or themes! This has helped me tremendously.  You don't have to plan on buying everything from Amazon, but it truly helps with the visual image and price estimate as well. 

I've created a couple planning sheets for you! 

Curriculum Shopping Lists!! 

Book Shopping List with Categories!

To download, simply click on the images! 
I think you'll enjoy these FREE Printable's when planning and shopping for your children!

If this post was to your liking, please Pin this image! 

Thank you for reading!!

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