Catalog Fever


property of aBeka

It’s that time of year again! Catalogs from every company I have ever ordered from have started rolling in to clutter my overly organized desk.

While we are not going to finish our school year until May, seeing those catalogs pile up had already gotten my brain into a frazzle.

I desperately needed to weed through the pile and minimize the clutter, getting down to the bare bones of what I needed.

Knowing myself as well as I do, I couldn’t stop there. No, I would not get a moment’s rest if those catalogs sat there without being perused and ideas jotted down.

I thought I had a plan, I would work on them little by little and handle each child’s curriculum a week at a time. I would be done in only a month and still have time to enjoy my weekends!

Well, the best laid plans of mice and men… I finished it all yesterday!

It seems once I got the ball rolling, there was no stopping me. Plus, it didn’t entail as much as I thought it would.

Most of my curriculum is from one company, which made things simple. What really helped was knowing I had already schooled three of these grades before, so only my oldest was new territory.

For some reason I thought planning for junior high was going to take me so much longer, but really it didn’t. The Lord had already given me this awesome book, The High School Handbook, which helped make things so much easier.

Since the framework was already in place, picking out curriculum to correspond was a breeze.

My husband even suggested we help her tackle a project that has been on the back-burner for a while now. (More on that another day!) Junior High is going to be a very exciting time for her and for us. I can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store!

Well, the first third of the job is done. With much prayer and confirmation from my husband, our curriculum list is organized and ready to go. Now I am waiting to receive my nifty postcard with curriculum “show” dates, so that I can order in person and save some dough.

The catalogs have been stored away for possible future use and I can now relax, knowing there is nothing awaiting my attention.

At least not for the next ten minutes….

Have your curriculum catalogs started showing yet? Do you organize now or wait till summer?


12 thoughts on “Catalog Fever

    • You request them from the companies. Go to their websites and request a catalog, they are free, or you can call them.
      I like aBeka and Rainbow Resource (which resembles a phone book in size!).
      Once you order, you should start receiving their catalogs annually.


  1. We enrolled with ABeka Academy for all kids for all twelve grades. Wonderful. Especially the Diploma and official high school transcript. So I didn’t do much picking and choosing. But they still sent a catalog for ordering extra goodies from – which I did. I also ordered a few supplemental things from Alpha Omega Publications, and the now defunct Tobin’s Science Lab. LOVE catalog shopping, but so sad. The only catalogs I get now are seed and gardening catalogs. Halcyon home school days are over for me.


    • We don’t do the Academy, only piecemeal certain areas of study, so I have to peruse my catalogs. This works better with my budget and with our needs for now.

      But I have to admit, searching catalogs for seed doesn’t sound half bad!


      • Gardening is a sort of ecstasy for me, so the seed catalogs are something like porn to me. I spend hours and hours planning and the entire summer I spend thwarting deer and woodchucks! LOL. Never a dull moment.

        Last year a woodie climbed onto the picnic table and took the hooped netting off like it was just routine. And began to scarf half ripened strawberries. Only biting off the red parts! By the time I got out there was nothing but stubs. Grrrr.


  2. As you know by now my oldest only started with gr.1 this year, and our school year starts in January here in South Africa. I peruse catalogues online and if there is something that really interests me (it might work for my boy(s)’s learning style, then I either download or request a sample.
    So far only Sonlight has gone that extra mile by asking a South African contact – in our town! – to deliver a catalogue to my door, which they did! Some South African companies are willing to send you samples via courier, but service is a bit slow. Therefore we are looking now, for next year. If we order mid-year (June/July), we will have our books before end of November when everything slows down even further!


    • Wow, all the things we take for granted here in America. It would be nice to see more companies reach out to those in other areas and take an active approach.

      Is there a reason that schools start different times of year in various countries? I think it makes sense to do school from January on, instead of August. But I guess it stems back to our history of “harvest time”.


      • Some of the bigger home school curricula suppliers (very few of them) do have open days, and they are very eager for people to view their products at HS fairs (can’t remember the correct word).

        History most probably play a big role, as well as seasons, to the school year. Our winter-months (June-Aug) are very mild during the day, whereas our summer-months (Nov-Feb) can become excrusiatingly hot. Our longest school holidays are during Dec.-Jan. – 6 weeks. Our provinces’ closing and opening days only differ with a couple of days. The coastal provinces fall in one group and the inland provinces in another group.


  3. I’m getting catalog fever too . . . I want to switch curriculum this year, so I’m studying websites and catalogs passionately! Between those catalogs and the seed catalogs, I’m ready to start ordering!


  4. Although I am not new to home schooling, As a mother of 6 I have home schooled all my kids at one time or another. I put my 8 and 11 year old in public school last year after home schooling them for 2 years, They hated it. Before a year was spent in public school we have removed them. Now I am looking through magazines searching for the best curriculum that will meet their needs. I have spent hours trying to figure out what company to order what subject from. Thank God we have a great seasoned home school mother who helps us out, she is over the 4H Home school group. But, I still stay a bit confused. My husband wants to use a computer based curriculum such as Switched on School House but I’m not sure if the work books for math wouldn’t be better. What do you think? I thought of Horizon math.


    • I really enjoy using aBeka over Horizons, personally. If your husband would rather something with more of a help, perhaps Teaching Textbooks would be more in your line.

      I don’t relish the idea of my kids sitting in front of a screen to do all of their learning. I don’t mind a little here and there, but too much of anything can be problematic. (Just my opinion.) I think education should be well rounded and have a little of everything; books, media, hands-on, and fieldwork.


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