Saving money on homeschool curriculum is a big one for me. We’ve been homeschooling for 18-years and it can be down right expensive! It’s actually a pet peeve of mine that homeschooling stuff if so expensive (although I understand) when most of us homeschoolers are trying to live on one income. But I have a few tricks up my sleeve to help you homeschool without breaking the bank.
1. Make your own curriculum
I REALLY enjoy making curriculum for my kids! When I first started homeschooling that is all I did. I bought a few things here and there but I pretty much made everything myself. But when my kids started junior high, I started buying curriculum because I was unsure of myself and worried if I could be thorough. I spent a lot of money, even though I bought the less expensive curriculum. I ended up re-adjusting the instructor guides to make it the way I like it and not using all of the books, which made spending all of that money worse. So, although I still buy some things, I went back to making my own curriculum. It’s a lot more cost effective, a lot more fun and a lot less aggravating.
HELPFUL TIPS: This is the strategy (and books) I use for making my own curriculum.
~I have them read a good book and we read aloud
~they work through a good workbook (Spectrum, Wordly Wise, Explode the Code, Latin, Writing and Rhetoric, etc.)
~flash cards every day (vocabulary from each subject etc.)
~Bible reading and write about it every day (I also do devotions with them twice a week)
~I get nonfiction books from the library and have them read them and write about them
~I make my own educational activity sheets from library books or readers
~I have them write vocabulary words from their readers or read alouds and use as flash cards
~ memorize bible verses then recite to the family
I also use Apologia for Science and…
…Horizons and Saxon for math.
~ I use books from the library and Pinterest for art (again… check out my homeschooling Kindergarten blogs for more ideas!)
2. Use catalogs
I use homeschool catalogs to get ideas for making my own curriculum. I also buy supplies from these companies but I don’t buy a lot. So I feel like I’m still supporting these businesses while at the same time, saving a lot of money on curriculum. Mixing up buying curriculum and making it myself has been extremely helpful in having a complete set without spending too much money.
3. Compare prices
I always compare prices on eBay, Craigslist and other online companies. And I’m generally won over by free shipping. Because it has been cheaper and more cost effective, I’ve been buying brand new books from my favorite homeschool companies. Buying used hasn’t been great for me lately but I still look just in case. The exception is math textbooks. eBay has won my heart in buying Saxon Math books although I really love my brand new Algebra 2 textbooks I got from Christian Book Distributors several years ago. A friend blessed us with a couple Teaching Textbooks CDs that are good too.
BY THE WAY: In case you’re wondering what my favorite companies are for homeschooling, I use:
Christian Book Distributors (CBD) (this is where I buy most of my stuff)
I don’t get paid to promote any of these companies or products. I’m just sharing what we use and what we like! 😀
4. Look for free shipping
I already said this but since I LOVE free shipping, I’ll say it again. Some companies offer free shipping if you spend a certain amount so I’d wait until I needed that amount of books and then I’d buy to get the free shipping. Thankfully, for readers and read alouds, I don’t need anymore for awhile WHEW! But I bought them brand new from Sonlight making sure I got free shipping!
5. Buy only what you need
The temptation to buy a whole bunch of curriculum or buy for the year is great. Don’t do it!! I buy only what I need. I make a “grocery” list of things I need and stick with it. If I’m trying to get free shipping, then I wait until I have enough for free shipping.
6. Outdated books
You can get a lot of great classics and homeschool curriculum on a thumb drive on eBay. I got 400 books for $30. I print them out as I need them. G.A. Henty, Encyclopedia from 1911, McGuffey’s Readers, Bobbsey Twins, Harvard’s classics etc.
ALSO: I don’t use a lot of online or computer curriculum but our kids do practice their math on Khanacademy.org and their typing on this site. They also sometimes take free online classes from our local library.
What are your favorite educational websites?
What curriculum do you use for your homeschool? Do you make your own curriculum? Please share any money saving tips you may have. I’d love to hear from you!! If you like this post ~ please share it with others! 🙂
THANK YOU & GOD BLESS!