Finances and Budgets and Homeschool Curricula, Oh my!: Five Days of Homeschool Curricula

This post is part of a five day series about choosing your homeschool curricula. You can find the landing page with links to the other posts here.

When I first began buying curriculum, I didn't pay much attention to budget. (My husband might tell you not much has changed!) But over the years, I've learned better how to spare our income.

Budgeting for homeschool curricula

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Sometimes when choosing curricula, you may find something you like that really clicks with your vision, that fits your teaching and learning styles. But if you cannot afford it without overspending- or selling your firstborn- it probably isn't right for your family.

There have been some curricula options that I really, really liked. But, unfortunately, they weren't in our budget. Over the years, however, I've learned a few tricks to choosing curriculum I really like but staying within our budget:

Beg, borrow and steal curriculum.

Why buy something new if you can buy it used or borrow it for the year? I've borrowed and let others borrow many materials. This is especially helpful if you'll only need the book a short time. There are many Facebook groups that allow you to post curricula for sale or exchange. This could be a good way to get curricula you need without paying.

Shop used.

We have a local curriculum consignment shop. There are used curriculum sales. Sometimes things can be found on Amazon and Ebay. The first thing I do when I see a new curriculum I like is to check for used on those two sites. Again, those Facebook groups may provide a way for you to find something you really want used.

Sell yours used.

Try to sell what you aren't using anymore. I've had the best success selling on Amazon, although they do get a cut when you sell there. I've also gone to our local used curriculum sale. Any money that can be received from used curriculum can be put toward the new.

Check for free curriculum that serves the same purpose as the costly one you want.

I'm always surprised at how often I can find things free online. Sometimes instead of purchasing a curriculum, I can google the topic and find something similar for free. I have a whole page here of free homeschool resources I've used and liked.

Shop homeschool conventions.

The vendor halls at conventions are wonderful. There are typically discounted convention packages, and there are no shipping fees. I usually make a "want to buy list" on the first day, sit down when back at the hotel that night to consider the cost, and then purchase the next day.

Buy what can be reused.

I like to choose books that can be used again for multiple children instead of consumable books. I don't make copies of consumable books that don't clarify that that is okay. But I do sometimes have a child write answers in a notebook instead of using a workbook. I also look for digital versions of curricula that will allow me to make as many copies as needed.

Budgeting for homeschool curricula

Don't get discourage if that perfect homeschool curriculum is too pricey. Try some of these ideas to see if you can fit it in to your budget.

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