Bookfairs are on the way! I have previously mentioned that I don't necessarily recommend you buying homeschool curriculum at a bookfair. Sometimes we think that we might save money if we buy at a fair, BUT, if you are buying impulsively, you may live to regret that purchase. The shipping and handling that you did save, you may lose by needing to sell that same curriculum at a loss soon after you get it home and find that it does not meet your needs. Now, if you KNOW that this is the curriculum you want to buy, then go ahead and buy it. Just make sure that an excited rep or even another excited mother is not influencing you. YOU need to be excited about the curriculum. Imagine using the curriculum in YOUR home on a bad day! Will it truly fit your needs?
Some things to consider before you head out to that bookfair:
1. What are your goals for your school?(academic and non-academic)
2. What is your student's learning style?
3. What is your teaching style?
4. What can you get from the library or borrow from another homeschooler?
5. What do you already have on hand?
Some things to consider when you are buying curriculum from a vendor:
1. What kind of on-going support is available to you?
2. What is their return policy?
3. Have you talked to others that are and are not (but have in the past) using this program?
4. Do you understand the strengths and weaknesses of the program?
5. Is the vendor credible? (In other words, are they honest that their curriculum
may not be perfect for everyone?)
6. Is the vendor "available" to you (through phone, e-mail, or even better
by being local?)
I strongly recommend that you seriously consider all these factors when attending a bookfair. If it is a two-day bookfair, hold off on purchases until the second day. Most vendors will ship your items with no shipping charges if they have run out of a product that you wanted to purchase. Then you don't even have to carry the product around with you! That first night you can go home (or to your motel room) and read through the bag of catalogs you have been given, talk with your spouse if he is there and feel free to ask for the Lord's guidance. A bookfair purchase it not a life and death decision, but it is a financial one. We do need to be the best stewards we can be. We owe it to our family!
Next week in Part 3, we'll tackle workshops! How to be in 3 places at once!
This article was originally published in Homeschooler’s Notebook, a free newsletter created by veteran homeschooler Lynn Hogan. Sign up to receive Homeschooler’s Notebook for more great homeschooling resources.