Every year in February I start looking around for what curriculum I would like to use next year. I have admitted in the past to being a curriculum junkie and I love looking for new curriculum. Why February? Our house is usually relatively calm in February with not a whole lot of outside activities. Also, by February I know if I like what we are using well enough to continue with the same thing or start looking for something completely different. I like catalog shopping better than Internet shopping although I prefer to actually order online. Many companies will send you their catalogs for free, but it could take several weeks to get there. By requesting catalogs early, I know I will have plenty of time to get them and to look thoroughly through them (I have to confess, I LOVE looking through homeschool catalogs!) I also have plenty of time to read reviews on curriculum or to ask questions from people I know who are using something.
I don't think I am going to make it to a Homeschool Convention this year, so I am going to have to rely on catalogs and reviews to make my curriculum decisions. Arkansas has 2 Conventions every year. One in Searcy (May 20, 21st 2010) and one in Siloam Springs (August 4,5 2010.) With gas being as expensive as it is, any money I might save by going to Searcy I would more than spend on gas. The Siloam Springs convention usually is held in Springdale, and I go and visit my parents the same week-end. Even though Siloam Springs is right down the road from Springdale, that convention is so late this year. I usually like to have all of my books in hand by the end of July so I can familiarize myself with them and get ready to start up again in August. I would rather not wait that long and then still have to wait for it to arrive and get it ready to be used at the last minute.
As I am deciding what I would like to buy, I also have to decide what I am going to sell. If we have curriculum that isn't working out very well, or that I know won't work for the younger children I will resell it or even sometimes give it away. There is not a whole lot of homeschoolers in this area, so I mostly rely on selling on Ebay (although I admit Ebay and I have a love/hate relationship.) By reselling things I know we won't use again, I get to have a little more money towards what I would like to buy and hopefully will also get to bless someone else with the books they are looking for.
So, I am building a "Curriculum Wish List." I am writing down ideas for what I want to do and looking for curriculum to match. As I go through and get my catalogs and read reviews/recommendations I will probably change my mind a few times (and the list will grow!) Also last year I did a complete turn around when I had curriculum given to me (who can say no to free?) Budget will play a big part in what I decide to buy, so I am starting to plan ahead for that also. In addition I am making a "Homeschool Wish List" for things I really would like to buy for my homeschool when budget and space allow. Here's what's on the lists so far:
Spelling- All About Spelling
Science-Apologia (Biology for Chelsea not sure for boys yet)
History- I am looking at Mystery of History and Tapestry of Grace
Math-sticking with Abeka
I will post more updates as time goes on and I make final decisions about what we will be using next year!