Homeschool Curriculum Fairs – 7 Simple Steps on How to Get the Most Out of Them

Homeschool Curriculum Fairs can be invigorating to some and overwhelming to others. They are a great way to network with other homeschoolers, gain information about new homeschool methods, browse a wide variety of curriculum and resources, and much more. Here are some tips you can use to help you get the most out of any curriculum fair you attend:

1. Make a list of what you are looking for in curriculum, what you want to gain from the conference, and what you plan on spending. If you stay focused and within your budget, you will feel much better about your time there when you get home. Some people just go to listen to the speakers and don’t even look in the vendor hall. Whatever you want out of the conference is right for you.

2. Look over the schedule before the conference if possible. Prioritize what speakers you want to hear and plan accordingly.

3. Consider seriously whether you want to take your children with you. Younger children are often welcome but they might not allow you to get the most out of the conference. Some conferences have programs for teens that help them in their studies, allow them to network with other homeschoolers, and help them understand that there are many other students out there that are also being homeschooled.

4. If you’re not ready to purchase anything, you can always pick up catalogs and do your shopping at home. Some programs even allow you to get a sample of curriculum sent in a packet to your home for you to browse at your own pace.

5. Take advantage of tapes for sale for the speakers you wanted to hear but didn’t get to or those that you want to hear again. Some conferences give discounts if you purchase a whole set.

6. Decide not to purchase anything until you walk away from the booth and walk around for a given amount of time (1/2 hour or more). This will help you with impulse buying. Most vendors will hold books for you until you come back.

7. Remember you are there to gain knowledge and possibly purchase books that will be best for your family. If you have decided ahead of time what you want out of the conference, you will be less likely swayed by someone else who doesn’t know your family as well as you do.

The key to any homeschool conference or fair is to stay focused. Much time and effort is spent planning a homeschool conference and many vendors spend a great deal of time preparing for the conference too. Don’t let the amount of information overwhelm you. Realize that all the information is not necessarily meant for you. There are many types of homeschoolers. Conferences try to cater to all of them. Take what you need and leave the rest there!

7 Reasons to Choose an Accredited Homeschooling Curriculum

In the world of homeschooling, not all curricula are created equal. For the parent who wishes to give his or her child the most effective learning experience possible, the best choice is to go with a curriculum that is standards-based and fully and officially accredited. While these accredited homeschooling programs are often a little pricier, using a properly accredited curriculum is cheaper than having to make for not using one in the first place.

While economic times may determine many of the choices parents make regarding their child, here are seven important reasons to choose an accredited homeschooling curriculum over one that is not:

1. Increased odds of college admission – One of the main reasons why parents choose to use an accredited homeschooling curriculum is because it increases a child’s chances of gaining admission into college. While students who have been taught using a non-accredited homeschooling curriculum can still get into college, an accredited homeschooling curriculum is already in line with state or federal academic standards, as well as with the academic requirements of individual colleges, making college admissions that much easier.

2. Certified and official education – By choosing to use an accredited homeschooling curriculum, parents can be sure that their child will receive an education from a qualified and certified staff. Accredited homeschooling programs require that their educators hold current and relevant credentials, ensuring that a child will receive an education that is on-par with that of any traditional public or private school.

3. Individually tailored curriculum – Unlike a traditional school, an accredited homeschooling curriculum can be tailored to the individual needs of an individual child. Wherever a child’s strengths or weaknesses might be, the benefit of a homeschooling curriculum is that it can be made specifically for one person, without sacrificing the academic integrity of the program.

4. More personal attention – Again, unlike traditional schools, a homeschooling curriculum allows a student to receive more personal attention from educators. Unlike in a classroom of 35 or 40 students, a student who is a home and participating in an accredited homeschooling program can have instant and almost exclusive access to a teacher.

5. Added structure to existing curriculum – Most parents are satisfied with their current homeschooling curriculum, however, an accredited curriculum adds just a bit more credibility and structure to what already exists. Even parents can get off-task at some points, but with the help of an accredited curriculum, they can easily get themselves, and their students, back on the learning track.

6. A one to one relationship – Personal attention and access to educators is one of the many perks of an accredited homeschooling curriculum. By making the decision to use this academic approach, parents can virtually guarantee that their child will have access to his or her own teacher who will be focused on his or her individual academic needs.

7. The benefits of both – The final and obvious benefit of using an accredited curriculum as part of a homeschooling program is the fact that a student can receive the benefits of both. Besides being able to receive the one-on-one attention associated with being homeschooled, the use of an accredited curriculum also ensures that the education received will be accredited, and at the same level (if not higher) than the education being given in a traditional school setting.

Used Homeschool Curriculum – Seven Ways to Save You Money, Time, and Costly Mistakes

Homeschooling is a multi-million dollar industry, but the truth is that most families who are homeschooling are living on a tight budget. With the average family spending $600.00 a year per child for curriculum purchases, homeschooling can be hard on a family’s budget. Buying used books and curriculum can save you 25% to 50% or more off the cost of your curriculum, saving you money to use elsewhere for your children’s education.

Seven Good Reasons to Buy Used Homeschool Curriculum.

Whether you have plenty of money, or are trying to save money wherever you can.

  1. Save Money to Use Elsewhere: If a homeschool mom can save money on her curriculum purchases, this will free up money to use for educational field trips, games, and buying books to build her home library.
  2. Finding out of print books and resources: Publishers often discontinue titles, or make small changes in their books in order to publish a “new edition,” and homeschool families may need a discontinued title that is sitting unused on another mom’s bookshelf.
  3. Eclectic Homeschooling: The majority of experienced homeschool families are eclectic homeschoolers, who pick and choose their curriculum from a variety of publishers to find what works best for the teacher and the students in their home. Buying from a used homeschool curriculum board where hundreds of families visit, makes it possible to find just what you are looking for in one place.
  4. Save money while purchasing something you need to look at: As a homeschool mom, I know it is often necessary to purchase something to know if it is what I need. I have done this often only to find out it is not what I wanted, or just doesn’t work for my child. A costly mistake when I paid full list price. It is not as painful when I have purchased it discounted from another family.
  5. Helpful Advice and free unbiased opinions: I recently sold a math curriculum that didn’t work for my child, but the very thing that she didn’t like was exactly what another mom was trying to find.
  6. Finding brand new curriculum at used prices: Soon after the start of the school year many families will sell their curriculum that they purchased new. What doesn’t work for them may be just what you are looking for.
  7. Clean up your overcrowded bookshelves and cupboards: Free up some room for more books when you sell unneeded homeschool resources.

If you are going to buy and sell second hand homeschooling curriculum, make sure the website forums you use are free from inappropriate advertising, require some sort of login that will help the boards from getting filled up with spam, and has a steady flow of traffic so your ad will be seen.