The vast array of homeschooling materials available today is both wonderful and overwhelming. Whether you’re considering which curriculum is right for your children or are ready to buy, the Internet can help you wade through your options.
So many math, science and reading programs, and only one mom. It’s impossible to browse every curriculum choice yourself, so the advice of others who have been there and done that is invaluable. Here are a few Web sites that contain helpful reviews of some of the most popular curriculums:
HomeSchool Reviews (www.homeschoolreviews.com) Started in 1999 by a homeschooling mom, this Web site contains thousands of opinions submitted by parents in the trenches, just like you. It has information on hundreds of curriculum products, covering the usual academic subjects as well as games and toys, logic and critical thinking, life skills and teaching resources.
Cathy Duffy Reviews (www.cathyduffyreviews.com)
Cathy Duffy has been a well-known and respected homeschool
curriculum reviewer for 25 years. Her Web site is a treasure trove of information on all kinds of products useful to homeschoolers. Her book 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum is also a great resource, with help for discovering yours and your children’s learning styles and then choosing the best curriculum for all of you.
The Old Schoolhouse magazine (www.thehomeschoolmagazine.com/Homeschool_Reviews) With 2,500 products listed in 51 categories, the Old Schoolhouse offers reviews from homeschooling families like yours, who test the products and then tell you how it worked or didn’t work for them.
So, now you’ve decided on which programs are right for your children. If the budget allows, families can often purchase direct from the publishers and support their efforts to provide materials to the homeschooling community. For those with smaller budgets, discount superstores such as Rainbow Resource Center (www.rainbowresource.com) can help stretch the dollars.
But for some families, the price of even discounted items may put them out of reach. Used curriculum and auction sites can be a lifesaver. Here are a few of the most widely used sites for selling and buying curriculum:
HomeschoolClassifieds.com With more than 10,000 recent listings at any given time, this site may have what you’re looking for. If not, you can place a “wanted to buy” listing and wait for the sellers to come to you.
VegSource.com (www.vegsource.com/homeschool) This site divides listings according to grade level and also includes a “wanted to buy” section.
eBay.com Many homeschoolers list their used curriculum on this auction site. Do be aware that enthusiastic bidding can sometimes push a product’s price almost to retail, or even above. It pays to know the value of what you’re bidding on before you start. Ebay’s “saved searches” feature can save you a lot of time. If you don’t find what you’re looking for right away, you can ask eBay to search its listings for you daily, then send you an e-mail when someone lists what you want.
Other sites that sell new and used books, such as Amazon.com and Alibris.com, are also good resources. To find the lowest price of the book you’re looking for without checking every Web site yourself, try DealOz.com. Type in the book’s title, and DealOz will search online stores and let you compare prices at a glance.