Lots of parents are interested in home schooling – but it can get expensive. Today's guest post offers some valuable advice for parents who would like to save money but also don't want to skimp on their child's education.
Chances are, if you are a mom who homeschools your children, the money for school textbooks is coming out of your pocket. The price of homeschooling textbooks can add up fairly quickly when you figure that each elementary-school textbook costs around $100 for each. Typically you will need 4 to 5 per year to represent each core subject. However, if your child decides that he or she would like to learn a new language or subject, suddenly those extra books add up—and for books you might only need for one year of learning. Plus, paper textbooks are easily damaged, and their contents can become outdated or obsolete within just a few years (if you are planning to hand down textbooks to younger homeschool siblings). Fortunately, we’ve put together the following list of helpful homeschool textbook resources that can help you save a lot of money.
1. Online digital textbook rentals
School textbooks that are available in digital format are created to the same public and private school curriculum that paper textbooks are. Now homeschooling children can take the advantage of digital textbook rentals, which they access online from their homes. A second advantage of digital textbooks is that they will not be damaged or lost like paper textbooks can. They cost significantly less than traditional paper textbooks, are more environmentally-friendly, and are regularly updated online to fit the most current curriculum.
2. Organize a textbook exchange
If you are hard pressed to find a textbook exchange with other homeschooling families in your city—organize one yourself! Put an invite you to nearby homeschooling families, asking them to bring unneeded textbooks to your house in exchange for textbooks they need. Many homeschool families will have a collection of school books and will gratefully trade you for the books that their children need.
3. Borrow or buy from public schools
Go to your local elementary school and ask the principal if you can borrow or buy their extra, gently used textbooks. Schools will often get textbook samples if they recently bought a new collection for the school.
4. Look to local public and religious-based libraries
Many local and religious-based libraries will carry curriculum resources in their catalogs for borrowing—in addition to learning tools like teaching aids and resources, museum passes, popular curriculum-friendly fictional titles, non-fiction books, and online language databases. Also, look you’re your library’s extended checkout policies, which many will extend to homeschoolers.
5. Work with other homeschooling groups
In most towns there are other families who decide to homeschool their children just like you! Seek out other homeschooling groups to join in your community. Even if you just find one other family, they will be a very valuable resource for information on finding homeschool grants available for your family, for trading textbooks and teaching resources, and parents may specialize in certain subjects that your children might not otherwise have access too. Other homeschooling families can be a great source of support and encouragement and you can even build a cooperative learning environment within your group.