Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • Author
  • #4585181
    Jami Desemone

    HELP! I am homeschooling 2 of 5 right now. Oldest is 8 and has special needs so it’s a lot of therapies and preschool stuff. Then a 6 year old. This year has been tough. He is a hard kid, bad attitude, disrespectful, uncompliant…it’s putting a bad taste in my mouth on the whole homeschooling thing but I do feel called to doing it and want to continue if possible. I am mostly using Ambleside Online right now because of cost, but I see some holes and I am trying to fix them. It seems I am slowly adding other curriculum, All About Reading, Saxon math, looking into others. But once I get the manuals, then I have to get materials, nothing is complete. Help me see the long term of this. My marriage is in a very bad place and my husband is dealing with some financially abusive behaviors, leaving me mostly without finance or support (hence the Ambleside), everything I look at looks like it costs tons! Enrichment Studies by SCM looks great! It’s inexpensive, clear, but it doesn’t include the 100 books I have to purchase or hours and hours and hours of searching for cheaper. I should be looking to buy for 3 years down the road based on cost and time it will take to do it all, and I haven’t even managed this year yet! I am feeling stressed, overwhelmed and incapable of providing an education that is enough for my kids. How do you all afford to do this???


    Oh mama you can do it. Take a deep breath and just be still for a moment. He is good and He will provide. At the ages of your babies you really only need to teach reading and math. A solid reading program, some beans for math and a library card will do just fine. Teach reading, use manipulatives to teach numbers, addition, subtraction, go to the library. Read poetry, get art books, juvenile biographies, history, fiction. Use one of the online reading lists, they are plentiful. Read Bible. Copy beautiful verses, passages from books. It does not have to be complicated. Watch science on the internet, go for nature walks, get books about bugs, trees, clouds. I agree that all of the resources here are amazing and they make life easier. But at the you g ages of your kids you dont have to be particularly structured in the order of things you learn. This website has tons of free resources. Easy Peasy homeschool is also completely free and all of the reading is linked online, you might find something useful. It is not CM, but you could take parts that feel right to you and use them. Make this a relaxed (free) year, make a plan for next year and begin deciding what you need to buy. I buy mine term by term to spread out the cost. Try not to be drawn to the beautifully packaged curriculum with the lofty price tag, it usually looks prettier than it is. You can do this. The Lord has your back.


    What level are you using for AO? I have not used it but I have heard it is pretty advanced, so maybe work on the next level down of suggested books.

    I also agree that for the ages of your children focus on the 3 R’s and basics and then add in some read alouds. Some libraries even have Story of the World or similar and you can still do overview of history or simply read books about animals for science or books about places or times for history. Pick up a favorite book and read it to all the kids.

    My youngest is 9 and I have to laugh at myself because with my oldest I was so concerned she was not getting “enough” but seeing her grow up I realize that when young they are learning do much in and out of school. School does not have to look like school in early elementary 🙂

    If you want to stick with AO slow down the pace, maybe pick one composer for the year, or one artist for the term. Don’t worry about getting to everything on the list because your children have so much time to learn, and right now learning is all around them even when it does not seem like it. Focus on heart, habits, and relationships and learning how your children learn.


    It can be as expensive or cheap as you need. My early years were focused around the library and free curricula other than math (I wasn’t confident enough to do that without some sort of curriculum, and this was over 15 years ago in 2004.).

    Now, as a large family mom who has been doing this for a very long time, I have slowly acquired many materials. I learned to look for materials that can be reused totally or in part, for younger children. For example, one year I bought an Apologia Elementary science textbook for $25. I can use it for every child over the years, and can flesh it out to be more living with library books if the style doesn’t quite fit one of my kids. One purchase, 15 years of use or more. (By the time child #10, who is 2, graduates our homeschool, I will have been homeschooling for 30+years.)

    Truly, if you are willing to use the library, you don’t need to purchase a curriculum for anything, but especially for science, history, art appreciation, composer studies (books and cds are usually at libraries), poetry, geography, literature, and so on. I do prefer having a math curriculum, and they run the gamut in price. I searched for the teachers manuals and dvds used every year until I had all levels from elementary through high school (Math U See), bought one set of manipulatives. Then I just purchase a student workbook each year for the level a child needs. Some people use online programs that have one price for the whole family for math (CTC Math, they have a homeschool price), which can be cheaper possibly.

    Also, in the early elementary years, I focus exclusively on helping a child learn to read, learn to form letters/handwriting, and learn to do basic math with manipulatives. They may join in the family lessons if they wish for science or history. They will see the art and hear the music in the home that week. They will spend time outdoors with the family. But their core each day is a focused short lesson in phonics, handwriting, and math. Once they have that solid base, they can read/write/learn so much more independently and easily. And they are older, so they don’t object to sitting for a bit longer for interesting things.

    So for this core, I would be willing to spend money. I like All About Reading for teaching a child to read. I bought one copy of each level (and some kids can skip level 4, so maybe wait on that one). I put the activity pages/games/fluency pages into a 3 ring binder in page protectors. We NEVER glue things in an activity, we simply move the pieces where they go, and then put it all away. This means I have had lots of kids use the exact same pieces and readers and pages to learn to read. One purchase price to be used over many years for many children. (Right now the level 1 is waiting for a 5th and 6th children to be old enough to use it. I got my money’s worth and beyond.)  However, some people like Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Lessons – and that costs even less and is reused for every child.

    For math, other ideas for inexpensive/reuseable would be CTC Math online, or Math Mammoth downloads to print for each child when they are old enough for them. Or just get the table of contents for a curriculum like Math U See or Saxon and use that to give you an outline of what to teach next. 😉



    The library can be your friend.

    JUMP math has to be taught but it’s cheap(around $20 if I remember) and it’s working wonderfully this year for my kiddos.

    During overwhelming seasons of life we have also only done bare bones schooling: math, reading, dollar store copywork lined notebooks, dollar store blank notebooks for nature study and online books.


    The library is one of the best resources I can think of for homeschooling, especially if your library is part of a larger network. I can request books on the online catalog and have them sent to my local library when I need them. So helpful! I also love to go to library booksales, I find lots of resources, especially for science, very inexpensively.

    I recently came across this free online curriculum that is “in the spirit of Charlotte Mason”. I don’t know much about it, but what I’ve looked at is intriguing. All the resources and links you need are right there in the lessons. Perhaps it could be helpful to you.



    I’ve bought some dry erase pouches to put math practice in. I just took an exacto knife to the workbook. The pouches are about a dollar each, and then of course a few markers.

    I also use it for activity pages they enjoy (like a book of mazes). It used to drive me nuts that I’d turn my back and a three year old wold have scribbled on EVERY PAGE. Now, no big deal… just wipe it off, we can use it again too.

    But the tactile is different, so I  would not try this with hand writing, and still make sure they have regular drawing with crayons, markers, etc

    Hope the idea stretches your dollar.

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • The topic ‘Homeschooling Overload’ is closed to new replies.