Buying homeschool curriculum can be a task you dread. Here are a few helpful ways that might lighten the load and save you some money.
I would venture to say that most homeschoolers start buying curriculum for the following school year in the spring or summer. More often than not this is a daunting task, and the cost of the various curricula can be overwhelming.
Over the last few years I've purchased curriculum from a variety of sources. I try to buy used curriculum and books whenever possible, but sometimes it's just not an option and I have to resort to purchasing new. Here are some of my favorite ways to find curriculum at good prices.
Finding Used Curriculum
- Swapping with friends. The absolute least expensive way to acquire curriculum (and my personal favorite) is to swap with friends. I have a friend whose child is a little older than my middle child, so we've swapped curriculum several times. I've borrowed various science curricula, and she's in turn borrowed language arts, history, and logic curricula. It's a mutually beneficial arrangement that saves us both a lot of money.
- Buying from other homeschoolers in my local homeschool association. This is by far my favorite way to purchase books. I'm a member of a local association that has an online forum and I subscribe to the forum on an individual-post basis so I am notified as quickly as possible when someone posts curriculum for sale. I can also send out requests for curriculum that I'm looking for and I've often found great deals this way.
- Buying homeschool curriculum from my local homeschool store. I realize not everyone has access to a local homeschool store, but we happen to have a great one within 30 minutes of us. I rarely buy new books through them, but I often find used curriculum at decent prices. I take advantage of every discount opportunity as well. Members of my homeschool association get 10% off every purchase, plus I use a 15% of coupon once a month that comes in our association newsletter.
- Shopping at my local used bookstores. Many larger used bookstores carry homeschool curriculum. And since we use a lot of living books (non-textbooks) we've been able to find a good number of those books at our local Recycled Books or Half Price Books.
- Shopping online at Half.com and Amazon Used Marketplace. I used to purchase a lot of curriculum through eBay, but I have found that I can find books and curriculum for much cheaper on Half.com and Amazon. Especially since eBay won't allow the sale of teacher manuals any longer, I've been much more successful in finding what I was looking for with Half.com and Amazon.
- Buying (with caution) from VegSource. VegSource operates a used curriculum swap, but there aren't any buyer or seller protections like are available from Half.com or Amazon. However, I have heard of many people who use VegSource very successfully. I've actually only purchased curriculum once through VegSource, and that was only after I found out that the seller was a homeschool store in Oregon called Kingfisher Curriculum Cove. I made a big purchase of books through them and I was extremely pleased with the prices and service I received. I now refer a lot of my homeschooling friends to that Oregon store, and whenever I'm in need of curriculum, I always check with them.
Finding New Curriculum
- Using AddAll.com to find the best prices. AddAll.com lets you search for a book by title, author, or ISBN, and then it searches the databases of multiple online retailers (included their new and used inventory). Then it returns the results with the shipping prices so you get a much more accurate look at the real cost of each book. AddAll.com searches eBay, Half.com, Abe Books, Walmart.com, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and numerous other retailers.
- Buying in volume from Amazon.com. This is probably my number one source for new curriculum, but I only shop Amazon when I can purchase $25 or more so I don't have to pay shipping. Plus Amazon has great shipping times so shopping with them also helps satisfy my need for instant gratification.
- Ordering from CBD.com (Christian Book Distributors). I often find discount codes in homeschool magazines for CBD.com, so even though I have to pay shipping, I can often get great deals on books from CBD.com. I've ordered through them several times, and I've occasionally received free shipping coupons with my shipment to use on future orders.
I know there are other great sources for buying homeschooling curriculum, so I'd love to hear what your favorites are. Leave a comment and share where you find your homeschool curriculum.
I definitely love to purchase from Amazon! I always get great deals when I go through one of their "used" resellers. I have gotten loads of books and curriculum at a fraction of the cost time and time again. I guess I never realized that I do make my actual purchases during spring and summer! I am always on the lookout for great books and things to use for school, but I usually don't make the purchase until summertime! 🙂 Thanks again for hosting Thirsty Thursday!
.-= HomeGrownMommy´s last blog ..Thirsty Thursday – Planning For The Next Year All At Once =-.
I make most of my curriculum purchases at the NCHE homeschool conference. I also buy a lot from Amazon and don't usually have any trouble getting the free shipping. There is a site called bookfinder.com that I have used to find the best used book prices.
I bought our globe from an Amazon seller, but I don't know which one now. They are pricy unfortunately. As for my accent, I was working really hard on not sounding twangy on the video. I really do not like hearing my own voice. I'm preparing myself for ridicule in a couple of weeks when I go to a family reunion with my husband's NY relatives. (He's not from NY, just his mom.) LOL
.-= Kristen´s last blog ..A Gardener I Am Not =-.
I've had a lot of success both buying and selling curriculum through HomeschoolClassifieds.com and The Well Trained Mind forum (welltrainedmind.com/forums). I've never had a problem with any transactions conducted through these two sites.
Great resources! I'm shopping right now 🙂 Have you ever tried http://www.PaperbackSwap.com? I have gotten lots of "living books" from that site, as well as some ABeka books and other "official" HS texts. Thank you.
.-= Eryn ´s last blog ..Thirsty Thursday: Free Books =-.
I will admit, I am an Ebay Queen! I have done it long enough to know if I am getting a good deal or not. I sell my used curriculum on there. I plan on doing next weeks TT on it.
When I buy new I buy usually from CBD. Since they are in Massachusetts like I am, I can get my order the next day (when I order by noon). I have also ordered from Rainbown Resource center.
.-= Judy´s last blog ..Family Day =-.
One resource for new curriculum is Rainbow Resource. They usually have the lowest prices for new stuff that I have yet found. Sometimes, they even undercut the used prices on Amazon and ebay. They have a HUGE catalogue available that has some reviews of the materials in it, which can be from both from people at Rainbow and customer reviews. Happy shopping!
I love Amazon, and I actually get a ton of stuff from PaperBackSwap for free. Every once in awhile I snag a deal at Barnes and Noble, like the 50% off Wordly Wise volumes I grabbed up at their clearance sale last week. 🙂
The first place I usually look for used homeschol books is http://edaccents.com/ They have great prices and wonderful customer service. Over the years I have made many purchases from them and have never been disappointed!
For new books I use http://www.rainbowresource.com or amazon.
My husband and I homeschooled for 13 years, and we decided to open an online used bookstore to sell our homeschooling books. We've added more items from others who've consigned with us, including non-profit organizations. Please stop by and see what we have. (AnotherTurnUsedBooks.com)