Have you ever learned what other homeschool mothers were working on and thought, I could really be doing more with my own children? Or I wish we could have our children take that awesome fencing course, tech course or private piano lessons. Or I wish we could use the super expensive all in one language arts curriculum that the other family is using because it’s sure to solve all of our problems.
Have you ever thought about this? Have you ever been envious of how other families get to homeschool?
For the first year, I didn’t know that there was homeschool curriculum out there and I made and created everything that we did for our school. We love notebooking and we did that from the beginning not know that it was called notebooking and that it was a thing. It was just intuitive for me to have our child write down what he was learning and since my son liked to draw, we meshed them together.
The second year, I discovered every homeschoool curriculum there was and researched everything and anything that I heard about to compare prices and see if there was anything that would be a good fit for us. I justified the expense of our books on the fact that it was going towards our children’s education. However, I found that even though I purchased a good amount of curriculum, somethings didn’t work out and they weren’t what I expected or we just didn’t have the time to get to it.
What I’ve learned?
Each homeschool is different.
Each families budget is going to be different and you cannot compare yourself to others. We can’t do a lot of activities because we only have one vehicle. Another family has each of the three children in 3 activities each and they’re never home. That works for them and they love it. What works for others are not going to work for you.
You have to prioritize.
Each family will have different goals for their children so while you may emphasize language arts, they may prioritize science which is why they have their child enrolled in that science camp or Lego challenge club. The beauty of homeschooling is that you get to cater it to your families needs.
If you really want the super expensive curriculum that is a perfect fit for your child, what will you sacrifice? Is it worth it? What if it doesn’t work, does it have a good resale value, can you find it used? Never make impulse buys.
When I attended my first homeschool conference I was so overwhelmed, I was like a kid in a candy store. I bought things that I had not even researched into and ended up not using. It was such a waste, I sold it at a loss and never did that again. Now I research the heck out of things after I realized there always seems to be an online review of the product I’m interested so I make use of them. I leave time to mull things over and make sure that it’s the right decision and discuss it with my hubby before any purchases are made.
I find that during this time the bright, shiny curriculum syndrome has worn off and reality sets in and I realize that I might have a cheaper alternative that could work and or could tweak something I already have.
Learning takes shape in many forms.
Just because you can’t have your child enrolled in those private music lessons or expensive martial arts class doesn’t mean your child isn’t learning. It may mean that you need to hold off on those activities and find options that are suited to your budget. It doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world> I wished for the longest time that our son could take music lessons but it was never in the budget. So he had a recorder and a $10 music book where he learned all the different music books.
He’s 13 now and only last year did we buy him a guitar to learn to play on the Playstation 4. He can now play full songs and he can do it well. He’s now learning to play the keyboard since we bought it for his younger brother. Does he think he missed out? No, I’m probably the only one that cared. The point is that you will do whatever you can for your child, when the time is right for you.
It may not always be now but it could further down the road. There’s no need to dwell on what you are missing but appreciate what you have.