When we decided that I was going to homeschool our kids, we didn’t even consider how expensive it might be. Once we looked into purchasing a curriculum, however, we quickly discovered just how costly many of the books are. Since I taught Pre-K for several years before having my own children, I was fortunate enough to have lots of material that I could use for ages 2-4.
But by the time my daughter was four, I was on the lookout for Kindergarten and First Grade materials. I scoured the internet for used materials that were cheap, or even free. I have to say that I’ve been very blessed to have been able to find a whole lot of stuff for very little cost. I’ve been able to create my own curriculum using the books that I have, along with several other great resources.
If you are looking for some inexpensive and even free teaching materials I would suggest that you:
- Keep your eye on Craigslist. Look every day, several times a day. I’ve found lots of stuff for free (or very cheap) on here; good teaching materials, even Christian books.
- Check out your local Christian bookstore. I know several around here that buy good quality, used homeschool books and sell them cheap.
- Look on ebay. Most of the time the bids get higher than I want to pay, but if your only other option is buying new, this may be a good place to watch.
- Yard Sales. Keep an open mind. If the book is a little written in, consider whiting it out, or erasing the marks to make copies out of it. There are lots of educational books out there that aren’t necessarily part of a course; you can use a great variety of resources to create your own curriculum. I’ve found several good text books at yard sales.
- Ask around. There may be somebody close to you who has some old books that they would be more than happy to let you have. Just get the word out that you are looking.
- PaperBack Swap: This is a free service (all you pay is postage, which isn’t much). I noticed they do carry homeschool books under categories: Parenting & Families >> Education; Nonfiction >> Education >> Homeschooling
**Thanks Crystal, for recommending this site for free books!
- Walmart and Dollar Stores: I’ve found lots of good workbooks, flash cards, and educational games at these places, for very little money.
I have also found some good websites that have some really useful printable resources. Here is a list of the ones I’ve found so far that I like:
- About.com: has a wonderful section all about homeschooling. This particular section that I’ve linked to helps you to know what your child should be learning in their grade level. It covers grades Pre-K thru 4th (so far) with a great list of each topic that should be covered for their age and provides links to worksheets and games having to do with that subject. This is a great resource!
They also have an awesome list of printable worksheets for Holidays, Seasons, Math, Geography, and tons more!
- Mrsperkins.com: printables for use with first graders, including a list of “Dulch Words” also called “Sight Words”. This list covers all words your first grader should know and be able to read. There is also a list of testing forms to make sure your child is on target.
- Families.com: this blog has tons of info on homeschooling, you just have to search through the categories to find some really great ideas.
- A to Z Teacher Stuff: A full list of printable lesson plans for preschool thru 12th grade covering every subject. Some of the lessons are geared towards a group setting, but you can easily modify it to teach one child. Some great ideas.
- Super Teacher Worksheets: I especially love using their spelling list activities. This is a great resource for tons of worksheets.
- First School: has some good writing paper printables for preschool and kindergarten. They also have tons of great preschool worksheets.
- Beacon Learning Center: A fun interactive lesson about using Graphs.
- Great Schools: Everything you need to know to prepare for the next grade; including lots of activities.
Another great, FREE resource that we can never get enough of is the public library. There you can find tons of great books on every subject that you are studying.
One last money saving tip for homeschoolers:
- Use plastic sheet protectors over the worksheets, and have the child write on them with a dry erase marker. Just cut one side of the protector so that it can easily slide over pages in a book. This way you will be able to use the book without marking in it, and without having to make copies out of it. Then you can pass it down to the next child to use, or resell it “like new”!
If you know of any great online resources, PLEASE share them with us! I’ll be adding to this list as I find more useful sites that I like.