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How to Save Money on Homeschool Curriculum

Homeschooling does not have to be expensive. There are numerous ways to save money on curriculum. Since many homeschooling families live on one income, it is important to stay within your budget. Here are a few tips.

Use the Library

I am always amazed at how many FREE resources are available at the library. I know many families who homeschool their children for free, especially during the early years using the library as their only resource. My friend Nancy wrote a great post last year on how to make the most of your local library.

Buy and Sell Used Curriculum

Many local homeschool groups or conventions offer used curriculum sales or swaps. I usually purchase about half of my curriculum used and pay a fraction of the price. VegSource and Ebay are also great sources of used curriculum online. I sell books every year to help pay for next year’s curriculum. Other resources for buying and selling books online are Cash4Books.net, Paperback Swap, and Amazon. One year we purchased almost 100 books at about a 90% discount from BookCloseOuts.com, while these were not textbooks, I did use these inexpensive books to build our home library.

Borrow

I have borrowed and loaned out many homeschooling books. Textbooks and resource materials usually last through several children. If you are able to borrow the teacher’s edition the workbooks are usually cheap. This savings adds up over the years.

Get Organized

I know I have purchased duplicate materials because I couldn’t find a workbook or a test booklet. Creating an organized system for storing your homeschool materials will save you money. I’ll discuss my homeschool organizing system in a later post.

Get on the Mailing List

My two favorite sites to purchase homeschool materials online are Christianbook.com and Rainbow Resource. I signed up for their mailing lists so I am notified of any sales. For example, Christianbook.com is currently discounting numerous popular homeschool books during the month of June. I wouldn’t have know about the sale if I wasn’t on their mailing list. Sure you get some junk mail, but you get notified of the deals too.

Purchase Non Consumable Books

I prefer books that can be used over and over again. Workbooks are cheaper, but can only be used with one child. If I am trying to decide between similar curriculum, being able to reuse one with other children usually tips the scales. Many books are also available in digital or downloadable form, so you can only print the pages you need. These can also be reused with other children. Currrclick is a great resource for inexpensive downloadable books. If you must use workbooks, try this inexpensive idea for reusing homeschool workbooks.

Use the Internet

There are so many free homeschooling resources on the internet I could spend the next year telling you about them all. Not only can you find photos, videos, online books, printables, games, and craft ideas online there are even sites that have entire curriculum online, for free. Two of the most popular are Ambleside and An Old Fashioned Education.

Use What You Already Own

This is very easy to do with your younger children. Games like Candyland teach counting and colors, BINGO teaches letters, and even the card game War teaches children how to count and recognize numbers. If your house is anything like mine, I am sure you have shelves of books, games and toys that can be used as homeschool resources.

Whatever your homeschool budget, with a little work you can find something that is great for your kids and your wallet.

 


This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Comments

  1. DorthyM. says:

    Great ideas, thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks so much for sharing this. I plan on homeschooling my boys and everyone is telling me that homeschooling is such an expensive proposition, what with needing to stay home with your kids and the costs of curricula and activities.
    I’m convinced though that even without a local english library (I live in a non english speaking country) and even without good libraries in other languages, I’ll be able to use the internet wisely to provide all necessary curricula. I just discovered a list with curriculum standards for different grades- I plan on simply reading what is recommended, then google methods of teaching them. I think that should work fine.
    I have already also gotten some hand me down workbooks from children in the neighborhood.
    Thank you for the reassurance that this is possible.
    I’m here from Frugal Friday.

  3. liz says:

    I find this to be of great help but I do have a question. I live in state that requires a portfolio to be sumbit with samples from the year. If I used your method for reusing workbooks what suggestion would you have for then showing samples from that workbook?

    • TheHappyHousewife says:

      When I use the portfolio method, I didn’t bring workbooks to my review. I used tests, projects, and writing samples. You could always have your child do a few pages from the book on a separate sheet of paper and turn those in with the empty workbook.

  4. Southern Gal says:

    Thanks for posting this. I’ve done most of these things, but there are so many who are new to homeschooling and think they have to spend thousands of dollars in order to teach their children.

    I have so many friends that are willing to loan teacher’s editions and instructor’s guides. And I’m always willing to loan because I know what a blessing it can be to someone. Make sure you have a list of items loaned and items borrowed. Then you’ll have a way to check off items as they are returned and you will be able to return your borrowed items back to the rightful owner. After nine months it’s sometimes hard to remember exactly what belongs to who. I lost a few items before I finally made a Loan/Borrow List.

  5. Abbi says:

    Great tips! I totally agree with trying to use what you have and to do that you do need to try to be at least somewhat organized. I keep most all of our homeschool stuff on one shelf, divided up into subjects. I have been given a lot of things from my mom and some other empty nester homeschoolers and we have saved lots of money by trying to use that stuff when we can rather than buying new.

    We also use the library a lot! Just lately we have been branching out beyond books and really learning a lot from some of the educational videos they have.

  6. Marla says:

    Great advice! Another great resource for used curriculum is homeschoolclassifieds.com. I LOVE this website. Unlike Vegsource everything is in alphabetical order. Very easy to use!

  7. Kim says:

    My kinda woman :) Thanks for the tips!

  8. Just browsing and located your website – thanks for sharing.

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