Buying curriculum in the early 80's was a challenge because curriculum was nearly impossible to obtain. Today, however, homeschool families have a new problem: There's too much curriculum available! Now, the challenge is sifting through all that curriculum and finding what works for you.
You'll soon discover that part of the homeschooling process is purchasing curriculum by trail and error. "Try before you buy" is not usually an option. You may have to use something for awhile before deciding that it just doesn't work. It's ok. Toss it and get something that does.
Don't be as concerned about "wasting" money or "learning gaps" as finding a curriculum that works. Each of your children are unique, and the tools they use should reflect that individuality.
Furthermore, when you find a curriculum that works, stick to it no matter what your friends tell you. We all love to give advice, but what works for us might not work for you, and vice versa.
Fortunately, you can eliminate some of the guesswork in purchasing curriculum by following a few guidelines outlined on the following pages.