View Full Version : homeschoolers--where to buy curriculum?

05-22-2007, 11:37 AM
I am starting homeschooling my kids this year and buying curriculum for 4 of them is $$$$! Where is a good place to look for a good deal? So far I am looking at Horizons for Math, I haven't decided for other subjects yet. Is ebay okay? I'm a pretty seasoned buyer/seller so I know to compare retail prices versus what sellers are charging and I've found some okay deals on there.

05-22-2007, 12:14 PM
While I don't have an answer for the OP I'm hoping to catch the HS crowd and ask another question. Does anyone know a good bridge program for 1st graders going into 2nd grade? I quit my job (today is my last day :cool1: ) to stay home with my DD and I have a scheudle and part of that is school each day.

05-22-2007, 12:28 PM
I'm not sure about this, but I have a friend who homeschools and gets her stuff through the public school (they actually go TO the school once a week as part of her program)...but she then only has to pay for the "disposables" I think she called them...which are the workbooks and stuff that can't be reused.

Maybe call the school and see if they offer anything...???

05-22-2007, 12:34 PM
I've purchased quite a bit of my curriculum used from http://www.vegsource.com/homeschool. I've also used ebay, but I get better deals from the lists, since you can actually barter or bargin with the sellers.

There is also homeschoolreviews.com's swap forum and many, many yahoo groups for curriculum sales and trading. Most large curriculums have support groups that also include sale of used books and IG's.


05-22-2007, 12:42 PM
I've purchased quite a bit of my curriculum used from http://www.vegsource.com/homeschool. ~L

We used vegsource and another site I have bookmarked at home (I'm at work and will have to post it later) If you google used homeschool curriculum or something along those lines, it will bring up quite a few sites. I'd avoid ebay, only because I found a lot of their books (especially Abeka) tend to run almost what you pay for them brand new. You can do much better if you find someone selling from a site direct.

05-22-2007, 12:43 PM
I was going to mention the homescoolreviews.com site also. They have the swap forum and there is a ton of information to be found on the site.

winterpromise.com is a little $$$$ however, a lot of what they have can be used for different age groups at one time. I haven't used this yet, but am very much considering it for my two for the animal worlds (science). You can check them out and if you like what they have, you can check your local library to see if they carry any of the books they have (mine doesn't).

I also read on the review site about some full curriculum books that can be used. I will try to see if I can find out the name and post it (if I find it).

Good Luck!
Lori Ann

I cannot add links, but add the "www" to the begging of this to get the whole discussion on 'almost free homeschooling' homeschoolreviews.com/forums/1/thread.aspx?id=15044

Here is the curriculum info I mentioned (I just copied part of the posters information):
"... Anyway I found a really wonderful book at Barnes and Noble and maybe you've used something like it. It's called "Complete Curriculum" and its published by Harcourt, but it's 6 Steck-Vaughn workbooks all put together. it has something like 800 pages, and is seperated into subjects- math, spelling (with 32 spelling lists!), reading, writing, language arts...it doesn't include phonics so I'd have to add that. And of course just reading library books could cover everything else...."

05-22-2007, 12:53 PM
homeschoolclassifieds.com is another good option.

05-22-2007, 01:03 PM
Thank-you, I hadn't seen any of these yet, I'll definitely be checking them out today :thumbsup2 .

05-22-2007, 01:08 PM
Price is a factor for me. I purchase mostly used materials, however, they are in great condition. I use Amazon marketplace and ebay for most of my curriculum. I decide what books I want to use and then I search on Amazon and ebay using the ISBN number. I've never used these but, other auction sites that have homeschooling books are:

Places to buy curriculum...stores not auctions:
http://plgcatalog.pearson.com/co_home.cfm?site_id=9 (I think there is a special link on this page for military orders if anyone is interested.)

Hope this helps.

05-22-2007, 01:24 PM
www.rainbowresource.com is the best I have found for buying new curriculum. They have great prices, a huge selection and free shipping for any orders over $150.00 (which we easily do each year!). The only curriculum I have found that they do not sell are those that do not use a middle man to sell, such as Abeka, Sonlight etc.

05-22-2007, 01:40 PM
I use Abeka for workbooks/seatwork, but I supplement with 2 online programs:

spellingtime.com (which is free)
time4learning.com ($20 a month)

05-22-2007, 02:38 PM
I use K12. If you are in a state that has virtual academy's this might be a good way for you to go.

05-22-2007, 02:53 PM
When I homeschooled...I bought a lot of my stuff on ebay. I researched what I wanted to use and then went to ebay. What I couldn't get there, I bought from www.lovetolearn.net or the publisher's site.

One way to save $$ with four children would be to teach "units" for Science and Social Studies. Use the same material for all four and teach them together. You can tailor assignments based on their ages.

I loved Horizons Math for the primary grades and switched to Saxon when they got older. Also, Spelling Power is a $50 book, but it is all the spelling that you will need for all four of your children.

Another tip, would be to check out local homeschool fairs. They usually have used book sales and you might pick up some of the things you need for relatively little money.

Good luck! Enjoy your children...they grow up way too fast! :goodvibes

05-22-2007, 03:24 PM
We use SOS Switched on Schoolhouse, its computer based and the entire school, teacher and student is set up for you. You can find them on Ebay, both used and new systems for about every grade.

05-22-2007, 03:28 PM
www.rainbowresource.com is the best I have found for buying new curriculum. They have great prices, a huge selection and free shipping for any orders over $150.00 (which we easily do each year!). The only curriculum I have found that they do not sell are those that do not use a middle man to sell, such as Abeka, Sonlight etc.

I love this catalog. I keep one here, and at our farm. Just understand that all of it looks fun! I'd spend the summer with it, and hook up with a local group. See if they are having a curriculum sale. Also, check to see if there is a convention near you. Then you can touch the books! Even better!:thumbsup2

05-22-2007, 03:32 PM
As a PP mentioned ,I order a lot from Rainbow Resource. Order their catalog...it is HUGE. It looks like a phone book for a large city. They have always been helpful and polite on the phone and my orders always arrive correct. Shipping can be a little slow but when it is free I don't complain!

I also use time4learning and spelling time for my DDs. They are great to help supplement and time4learning can be used for a fairly complete curriculum.

I used to use a lot of ABEKA but I have moved away from them the last couple of years. They are very easy to order from and not that expensive.

05-22-2007, 05:01 PM
subscribing,for some good ideas!:cool1:
Also,Mrsbornkuntry...some advice- when just begininng,try not to spend a lot of $$$ on any packaged curriculum,at least not till you can possibly visit a homeschool fair or conference,or perhaps join a local group,and try to get a real time 'feel' for what you're buying.
Mainly b/c starting out,you usually have different ideas of how you'd like to continue- so if you buy 4 seperate,pricey boxed curriculums, and decide you don't like a particluar approach,it can feel like a waste of money.
The best advice I can give someone starting fresh,is congratulations, and ease in..... pick and choose a few,hopefully inexpensive things you'd like to try,and then if you like it,you can buy more,but if you don't like,you can easily switch,and find something that suits your family.
There are lots of good books at the library on different approaches to homeschooling,and some good ways to start buying books, your library may even carry some curriculum that is popular,I know mine has various math,english and teaching books and texts available to try out.

05-22-2007, 05:42 PM
I have homeschooled for 18 years and I used Saxon math starting in 4th grade. I used the text only through Alg1, and then bought the answer keys and solutions manuals for upper level classes. I really have liked Saxon, but it does have mistakes throughout the levels. I switched to SOS from another curriculum for science in 8th- HS. A PP mentioned it, and it is awesome for Science, and can be set up each year for your next child. I have used Sonlight for many years now, and it is awesome. It can be used in different ways for multi ages. I had my 9th and 5th grader reading the same books one year, and they both loved them. It was World History, so as the older was doing a History text from Bob Jones, he read the readers from Sonlight to enhance and for Literature purposes. The 5th grader just read as assigned by Sonlight. Some of the curriculums I have mentioned are high at first, but can be used many times over. I am "fixin to" use Sing, Spell, Read, and Write for the sixth time :goodvibes . It has not been used for years, as the baby just turned 5, and his next sibling is 13.
Anyway, wishing you the very BEST :goodvibes !

Goshen Girl
05-22-2007, 07:57 PM
I too use Horizons for my youngest who is 8. And then my 17 yr. old uses Switched on Schoolhouse.

I get online discount codes through Learning Things. Plus most of the time they do free or discounted shipping.
I have used Ebay successfully along with local Homeschool fairs.

If you are just starting out maybe think about joining a online (local) homeschool group. Most areas have something available for local homeschoolers. You could just google your area and make sure that you have 'Homeschool' in there. This is a good resource in that people swap and sell alot. Plus, you get a good support network.

05-22-2007, 08:51 PM
another fellow homeschooler here...although i just started this past year, but we finished kindergarten and he can read!:banana:

i used horizons math- LOVED IT! but i think it only goes to 4th grade or so, and then we plan to switch to saxxon or bob jones. i also used horizons reading (goes to 2nd grade) and loved it too.

as far as where to purchase, do you have any local homeschool stores? we have a few in our area and they often have cirriculum on consignment. my girlfriend (homeschools 3 kids) always tries to buy consigned and consigns her stuff to try and defer some cost. someone also once told me that barnes and noble carried some homeschool cirriculum. not sure what youre looking for and if they would carry and religious homeschool materials.

good luck!

05-22-2007, 09:21 PM
If you are just starting out maybe think about joining a online (local) homeschool group. Most areas have something available for local homeschoolers. You could just google your area and make sure that you have 'Homeschool' in there. This is a good resource in that people swap and sell alot. Plus, you get a good support network.

I did join one for my area (an Army base), but it's a pretty small group. We are planning a curriculum swap/sale , but it seems like most of the children are younger than mine so I don't think I'll have much luck there.

I know for sure that horizons goes up to 6th grade because that's one of the grades that I'm looking at. I've only settled on a math curriculum so far, but I'm going to do unit studies for most of the other subjects. My youngest is just finishing kindergarten and I think he needs more LA than I could provide doing unit studies with him so I'm going to look at something with a workbook and more phonics instruction, but I don't know what yet.

05-22-2007, 09:35 PM
Definitely get a catalog from Rainbow Resources. If it isn't in their catalog then it probably doesn't exist! But, for prices the best I've found is www.childsbooks.com, the company is Children's Books. They are at most conventions in the Southeast and always seem to have the best prices. I've bought several things from them, for example our Apologia science book lists for $35 and I bought it from them for $24.50. They don't have everything, but they do have a lot.

We use Sonlight for our Liberal Arts. I would suggest getting their free catalog as well. Not always the best prices, but lots of good info.

A side note, I started my daughter on Horizons and really liked it at first. But, it is repetitive and she is very good at recognizing patterns. She would figure out the pattern and get her answers that way, not calculating. For example, she would figure out that a certain addition lesson was about carrying and she would go ahead and fill in all the tens' places with a 1 without even looking at the problem. The final answer was correct, so it took me a while to figure out what she was doing (actually my dh picked up on it first!). We switched to Math-U-See and love it. I know Horizons works great for most, so I doubt you'll have a problem but it's something to be aware of!

Have fun shopping! It's overwhelming at first, but you are embarking on a wonderful journey!

PS - You're not at Ft. Benning, are you? We know lots of hs'ing army families, many daddy's deployed. Is your dh with the the 3rd ID?

05-22-2007, 10:52 PM
PS - You're not at Ft. Benning, are you? We know lots of hs'ing army families, many daddy's deployed. Is your dh with the the 3rd ID?

No, Ft. Lewis, WA. He's with 2nd ID.

I've looked at homeschool websites today until my eyes crossed, lol. You've all give me some great resources. My goal is to have my curriculum chosen and bought by the time the kids get out of school, June 22nd. I don't think that's going to be a problem. Thanks :) .

05-23-2007, 02:54 AM
I've been very happy with it.

I agree with the poster who said Rainbow Resources. Their catalog is huge with great descriptions and their prices are excellent. Also, yes, do keep an eye on ebay for things you know you're looking for. And you can find good deals at Amazon from time to time too.

And a final suggestion you may or may not want to look into would be Sonlight curriculum. We have used it loosely as our "spine" for history, literature, science, etc. for 7 years and I love it because:

1. It's literature based, not textbook based - ie; we learn history and science from real books that are very interesting as opposed to dry texts.

2. It's very economical in the long run because you can use it with several grade-levels at once, and most of the books are non-consumable so you can keep them for younger children.

Here's what we do:

History/Literature: Sonlight - I buy as many of the books used off ebay or Amazon as possible and the rest from the company. I don't necessarily always buy the Instructor Guides since we use the program quite loosely. Usually wind up spending $100 - $200 for both older boys, then keep the books for younger dd to use in a few years.

Math: Horizons & the Key To series.

Grammar: We jump around. Some years we've used Abeka, other years we've used $10 workbooks from the teacher supply stores. If your kids are younger you might want to look into First Language lessons - it's mostly non-consumable.

Spelling: We like Spelling Workout, but you might also want to look into... oh darn I forgot the name of it... Spelling Power, I think it is??? It's a single multi-level program that can be used with all of your kids and lots of people swear by it.

Thinking Skills: Various workbooks from Critical Thinking Press or Dandylion

Writing: This we change up too. Sometimes we just do lots of journaling & dictation. Some years I've made up a jar with various writing prompts. We've used the How To... workbook series from teacher supply stores. And this year I've got one using Writing Strands, which I'm quite happy with.


For Other Languages and Typing we've made one-time investments in computer programs which everyone can use - Rosetta Stone and Typing Tutor. For Art I just find things that coordinate with our history and literature studies at the library for the most part.

I think that's about all. Sorry this got so long!

Oh, and one more thing, since this is the Disboards... Don't overlook the educational value of Disney and the internet! Most people recognize the educational potential of Epcot, and even AK, but today we were talking about Typhoon Lagoon of all things, and we got into a discussion about Shark Reef. Oldest DS wound up looking up several types of sharks on the internet and reading about them aloud to us, then younger DS got out the measuring tape to see how big the baby and adult sharks of different species would be, but the article older ds was reading gave the measurements in centimeters, so they wound up converting centimeters into inches and feet before measuring. Then we discussed the variations in water temperature for sharks and people, and talked some about warm-blooded vs. cold-blooded creatures, etc. It really wound up being a spontaneous little mini-unit! That's what I LOVE about homeschooling.

Welcome to the adventure!

05-23-2007, 08:10 AM
Great info