Having expensive curriculum isn't required to homeschool, but it can make teaching easier. At least when it comes to planning what to do. Earlier this year I posted here about the curriculum we planned to use for the year. The truth is, I've changed it up a lot over the course of the year. This year we felt it necessary to purchase some of the most expensive materials that we have ever bought for teaching. This decision is mainly surrounded by a few facts:
1) Nia started this year as a 7th grader that was working with 1 high school subject. She was so successful with this, we decided to challenge her with another and then another. Now she is working in all high school subjects, and, well good curriculum for this level doesn't come cheep. I want really good curriculum for high school for a few reasons. The next step is college, and we have to put her high school work into a portfolio to help her get into college. I've never taught high school, and I've been a little intimidated about it.
2) Up until now, we really haven't bought much curriculum. With the lower grade levels for Nia, we have focused on manipulates and I felt confident enough with my teaching experience and research skills to cover everything that needed to be covered.
3) Anara's school experience last year (she went to public kindergarten and missed a lot of year because of mono) left her behind her peers and really doubting her abilities. We started the year with Anara convinced she would never learn to read. We tried 4 different reading programs before finding one that she could really shine with.
4) In the past we have mainly focused on paper, hands on, and book work. Anara, however really excels at computer programs, so we have purchased or subscribed to some educational sites for her.
5) After finding their way threw Nia, Anara, and random other children that have been to visit. Much of our preschool material has been lost or used beyond acceptable condition, so we have replaced most of it with new stuff for Cam and our little bun in the oven. Not that preschool materials are generally that expensive but this has upped the price tag on homeschool this year a little.
6) Purchased curriculum is organized & generally ready to go when you open it up. With our family growing, I've got to make up some time somewhere. Not planning out assignments & search the web for activities is a huge time saver