It seems like everyone around me is “building their home library”. My husband isn’t a big fan of the look of bookshelves. He makes remarks like, “When are you going to get rid of some of these books?”
Owning all your own books is great, as long as you have the room and your spouse likes the “look” of all those books. We have learned to rotate (buy and sell as need arises) curriculum, and to borrow when possible.
The library is a fantastic place to do that. I’ve been calling it “the free book store” for years, but of course it isn’t really free. We pay oodles of taxes to support our library system, not to mention all of the, ahem, Stupid Tax we pay for late fees. (Wondering about Stupid Taxes? Check out Dave Ramsey.)
As homeschoolers, most of us live on one income, or in my case we live on one and a quarter of an income since I work most Saturday & Sunday evenings, if I can get the shifts. We have to make those dollars stretch! But what if the dollars just aren’t there? It has been pretty tight around here lately so I know from which I speak. Here are some ideas to help you stretch those dollars by borrowing:
- Use your local library for literature, yes, but also for curriculum. MANY library systems carry teacher’s books of reproducibles, blackline map books, even full curriculum. I tried out The Writing Road to Reading for two months prior to buying it, because I was able to check it out from the library.
- Use your friends. Okay, not really use your friends, but what if you sat down with a friend and pooled your curriculum? Trade off! If you’re doing different periods of history, swap what you have used, for what she has used!
- Use ideas. The internet if literally FULL of other people’s ideas! You can borrow those, put a whole bunch of them together, and come up with your very own homeschooling methods. borrowed, sure, but all your own in the end.
- Use a rental service. Now, I’m not sure if there is such a service that carries HOMESCHOOL specific curriculum, but I do know that there are many textbook rental places online. We learned the hard way with our 17 year old daughter’s English book for community college. She wasn’t able to sell it back to the school bookstore (they had purchased their quota of used books already) and it took a long time to sell it via the student bulletin board. Enter Bookrenter.com. We now rent all of her books, pay about 25% of what we would to buy them, and we aren’t stuck with them after the quarter is over. I LOVE THAT.
If anyone has a mind to set up a homeschool curriculum rental service online, I’ll be there to sign up for it!
Update: Naomi, my Relevant Conference sponsor, just posted a link in the comments that there IS a site called Homeschool Book Renter! Check it out!