Homeschool curriculum is an expense that often gets underestimated. No matter how many times you tell yourself that you’ll budget or only buy such-and-such during this or that time of year, it rarely happens. Am I right?
You may be wondering if there’s an answer to saving money on homeschool curriculum, and my friend – there is! After homeschooling for a good chunk of years, I have learned a thing or two about saving a dollar and making it stretch when it comes to curriculum, books, and resources.
Here’s 3 easy ways to save money on homeschool curriculum.
1. Borrow Homeschool Curriculum
Before going this route, make sure the curriculum is not under a copyright restriction that would prevent it from being shared or re-sold. Every curriculum company and creator has the right to determine how their products and resources can and cannot be used, copied, and distributed.
Pay close attention to the copyright notes in the front of books, and if in doubt, check with the publisher. If all is in the clear, check with your homeschool friends to see if they have a certain curriculum you need. This is also a good way to try something before you decide to invest in buying it.
You could start a book swap! Have you ever been to one? They are so much fun. We have participated in book swap events as a homeschool group with curriculum and I have also been a part of an MNO (Mom’s Night Out) where we swapped great fiction reads, because we moms need books too!
2. Check out Homeschool Books from the Public Library
Once you start your homeschooling journey, It’s only a matter of time before you realize the secret of using the public library to help educate your kids. With thousands of books to choose from, you can use library books to help supplement any curriculum.
I know some moms (me included) who use books to create lesson plans from scratch. The only way this would cost money is you’re late on returning the books. Be sure to keep track of what you check out and when they’re due back. It also doesn’t hurt to jot down books you’d like to check out in the future.
Sometimes the library isn’t accessible, but there are options that can allow you to access digital books affordably.
3. Use Free or Used Digital Homeschool Curriculum
With the rise in curriculum resource companies and creators, many will release free digital copies that you can download and print. Publishers like The Good & The Beautiful offer completely free curriculum, like their Level 1 Language Arts Course Set.
There are many benefits of using digital curriculum and if you have a big family or multiple children to homeschool, this is a big money saver!
You can also find free or used curriculum at thrift stores, consignment shops, bookstores, and the library. I’ve personally landed some sweet finds at these places and paid less than a Starbucks coffee for them! And don’t forget about our wide range of homeschool freebies and deals!
How to Keep Track of Lent & Borrowed Homeschool Curriculum
If you take the suggestions to borrow homeschool curriculum or utilize your public library, then you’ll want to have a good system set in place to keep everything organized.
Most homeschooling moms who lend and borrow curriculum will tell you to lend without expecting to receive it back. This doesn’t have to be the case, but truth be told, we tend to stack a lot on our plates, and returning a book doesn’t always make it to the top of the to-do list.
To keep from borrowing without returning, or lending without ever seeing the book again, consider writing it down on a piece of paper.
Our FREE Curriculum & Book Sharing Log is the perfect resource to help you keep up with that, plus:
- Curriculum you need to borrow
- Curriculum that cannot be borrowed, copied, or re-sold
- Library books checked out
- Library books you’d like to check out
You may have every intention of keeping up with these things in your mind, but trust me when I say it’s much easier to keep track of when it’s written down.
Carrie Fernandez is the founder of Homeschool Giveaways and owner of Daily Skill Building. She has been homeschooling for over 18 years, has two girls and works side by side at home with her awesome husband. She has been saved by grace, fails daily, but continues to strive toward the prize of the high calling of being a daughter of the Most High God.