Buying homeschool curriculum can get expensive in a hurry!
In fact, buying homeschool curriculum is almost always the most expensive aspect of homeschooling.
And of course, if you’re homeschooling multiple kids at once, those expenses multiply even more quickly!
That’s why we’ve curated at this list here at The Reluctant Homeschool Mama of 11 great ways to help you save money when buying homeschool curriculum!
Keep reading to check out all of our best ideas!
1. Shop for curriculum in the “off-season”
Shopping for your homeschool curriculum during the “off-season” can be a great way to score some awesome deals.
Most homeschool curriculum purchases happen over the summertime as homeschooling parents are putting together the resources they need for the upcoming school year.
But many online booksellers, such as Mardel, offer some of their best homeschool curriculum discounts during Spring Break.
Additionally, Black Friday can be a great time to find discounted homeschool curriculum. If you’ve found a curriculum that works for you and your kids, why not buy it far in advance at a steep discount?
2. Have a co-op curriculum swap/sale
If you and your kids belong to a homeschool co-op, you may consider suggesting or hosting a co-op curriculum swap.
Invite all members of the co-op to participate by bringing their gently used but no longer needed curriculum to trade or sell at a discount.
(You may also consider including homeschool room supplies, such as globes, number charts, etc.!)
3. Subscribe to free printable libraries
There are TONS of great free homeschooling online printable libraries out there!
Whether you’re looking for unit studies, holiday printables, or organizational homeschool resources, we invite you to join The Reluctant Homeschool Mama’s Free Resource Library by clicking right here!
We currently have over 50 resources, and add new free homeschool printables almost every week!
Because we love the homeschool community, here are a few other incredible homeschool websites with free printable libraries that we also recommend:
4. Search local homeschooling Facebook groups
Another option for saving money when buying homeschool curriculum is to post about what you’re looking for in your local homeschooling Facebook groups.
Whether you’re looking for something specific or general, it can often be worth it to see if anyone in your local area is looking to sell what you need!
Another cool option that can help you save money on buying homeschool curriculum is to rent it.
Yellow House Book Rental is the premier source for renting homeschool curriculum, and they offer both 5-month and 10-month rentals, as well as an option to buy.
We haven’t tried renting homeschool curriculum yet, but here are a few articles written by other homeschoolers who have:
- “Homeschool Curriculum Rental Service” by the Curriculum Choice
- “Renting Homeschool Curriculum?” by The Zoo I Call Home
6. Buy used
Just like the old days back in college, buying used books can be huge savings over purchasing new ones!
Check out these great options for buying used homeschool curriculum online:
7. Bundle curriculum
Another money-saving technique for buying homeschool curriculum is to buy your curriculum in a bundle.
For example, purchasing one overall curriculum plan that includes all subjects can be less expensive than buying each subject piecemeal. While it can feel like a big investment (and it is!), the cost of purchasing a different curriculum for each subject can add up very quickly.
While you may prefer the freedom of purchasing each subject separately (we do!), you may still be able to find ways to bundle your curriculum.
For example, buying a box set of The Life of Fred math books is much cheaper than buying each book singly.
8. Go digital
Many homeschool curriculum sellers now offer the option to purchase a digital copy of the textbook instead of a print version. This is often at huge cost savings – both to you and for the publisher!
For example, our favorite history curriculum, The Story of the World by The Well-Trained Mind, now offers a PDF version of almost everything they sell – from the main core text to the test booklet!
Related article: Why We Love Story of the World for Homeschool History
9. Use your local library
If you have a decent local library, we encourage you to use it any way you possibly can!
Many libraries offer great features such as book reservation/holds or extended borrowing windows that can be really helpful to homeschooling families.
While you may not be able to find a full curriculum at your library that you could borrow for a semester or more, it is likely that you’ll be able to find supporting books at your library free of charge.
9. Create your own unit studies
While the idea of creating your own curriculum may seem totally overwhelming, you may consider cutting your curriculum costs by creating unit studies for just one or two subjects.
We are BIG fans of unit studies here at The Reluctant Homeschool Mama and have had great experiences homeschooling with unit studies across these subjects:
You can create your own unit studies by finding out what your kids are interested in and develop a simple 3-6 week plan for learning as much as possible about almost any topic!
10. Trade curriculum with a friend
If you have a homeschooling friend who happens to use the same curriculum as you and you both have kids in different grades, you may consider trading textbooks from year to year!
11. Look for programs that last for more than one school year
Another way to save money when buying homeschool curriculum is to look for programs that last for more than one year.
For example, we love Spelling Power for homeschool spelling because one inexpensive textbook covers your kids’ entire spelling curriculum from third to eighth grade!
Additionally, you could stretch one robust program over two years instead of one.
We did this with Years 3 and 4 of First Language Lessons by the Well-Trained Mind, a great grammar curriculum that has helped our kids to have a super solid foundation in grammar and writing.
12. Use Teacher’s Pay Teachers
Teacher’s Pay Teachers is an online marketplace where teachers can buy and sell printable resources that they’ve created.
While many of the teachers/authors on TpT are public school teachers, there are thousands of great materials and printables for homeschool families!
(In fact, you can narrow your search specifically to materials recommended for homeschoolers.)
Look to purchase bundle packs at a lower cost than one-off printables.
We love our Kindergarten Math and Literacy Printable Bundle by Planning Playtime. We’ve used it in our homeschool for three separate kindergarten kids over the years. (For only $30 for a whole year of printables, that’s money well spent!)
14. Try Khan Academy
Finally, one of our favorite homeschool curriculum resources is Khan Academy.
They have super high-quality math courses for all grades from pre-K through college, literacy and language arts classes, high school science classes, computing courses, and much more. And it’s ALL free!
Final thoughts about buying homeschool curriculum
Hopefully, you’ve got some great ideas about how to save money when buying your homeschool curriculum!
Whether you coordinate a co-op curriculum swap, try renting your textbooks, or try planning a unit study or two, please let us know how it goes in the comments below!
Related articles about homeschool curriculum:
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