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.
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.
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. 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.