Homeschooling Doesn’t Have to Cost a Fortune – Part 2
Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op
The Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op is the nation’s largest purchasing cooperative for homeschooling families. This site is worth a mention all by itself. It is a great resource for homeschoolers to obtain bulk pricing discounts on curriculum, homeschool supplies, and much more.
Membership in the Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op is FREE! With your membership, you get:
- Exclusive member discounts for homeschooling families from educational suppliers
- Frequent Group Buys that give homeschoolers even deeper discounts
- A fully searchable database of Free Curriculum and other educational Resources
- The Internet’s largest database of educational Contests & Scholarships available to homeschooled students
- The Internet’s largest database of local, retail merchants that offer discounts to homeschoolers
- Money-saving and making tips, specifically for homeschooling families contributed by homeschooling moms
- Ongoing sweepstakes of prizes from their network of educational suppliers
- Discounts for educators and students from Academic Superstore
- Free classifieds section for members
Many homeschool support groups have a once a year book sale where homeschoolers can come and sell their used curriculum and supplies. Homeschool conventions and expos often have vendors who sell used books and curriculum, or they host their own used book sale.
Yard sales, thrift stores, Freecycle, “for sale or trade” message forums for homeschoolers online are some more places to find inexpensive supplies and curriculum. Public library sales and used bookstores are places to find lots of inexpensive books to fill out your family’s bookshelves.
There are a number of homeschool auction and classified sites that allow you to sell your used books and curriculum. Some are free and others charge a small fee. These are great alternatives to eBay who no longer allows Teacher’s Editions to be sold on their website. Some of my favorites are:
Homeschooling can bring out creativity – not only in your children, but also IN YOU! Why not design your own curriculum? Create your own unit studies. Make a “living books” curriculum by making lists of reading material and getting the books from the library. There is an unbelievable number of free online worksheets (just search for what you need, for example “free third grade math worksheets”, etc.).
Make your own math manipulatives. Instead of buying fancy things, use things from around your home to teach your children math – dried beans, dried macaroni, Lego toys, wooden blocks, etc. These items are wonderful in teaching addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions and basic geometry.
Find Homeschool Freebies
Many office supply stores host teacher appreciation days once a year around August. These are a source of free and discounted items and giveaways. Many larger bookstores such as Barnes and Noble also offer discounts to teachers throughout the year, including homeschooling parents. They often have free book giveaways in the summer.
- Wholesomechild.com offers a Homeschool Freebie of the Day
- HomeschoolRadioShows.com offers “Living Books for the Ears” audio programs every week
- The Homeschool Mom.com has a long list of freebies for homeschoolers
- The Old Schoolhouse Magazine has a great list of samples and freebies
- Currclick.com offers a free eBook for homeschoolers every week
Public libraries are also a neverending source of free homeschooling materials. From the obvious unlimited free books to educational DVDs, great music on CD, arts and crafts activities open to the public, symphony days, storytime, even continuing education for older teens and adults. Some library systems have audio books to loan online.
Public domain books can also be downloaded and printed freely from the internet at Gutenberg.org.
With a little creativity and time, you can homeschool frugally. Not only will you be saving money, but you will also create more flexibility in homeschooling your children.
Kelly Ling is a work-at-home, homeschooling mother of five. She has mentored many homeschooling and work-at-home moms over the past eighteen years. Kelly also owes a home-based web design business. When not doing web design, she is constantly updating some of her homeschooling/work-at-home websites – Homeschool Top Sites, ChristianWAHM.com, WAHM Contests, and others.