How to save money on homeschooling textbooks is a common issue for parents who have just put their children into homeschooling. Textbooks are partially subsidised in mainstream schools in some countries, and the few dollars saved per child for each subject can go a long way. Help is available though, to make saving money on homeschooling textbooks a happy reality. With the curriculum in hand, there are venues where you can get the right textbooks you need for your homeschoolers and at an affordable price.
Tip 1: Fewer can be better. You do not rush to the stores and purchase all that are available. Instead, consider carefully the academic age and ability that your children are at. Next, source for basic texts that have a range of activities suitable for your children. Instead of buying them off the shelf, write in to the publisher or approach your friends who are administers or heads of school. Ask them if they have texts that are cast offs. Sometimes textbooks are rejected just because the cover page print was damaged. You may be charged a minimal amount or even receive them free of charge.
Tip 2: Inherit from friends and other homeschoolers. You may want to seek the friends or members in your community in this aspect. They may have no more younger children to pass the textbooks to, and will only be too glad to pass them to your children instead of having them scrapped. You will probably end up with a few different texts for each subject. They can form a mini resource library for other friends’ homeschoolers. Just make sure they meet the requirements of the curriculum.
Tip 3: Use online textbooks. Many companies who recognise the value of homeschooling and the Internet as a resource for home-based learning have amassed comprehensive resources that are available to homeschoolers at minimal costs. Online learning may be a more suitable option for your homeschoolers, especially if they have certain learning needs that the computer will be better able to meet than talk-and-chalk approaches. Alternatively, you can source for teaching ideas per topic prior to teaching your homeschoolers. You can always add on more activities when you find that they are underperforming in any topic.
Tip 4: Use the research approach. Children learn best when they are given tools for independent learning. Instead of feeding them texts, take them to the Library or guide them through online research. Get them to look for the relevant resources, and read up on their own as well as make notes. They may come across more than what the textbooks can offer them, and become more learned than textbook-bound students because their learning is not from a single text but from various sources and points of views. They thus learn the important skill of verifying knowledge, and not taking knowledge provided for granted or as the gospel truth.
Tip 5: Join a local homeschooling group. Homeschooling co-ops or local groups offer support that includes book swaps and teaching and learning resources. You will probably find your textbook needs met there. You may even garner pointers on effective teaching and learning strategies that do away with prescribed textbooks. For example, if your homeschoolers are bright and possibly gifted, making them read through prescribed textbooks that contain stuff they already know, will take the fun in learning away. Instead, they may be given a project in which they have to put together information in a comprehensive and interesting manner. For all you know, they may well be writing the textbook of the future for mainstream school children.
Tip 6: Use what you already have back home. Some textbooks elaborate too much, and make learning tedious and stressful for younger children. Instead of using a prescribed textbook to learn numbers to a hundred, and addition and subtraction facts, a deck of playing cards may well cover all the skills needed and in a practival manner. Playing the game Snap with playing cards will teach children to recognise numbers and read them. Playing Grab, a variation of Snap whereby the player with the largest number grabs all the cards at each draw, will teach children to compare and order numbers. Collect bread clips for children to count and write the numbers on mini-whiteboards. They will only be glad that they do not have workbooks full of crosses when they are in the midst of mastering numerical skills.
It is really quite easy to save money on homeschooling textbooks with a little pre-planning and organising. Just be sure that your homeschoolers meet the objectives of the curriculum. The approach can be any ways that you can be as creative in taking.