Question of the Week

So I’ve joined an email group called Question of the Week about Homeschooling and Family, which as you can possibly divine from the name is about the posing of a question which needs to be answered.
So I thought I’d post my responses on here. This week’s question is:

What happens if you have bought a product for homeschooling that you thought would be fabulous and it just doesn’t work for you?

We don’t buy many brand new items as money has to go a long way and spending it on items that we end up not using is a real concern.
I try to mitigate this by researching items I think we could/should be using extensively, getting a gut feeling from people’s testimonies/feedbacks and hopefully garnering a peek at what the content is like. Then, and this is the bit of my process that really agitates me but is super worth it, I put my final decision(s) on a wishlist and let it sit. Often when I’m next getting a hankering for purchasing materials, I have another look at this wishlist and am able to edit it further, leaving just the items that we really can utilise.
This has worked well for us and I have few regrets over the items we’ve purchased online as a result of this.
But buying online isn’t our main source of homeschooling materials. The big booksales in the region are my primary source for books and despite my overpurchasing tendency I still have few regrets with the purchases we’ve made.
This probably has much to do with the fact we’re only in the early stages of homeschooling (our daughter being 6) and it is easy to say “well, she’s not really ready for this lot of materials right now and we can find out how useful they will really be when she is ready” and stick them on the shelf ready for that glorious day.
With the items that are found to be unsuitable for whatever reason, we return them to the booksale for some other person to discover or sell them online via Trademe, Sella or a homeschool sales email group.
Getting back to the original question though, there hasn’t been a product I was absolutely certain would be ideal for us that hasn’t turned out that way (as yet, it’s early days). Definitely we’ve had to switch courses to better meet our daughter’s needs but since we haven’t yet spent a great deal on a single item, it hasn’t been a huge burden to change tack after purchase. With the alternative materials we do have we will pass on once she’s grown out of their use ensuring that we don’t dispose of them before we’re certain we have no futher use for them.
I guess our situation is easier also as we have just the one child and so don’t have to consider the future needs of her siblings in the years to come. On the other side of the coin though, we don’t get the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) decreases that come with a product that is reusable with multiple children and this factor matches up to why we consider hard how suitable a sizeable purchase is for our child.


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