I can’t believe that summer is almost over. However, everywhere I turn, the back-to-school sales have begun. The notifications for start dates of co-ops and extracurricular activities are pouring in . . . including the invoices. It can be a bit overwhelming.
To make your back-to-homeschool a little smoother, I want to share some suggestions for how I gather the curriculum that I need without spending an arm and a leg.
1. Keep your eye out for what you will need in the future
Throughout the school year, I keep notes (mental or otherwise) for what I will need when I finish with the curriculum that I’m currently using. That way, if I see what I will need later at a great price somewhere, I take advantage of the opportunity and put it away for the future.
2. Sales & Comparison Shopping
There are always great sales at the end of the summer. However, I really like to comparison shop, especially online. Sometimes, you can find something at a better price on a different site, especially if you factor in shipping costs. For instance, my son’s speech teacher recommended a book that would help me work with him on his reading. Every online bookstore that I checked was selling it for around $30. I kept looking and found a used copy in great condition on Thriftbooks.com for $4.00!
Some sales that I’m aware of right now are:
- Christianbook is having a big sale with free shipping on orders placed through August 13th of $35 or more.
- SchoolhouseTeachers.com is having a buy-one-get-one sale on memberships until August 31st.. New members will receive TWO full years of access to 380 Schoolhouse Teachers classes for $139 (regularly $179/year) with a guaranteed annual renewal rate of $139/year as long as they remain a member.
- BJU Press is offering 10% off everything until August 14th.
- CurrClick has a back-to-homeschool sale going on.
3. Group Buy Sites
Homeschool Buyers Co-op – With over 190,000 families who have joined for free, the Homeschool Buyers Co-op is able to use their purchasing power to get members deals on homeschool curriculum. They also offer freebies. I’ve taken advantage of several free trials on online classes during the summer months through this site.
4. Used Curriculum
I love used curriculum. I usually have to order workbooks new, but textbooks and teacher’s guides are fine second-hand. Here’s where I purchase mine:
- Used homeschool curriculum fairs
- Used book fairs
- Free shelf at the library (ours has one in the entryway where people can leave books that they no longer want and where books that the library is removing from circulation get placed)
- Homeschooling friends/family with older children
- Homeschool Curriculum Marketplace on Facebook
5. Freebies, Freebies, Freebies
There are lots of places where you can download curriculum or organizational files for free. Some of these sites will send you freebies on a regular basis if you subscribe to their newsletters:
- Teachers Pay Teachers
- Enrichment Studies
- Write Bonnie Rose
- Veritas Press
- Free Homeschool Deals
- Homeschool Giveaways & Freebies
That freebie I promised . . .
Last school year, I decided to create my own homeschool organizational forms. I’ve seem some beautifully designed offerings from other moms online, but none of them were what I wanted – something simple that maximizes the usable space on the page and minimizes the amount of ink needed to print them.
I created these for my personal use, but I figured someone else might find them useful as well. I am offering these Homeschool Organizational Forms as a FREE download here. This packet includes:
- Weekly Lesson Log & Attendance Sheet
- Curriculum List (to keep track of what you have on hand)
- Reading Log
- Resource Planner (to note what you need or want to purchase in the future)
- Field Trip Form