If you are discerning homeschooling or just getting started, you have no doubt seen the big catalogs full of curriculum and asked friends which curriculum you should choose. Are you experiencing sticker shock?
Homeschooling can seem overwhelming enough, the the cost of a box curriculum can turn many away. I am here to tell you that you don't need a fancy, expensive boxed curriculum. If that is what works for your family, then that is fine. However if money is an issue keep reading for some tips on saving money.
First, I'm going to let you in on a little secret. You don't need textbooks to teach. Gasp! It's true. Historical fiction, quality literature, well done non-fiction, and a good poetry book can give you excellent spines for your school. Textbooks have their place, but if money is tight, especially if you are teaching 6th grade and below, opting for good books instead of textbooks is the way to go.
If you need help assembling your books into a year's curriculum, I am happy to answer questions.
Invest in good, hard covered books and texts that can be used multiple times with all your children. This may be a little more expensive in the beginning but in the long run will save you so much money, especially since these can usually be bought used and resold. Workbooks are expensive and consumable. You will need to repurchase them every year for every child. While I do use some workbooks, my main focus is durable books.
Check out your library! Your library may already have a number of books you can use. If you don't see what you need, request an interlibrary loan. I have even hear of libraries specially ordering books that have been requested. While that is not a given, it never hurts to ask. I have found at least 10 books that Buddy is using for next year available at the local library. That is saving my close to $100!
Find printables, downloads, ebooks, and audiobooks online. I'm not a fan of ebooks, but there are some desirable ones available, often for free. Public domain books are available as ebooks and audiobooks on several websites. For example Grammar Land by Nesbit, a vintage grammar books that is on Buddy's school list this year, is available free via ebook, audiobook, and I found worksheets to compliment the book which I had printed for less than $1.
Do a little searching and you will be amazed at what you find.
I have written before about the importance of a community. Find a homeschool buddy or two and split the cost of some bigger curriculum purchases. For instance, my friend, Mary, and I have built a library of Apologia Exploring Creation books. By buying them a little at a time and taking turns, we now own all of the books. We are currently working on purchasing the audio versions. These have and will continue to be used by all of our children. A little joint investment can go a long way!
Shop used curriculum sales, such as the one that Jessica sponsors every year. Her sale is actually what got me blogging so this is an anniversary of sorts for Veils and Vocations. Below are my items for sale. Please comment if you would like to purchase one or more. Shipping is $4 the first book, $1 each additional. Any questions, please ask. Thank you for looking and helping to support my homeschool. Be sure to check out all the other books available on Jessica's bloghop!
Wii game, like new, used twice. $3
Homemade recipes from Amish country, new $2 shipped
Seton readers, good condition, shelf wear, $3 each
These Are Our Horizons--Sold
Mysteries of Ancient America, HC, DJ, some wear, GC $2
How People Lived in the Middle Ages, HC, GC, $1
Problem Solving, sc, gc, no writing $1
Mental Math, sc, gc, $1
Easy Grammar, Like New, no writing, EC, retails $23, asking $10--Sold
Set of New Cathedral Readers, from 1950s.
Bindings are worn, some more than others. A couple of books have writing on the covers, and a couple of the title pages are damaged. I tried to show this in the pictures. However, all of the story pages are in excellent condition. I went through every book, no marks or damage to actual reading pages. These were in a friend's family for 3 generations, she has decided to pass them on.
Asking $65 for entire set, some of these sell for $20 each!
New Arabian Nights, SC, GC, $1
Lenten Adventure workbook from Holy Heroes, SC, LN, no writing, $3
BJU Spelling grade 1, LN, no writing. Text and workbook. Given to us but we aren't going to use it. Asking $3 for set
Concepts and Challenges set, 2nd edition, EC, minimal shelf wear, asking $20 for set --Sold
Thanks and God bless!