Planning Ahead for Frugal Homeschooling

Have you thought about next year’s homeschooling curriculum for your children?  It’s March, and you’ve really only got about 6 months before you will begin homeschooling for the 2010-2011 school year, if you’re like me, and start in August/September, that is.  Now is the time to begin planning ahead if you haven’t already!  That’s the best way to make sure you get your homeschooling curriculum at the best price.

First, think about what you’re going to need for the coming year.  Do you need a new Reading or Writing curriculum?  Will you be focusing on Spelling skills in particular?  Was your weakness in Math last year, and you’d like to find other options?  Make a list of what you really need, and what your priorities are.  Need help figuring out what you should be teaching?  Look for these books in your local library – they’ll give you a good idea of what subjects and skills that a student should be learning at a specific grade level or age.
Then, seek out the resources and curriculum you’ve decided you need.

1.      Always ask around first – check with your homeschooling friends to see if they have any old curriculum they’d like to pass down to you, or sell to you cheap.  If you’re not picky, you can get a great curriculum at a fraction of the price you’d pay new – it may not be the exact company you would have chosen, but most curriculums out there do a good job at teaching the basics, no matter which company you go with.  I really would have loved to have had MathUSee or Alpha Omega for my daughter’s Pre-K this coming fall, but I was able to get a whole Reading and Math Abeka set for only $10 from a homeschooling friend who was finished with hers.  So, that’s what we’re going with this year!  And, Laynie will still learn what she needs to know before Kindergarten, I have no doubt.

2.      Check out local used curriculum fairs.  This is the time of year when they are held.  Ask your local homeschool support group members if they know when the ones in your area are going to be held.  Then, go and find lots of gently used curriculum at great prices!  You’d probably even be able to find the exact company’s curriculum you’d prefer too.  Yes, it may be an older version, but it’ll still be just as effective (unless it’s a 20-year old history book of course).

3.      If you can’t find what you need from a friend or at a used book sale, then try a site such as homeschoolbuyersco-op.org, where you can find discounts on new curriculum.

4.      Finally, add yourself to your favorite curriculum company’s e-mail list.  I’m on two of them myself, and I’ve noticed they’ve begun sending out special email offers lately, for next year’s curriculum.

I hope you’re able to find some great deals on curriculum, and homeschool as cheaply as possible in 2010-2011.  Use that extra money you save on curriculum for some extra field trips or social events this coming year!

4 thoughts on “Planning Ahead for Frugal Homeschooling

  1. Dear uk,
    I'm new to homeschooling and don't know that I can offer you much help. However, the curriculum I just purchased includes a grade book that I will use to track my son's progress (he will be starting with A Beka's K5 curriculum). I also purchased a used entertainment center to use to store all of the home-school materials/supplies and I will probably need to get a 2-drawer filing cabinet to keep papers in order. Oh, and since I will not be able to keep all of my son's work filed away I think I'll scan it and keep a folder of his documents on my computer (soon-to-be backed up by Carbonite or Mosey) just for my own sake. Good luck to you, whatever you decide!

  2. Hi there…I just wondered how you(or any of your readers) a) plan and b) record what you have planned for any given year so that it can be easily reviewed and referred to in the future. I am thinking of using a spreadsheet but not sure if this will be the best/optimum way of doing it. Any tips/ref/suggestions would be greatly appreciated… From a new HOME Schooling father!

  3. I just wanted to say LOVE..LOVE ..your site 🙂
    I hope its okay but I wanted to add another way to "save" money on curriculum 😉
    If you know you will be using a certain brand for a few years..buy in advanced can save you ,Like if you like a certain math curriculum..You can call company and ask if you buy more then 1 yr at a time do they offer discounts?
    also if you use a Online program like for instantes http://www.Time4Learning.com ,If you buy a few months in advanced or have more then 1 acct you get a HUGE discount!
    Just wanted to share 🙂

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