When I started homeschooling I researched curriculum like crazy. When you consider how many subjects you want to teach and then add up all the books you want to use, you go into sticker shock.
If you were to buy everything new, for some of us, you would not be able to afford to eat. Which is horrible because it is upsetting to think that the decision to homeschool would be based on money, however, it is an issue you can’t ignore.
If you plan well, you can homeschool using all the things you want. You may not be able to buy it new but you may find it for a great price used. Obviously, finding used curriculum is going to take more effort and more time, you need to be patient. You are not going to find everything you need right away.
Make your plan for your child’s curriculum the year before you need it. I usually do this around March/April. When homeschool conference season starts, everyone will be looking to purchase new books and getting rid of their old ones.
Make sure you know what you want, it’s price if you bought it new and make your budget. How much can you afford and how much will you allocate to each subject. If you want to pricey writing program, maybe you’ll need to use a free spelling program.
Scour the used sale boards and see what you can find. Make sure you ask or check which edition of the book the seller is selling. Ask what is included so you have everything in writing.
Best Place to Buy Used Homeschool Books
- Homeschool classifieds
- Homeschool Reviews
- The Well-Trained Mind forums
- usedhomeschoolbooks.com (I haven’t used them personally)
You can also check out discount places such as:
Don’t forget your local used bookstores as well. If I can find a deal, I don’t care where it comes from.
*updated: I forgot to mention Amazon’s used books from third party sellers. I know some people who have received books that were in a horrible state and were refused refunds from the sellers but were reimbursed by Amazon. So it’s well worth a look.
Of course being in Canada, shipping is always a factor. You will need to check how much shipping is before you make a purchase. If it’s a large Saxon textbook, you’ll need to consider how much savings you’ll have compared to purchasing new. Obviously a local source would be better for larger, heavier books.
If you are a member of a local homeschool group, there may be other homeschoolers selling used materials as well. I’ve found a number of great deals from other mothers selling their old books. This way you can make money off your old books so you can buy new ones.
If I can’t find the item used I always check on Amazon since they have free shipping over $25 or The Book Depository which has free shipping worldwide.
Have fun homeschool shopping! Where do you buy your books?