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Money – you will need some

2010 August 14
by Pamela

I’m in the middle of a series of posts about homeschooling.  If this is boring you to no end, I promise that I will write about something more exciting soon.  But right now my husband is in the middle of a 72 hour work shift and my sole goal is to keep everyone alive until he gets back home.  I have given up trying to maintain my sanity.  Or any semblance of a balanced diet.  Tonight I served grilled cheese and tomato soup for dinner and mentally counted the tomato soup as the girl’s vegetable serving.  Yes, I know it is a fruit.  Whatever.

I wrote about our decision to start homeschooling Mary Claire here and our curriculum choices here.  Today I’m going to talk money, which is another faux pas you can break when you have your own blog.  I am loving this thing. 

Purchasing homeschooling supplies is basically like everything else in life:  you can shop online, click one button and get everything shipped to your door.  But it’s going to cost you a lot of cash.  Or you can comparison shop, try to buy used, borrow where necessary, and save a lot of money.  But that’s going to cost you in time. 

We had more time than money, but I knew that come February when the new baby arrived I would have more money than time so I opted to save in some areas and splurge (somewhat) in others.  But first off I started with:


I decided on my curriculum choices.  Then I looked up the retail prices for each Instructor Guide (IG) we needed as well as the materials. 

Shop Smart

Once I had that list, I used Homeschool Classifieds.  It is an online classified ad system where individual sellers post the curriculum they are selling.  They include their email address and you can interact and purchase from them directly using a paypal account.  I kept my list of needs handy and went on their website everyday for a month to purchase everything I could.  I was able to purchase all of the IGs from their site as well as a few books and a map.  The Math manipulatives I purchased, as an example, retailed for $69 but I bought them for $25, including shipping. 

Borrow and Buy More

Next I long-term borrowed whatever books I could from my friend who used Sonlight K in the past.  I used Amazon to purchase the remainder of books we needed, which ended up being 30 titles.  That is where I could have saved a lot of money but chose convenience instead.   Borrowing those books from the library would have saved $168.  But since it is our first year I didn’t want to add in the step of ordering and picking up books to the mix.  Plus I was hoping (and ended up being right, thankfully) that the books were good enough that we would want them in our personal library.

The Bottom Line

All in all I spent $373 for Mary Claire’s curriculum**.  And the best part is that I saved $292.  More really because I didn’t estimate shipping for the full-price items.   All but $25 of the materials are non-consumable, which means that we will be able to use them with the next two children.

Additional costs for this year will be the homeschool co-op we joined and office supplies, which comes to roughly $240.  We are also considering a Spanish tutor, but I don’t have an estimate on that cost yet.

**This is obviously not a post about how to do homeschool on the cheap, just a way to do it on the cheaper. 

Next – and last, I promise – is a Day In The Life post.  Then I will make certain that the something entertaining happens around here so I can write about it.

4 Responses leave one →
  1. Jen Mathis permalink
    August 16, 2010

    Whew, this makes me nervous! So, basically I should start saving and researching now for our first year of school? Oy Vey!

  2. Stacey Harper permalink
    August 17, 2010

    Dave Ramsey would be proud!

    • Pamela permalink*
      August 20, 2010

      and all thanks to you Stacey for introducing us to him! And Mike too. :)

  3. Christopher permalink
    August 17, 2010

    I am very interested to see how all of this works out for you. I have kept this on the back burner for the “if”we have kids for some time.

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