Planning ahead is one of the best ways to save money on homeschool curriculum in the long run. Here is how to stay within your homeschool budget.

How to Save Money on Homeschool Curriculum by Planning Ahead

How to Save Money on Homeschool Curriculum: Planning Ahead

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 next school year. If you’re like me and start schooling in August/September, then it’s best to start planning your curriculum purchases now.

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Don’t start stressing, though. Planning is one of the most fun things to do at this time in the year. We are seasoned, experienced, and knowledgeable about our previous years’ curriculum choices. In addition, we have a good idea of what we like and don’t like in a curriculum. We also know by now whether or not we will stick with the same curriculum next year, or if we need a change. Now is the time to begin planning ahead if you haven’t already!

Planning ahead is one of the best ways 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. What are your priorities? Do you need a new Reading or Writing curriculum?  Will you be focusing on Spelling skills in particular? Was your weakness in Math this year, and you’d like to find other options? Make a list of what you really need, and what your priorities are. Go ahead, write it down!
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. They are edited by E.D. Hirsch Jr. and there are 8 books in the series, called Core Knowledge. The series includes a book for every grade level up to 6th grade. I wish they made them for middle and high school, but they don’t at the time of this article.

Once you have a good idea of what your child needs to know for the upcoming year, you can begin to make a curriculum plan. Seek out the resources and curriculum you’ve decided you need.

Ask Around

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. Our whole Reading and Math Abeka curriculum was purchased used for only $10 from a homeschooling friend who was finished with hers.

Curriculum Fairs

Check out local used curriculum fairs.  This is usually 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. Then, go and find lots of gently used curriculum at great prices! You will possibly even be able to find the exact company’s curriculum you’d prefer at a fraction of the price. Even if it is an older version, it will still be just as effective (unless it’s a 20-year old history book of course).

Discount Websites and Used Curriculum Facebook Groups

If you can’t find what you need from a friend or at a used book sale, then try a site such as Homeschool Buyers’ Co-op. It’s a great site where you can find discounts on new curriculum due to group buys. There are also tons of used curriculum Facebook pages, such as Homeschool Curriculum Free for Shipping, where over 18,000 members give away their homeschool curriculum for free or just the cost of shipping.

Connect with Publishers

Finally, add yourself to your favorite curriculum company’s e-mail list. I’m on more than a few of them myself, and I’ve noticed they’ve begun sending out special email offers lately. They know that bargain hunters plan early, and they are already sending out some deep discounts. One of my favorites this time of year is one I use and have reviewed: BJU Press Homeschool Distance Learning Curriculum. This is the time of year I begin to plan my purchases with them, and I watch my emails closely! In addition, don’t just stop at email list subscriptions – meet with a representative in person! This is also the time of year when many homeschool conventions meet, and vendors are there offering great discounts for purchases made on site.

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

How to Save Money on Homeschool Curriculum by Planning Ahead