Thursday, July 28, 2011

Homeschooling on a Small Budget

Times are tough for many and paying for expensive homeschool curriculum can sometimes be very daunting for a homeschooling mom. Just today I was talking to someone on the phone who called for advice of where to get curriculum  that would to fit a tight budget . Here are a couple of thoughts:

1. Ebay--For years I would find my usually expensive curriculum way cheaper at Ebay. Teachers guides/textbooks and answer keys are also a wonderful find here!

2. Craigslist--Check out their book, garage sale, and free section.

3. Amazon--Amazon has great items at often rock bottom prices that you can find used. Click here for homeschool curriculum  and school supplies.

4. Garage Sales--Several times I have found other homeschooling families who have had sales in my area who were getting rid of some of their books. I was able to purchase whole boxes of items--what a steal! Be sure to go when teachers are having sales too, you can find all kinds of great teaching supplies.

5.  Homeschool Support Group--Moms in your support group are great for selling off their unneeded books. If you have a homeschool support group you could also do a book swap and/or ask a mom to let your borrow some books for a  year.

6. Online Groups--I am part of a Facebook Homeschool trading and selling group and there is so much available at such low prices!

7. Homeschool Used Curriculum Book Sales--Find out when these are in your area and save the date. Come prepared with list in hand of what you need and be ready to make a killing.

8. Homeschool Conferences--There are booths set up at these conferences that sell used curriculum and they also usually have a table for moms to sell their used curriculum. Be sure to check it all out and compare. Sometimes they will even have FREE boxes.

9. Library--Of course it is a great place to check out all kinds of items you need from books, audio and video--but also don't forget to find out when their used book sales are on. We have purchased loads of books and readers this way, all no more than a quarter each and sometimes less than that. At my library we have access to several other local libraries in the area and can request items from all of them.

10. Design Your Own--With the availability of the internet today, many ambitious moms are taking on the task of designing their own curriculum with low or no cost. Here is a book that I recommend which talks a bit about that: Homeschooling on a Shoe String.

11. Free Websites--There are free websites like Ambleside Online one that help you teach your children through the years.

12. Thrift Stores-I have heard of mothers finding workbooks, classics, art supplies and all kinds of other things here. One mother had found a math workbook for just 20 cents for her fifth grader!

13. Sell Your Books--List your unneeded homeschool items on websites to make back some extra money to buy new books/supplies for the following year. I would also hold a garage sale in the summer for this very purpose.

14. Think Outside the Box--Don't feel pressured to just use what you see in the glossy homeschool catalogs. Be creative--there is always more than one way to skin a cat! Are there books already available in your home to teach a subject? Are there printables online you could use to teach a concept? I have heard of one mom who fell on hard times and used her older childrens old workbooks for her younger children by typing the lesson for the day on her computer and printing them out as new. Smart!

15. Bonus Tip--if you are a blogger you might want to consider approaching a company and exchange advertising for free curriculum or ask to do a review of an item you are interested in. (If you want to learn how to advertise on your blog, click here, I am having a sale!)

And might I also add that the most important thing that you should also do before anything here on the list is to PRAY!  

I assure you that God has answered
many a homeschooling mothers prayers and needs.

A helpful book I highly recommend would be:

This book has lots of great ideas and you can get a used copy for as low as a penny!

What other ideas would you add?


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Mrs.B said...

Some wonderful ideas,

I do know that ebay now has policy that doesn't allow them to sell teachers manuals.

we LOVE simply Charlotte Mason, they have oodles of ebooks that are wonderful for schooling and most can be used for more than 1 grade.

Don't forget doubling up the kids or doing a subject as a family will cut your cost also

In HIS Keeping,

Mrs. June Fuentes said...

Mrs. B,

If you are able, please share the links to the ebooks. Are they on Amazon?

Yes, I love the idea of doubling up as well. One year since my sons were close together in age I had them do history, health and science together using the same books--worked marvelously!

Many blessings...

Victoria said...

I am a full-time working mother of two; my daughter begins kindergarten this year and my son is only 18 months old.
I have thrown around the idea of homeschooling before, but never really "seriously" thought about it.
BUT, I would like to say that I love the idea and maybe one day God will lead me down that path, and I feel comforted knowing that there are so many resources out there and that there are support systems as well.

Thank you for sharing this great information!

LeAnn said...

Thanks for sharing the ideas for finding items for homeschooling.
I will send your link to my daughter.
Blessings to you!

Anonymous said...

Would you please share the name of the Facebook group you belong to? Thank you.

Mrs. June Fuentes said...


You're welcome!

Many blessings...

Anonymous said...

I find almost half of our curriculum for free on the internet. (Actually, I guess it does cost a little because of paper & ink.)

I have started collecting all of the free curriculum links I find in a LiveBinder. Hopefully it will bless someone here!

Gabe said...

With our oldest being only 11 and #7 on the way I'm finding that using reusable curriculum helps out quite a bit. This year we are moving to the old fashioned McGuffey's readers (given to us) and the Ray's arithmetic. We've also enjoyed using the "Life of Fred" math books as well. These do have an upfront cost (but sometimes you can find them used) and will save us money in the long run (or not so long as I think the set cost less then usually spend on math for all of my kids in one year!).

Much of our schooling is done through reading aloud together as a family. Keeping an eye out for good quality books either on sale or used. Doing the majority of our schooling together makes things easier and it costs less too!

Frau Guten Tag said...

I am in need of interlock, part of alpha omega weaver curriculum

Anonymous said...

What timing! I'm on my way to our annual homeschool convention today. Thx for the great tips; will be praying all the way there!

Anonymous said...

I buy and sell lots of curriculum on They have thousands of listings and I've found lots of items on this website.

texasmcvays said...

I have several posts on this as it's my job to make sure my sweet hubby's salary stretches to cover all of our expenses!
At this link Under: Homeschool
planning ans spending

A couple of tips that work for me are:
1. I start buying right after we get our tax return that gives me nearly 6 months to hunt around.
3. I make an exhaustive list of what we need & and a list of what we want.
3. I purpose to use inexpensive curriculums with some reusable portions.
4. I look for free books and curriculms to use or supplement our curriculum.
5. When people know you use a certain curriculum they will often let you know if they see it, have it or are getting rid of it!
6. Join the yahoo groups for your curriculum and you'll get great deals on used stuff!
Okay, I think I've talked myself into another blog post on this! Ha! Blessed budgeting ladies!
Kyle Suzanne

Christin said...

Hi Mrs. Fuentes,
I was wondering if you could contact me. I wanted to talk to you about the 31 Days to Clean eBook.
homemakerschallenge at gmail dot com.

Thank you!!!

Anonymous said...

Hello, carries many many homeschooling books online available for swapping. I have used this website for years now.


Donalacasa said...

Friend Hubby has had several seasons of unemployment in the Dot-Com era. Let me add youtube to your list. I have used youtube to learn and relearn LOTS of things. If you still have cable (we don't) look up Cable in the Classroom. A video, a library book, and a project make a great unit study.


Barbara said...

Very good suggestions, I know those home schooling will really appreciate them, you have a blessed day.

Savories of Life said...

Very good post. Do follow me as I too homeschool a little liek you!

Living for Him... said...

I recently came across this website from a Yahoo group I belong to. I was amazed at the things that she had on her blog. Hope this can help.

Katy said...

Mrs. B,
eBay repealed the ban on selling teacher's manuals in March 2010.

Amy Dumas said...

Thank you for the great ideas! I get a lot of books for homeschooling at used library book sales. We use Ambleside Online, and I have found that I can get many of our books free on my Kindle. Mrs. B mentioned that eBay no longer allows teacher's manuals. Have you heard of Amble Auctions ? It is a free venue for buying and selling homeschool books with no restrictions on teacher's manuals.

Just Katie said...

My favorite resource is the library. When we lived half a mile from the library we practically lived there!


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