I’m feeling the pinch lately.
The children finished what we had set out to do by May in March and we’re scrambling a little to piece together a curriculum for the next stretch of our homeschool. I hate to call it a year because what I buy never lasts an entire year – apparently the learning never ends in homeschooling, even for me!
So what does a homeschooling mom do when the budget is small but her vision is grand? What do the children do when their thirst for learning and reading is growing? How do you piece together a curriculum that works for everyone but also works on a budget?
Everyone knows about the public library and how to use it. Here are some others that you may not have thought of while building your curriculum.
Your local thrift stores
Yes, I know what you’re thinking. This seems like an unlikely place. But trust me on this one. I have had great luck finding not just educational games in thrift stores but also flashcards and beginning reading curriculum.
But my absolute favorite thing to buy at thrift stores is read aloud books. You won’t believe the treasures. And I do mean treasures because how wonderful is it to find a hardcover wonderfully illustrated copy of The Wizard of Oz for $2? It always feels like a treasure hunt.
Another tip: To keep from getting frustrated, go often but make the time you spend there short. If you don’t find anything within the first ten minutes, leave.
Used curriculum stores
I love these. Not only do I get to peruse and take a peek inside the books (which I can never do shopping from an online catalog) I also get to compare curricula against each other.
If you don’t know if there is one in your area, ask around. And if you’re in the greater Sacramento area, you’re in luck! My favorite one is Kingdom Builder Books which, incidentally, also has various classes for different ages of students. Check them out!
The owners there also offer free consultations (with an appointment) to help you find the right curriculum for your style of homeschooling.
Ah, my favorite. If you have a computer or a pad, this is an amazing resource for books that are now out of print – good books that have fallen out of favor with the educational system for whatever reason (that’s a whole other blog post!) and are now only available digitally. For FREE!
And there you have it! Have you used any of these free or cheap unlikely resources? Know of any others? Let me know!