How to Save Money on Homeschool Curriculum
Every homeschooling mama knows how quickly curriculum can add up!
If you’re like me, you’re always trying to pinch pennies and make your homeschool dollars stretch as far as you can!
Here are 10 ways to save on homeschool curriculum, in no particular order.
1. Scour thrift stores
I pick up used text books almost every time I go into the thrift store. If it is not majorly outdated and the thrift store has good prices ($1 or less per book), I get it even if it’s not for the grade my kids are in at the time. Then it gets stored neatly on shelves in the attic, usually by grade level so I can browse it easily. When I’m picking out curriculum each year, I shop from my attic first and use what I already have before I buy anything.
2. Re-use when possible
Of course I save all the teacher editions of things, but also when I can (and it doesn’t violate the terms of the publishing company) I have my kids either copy their answers into a notebook or I put them into sheet protectors and have them do their worksheets with a dry erase marker. When the next child is ready for those books I do not have to buy more consumables.
3. Buy used materials online
There are several Facebook groups where people sell their used curriculum as well as a few online shops where you can buy second hand curriculum at discounted prices. If I have particular curriculum in mind that I’m wanting to buy, I always check those places first.
4. Use free materials
Just hop on Pinterest and search for “free _____ (phonics worksheets, math worksheets, unit studies, etc.) and you’re bound to find it! If you have the patience to figure out a scope and sequence for the year and search for all the correlating materials, you can probably get a large amount of your curriculum totally free! (Warning: this is not for the faint of the heart! I only use free materials as a supplement to my main curriculum.) Check out my Pinterest boards; I have a lot of them entitled “Free homeschool: Math”; “Free homeschool: Reading”, etc.!
5. Use library books
In some cases, you may be able to find textbooks at the library. At the very least, you can check out books to go with any unit studies you are doing rather than puchasing them all.
6. Use books from around the house
I am a book hoarder. Just like I pick up textbooks at thrift stores, I pick up any book that is educational when I see it cheap. For that reason, we have books on a multitude of topics lying all around the house. I let the kids follow their interests, and when I see that they are mesmerized with a particular book, I can then collect other free materials on that subject to round out what they are learning.
7. Shop at the dollar store
If you have preschoolers or children in the lowest couple grades, you will be surprised at the workbooks you can find at the dollar store! Take a look next time you’re there, and you might come out with a couple treasures!
8. Use online games, activities, and videos
Google is your friend. If your kids need math drills, just google it and you will find hundreds of printable worksheets as well as interactive games that your kids can play. If you’re having trouble explaining a certain concept, or you’re looking for a science experiment demonstration, you’ll probably find what you need on YouTube. (Just be careful. I never search when my kids are in the room because you never know what will come up! Here’s an article I wrote about Keeping Kids Safe on YouTube.)
9. Teach with a “one-room-schoolhouse” style
Rather than purchasing multiple levels of curriculum, try teaching kids all together if they are close in age. Younger kids can skip harder questions on the worksheets, and you can add some extra activities in to challenge the older ones. Not only will you save money on curriculum, but you will save time in your homeschool day too.
10. Use digital curriculum
Digital curriculum is usually much cheaper than printed curriculum, although the academic quality is just as good. You can either keep your laptop or tablet handy and let the kids read their lessons right from there, or you can have it printed and bound at an office supply store, and it will still come out cheaper than purchasing books from a company.
Another perk is that it is totally re-usable for every child – just print as many copies as you need! I love being able to make one purchase and have it do double (or triple or quadruple!) duty for the other kids as they grow up.
Help add to the list! What are some ways you save on curriculum?