December 2017, Issue 17
“Make That Curriculum Work for You!”
by Homeschool.com’s Rebecca Kochenderfer
For most kids, those Christmas “visions of sugarplums” resemble toys and clothes. Some may even dream of books or gift cards. But can you imagine the looks on their faces if they were filled with new curriculum on Christmas morning? Would they think it was a joke? Maybe, maybe not. Read on to find out how curriculum can be repurposed to make a useful gifts for your children!
There’s no doubt about it – curriculum is educational. Granted, some publishers provide a better sense of what’s “educational” than others….but all in all, it’s going to be educational content. If you’re not opposed to making used purchases for Christmas, you can actually get some of the best curriculum products online at retailers such as Amazon and eBay for a fraction of the brand-new costs. And since you’re not exactly changing curriculum but are instead providing your children with new resources, there’s no sense spending hundreds of dollars to get the book brand new. College textbooks are probably the best when it comes to niche topics. For instance, a high school textbook might have one chapter on sociology, but there are tons of college textbooks that are dedicated to the topic. If that’s something that interests your child, go for the college textbook version. The key here is… if this interests your child. If they have a distinct passion about something, getting a college text for Christmas won’t bother them a bit!
New Books are New Books
Whether you use them as intended or not, new books – especially curriculum products – are still new books (or at least “new” to your kids). Your children who delight in receiving books as gifts are sure to find themselves fascinated with texts at or above their reading level. There is no unwritten law that says you have to use the curriculum materials as planned. Simply use them as a resource for your child or for a topic your child takes great interest in. Don’t bother getting teacher’s guides and going all out. Just let your child peruse the books to his or her delight.
It Opens Doors to New Ways to Homeschool
Though you may be satisfied with how you homeschool, taking a look through another publisher’s materials may just change your mind! This is something many homeschoolers experience. They often see something new and only notice the “glitz and glam” of the new product without seeing the “old, ugly warts”. For some products, it’s just a downhill slide and they’ve got to go. For others, however, they can be enjoyable from the moment you get started. Exploring new curriculum can open doors that you never expected, and may change your homeschool for the better!
Were you thinking of using curriculum as a gift for your children this year? If you’d contemplated it but weren’t sure how your children would react, consider why it might be a great investment. If you have given curriculum as a gift, we’d love to hear about it!