Tag Archives: eBay

Saving With Used Curriculum

The past couple of weeks, I’ve been working on plans for the school year in the fall — deciding what curriculum to use and figuring out the cost. I’m finding that as the children grow older, the cost of the books we need to buy goes up as well. Add that to the cost of regular school supplies, such as paper, pens, and notebooks, along with the cost of any extra classes such as co-op classes, sports clubs, or fine art instruction, and it’s easy to see that homeschooling can be expensive.

But there are ways to save, especially where curriculum is concerned. Used curriculum can often be found at a fraction of the retail price, even the most recent editions. If you are looking for used curriculum, here are a few places you can start:

Yahoo Groups: There are a number of yahoo groups that you can join where people post their used curriculum for sale. Once you contact the seller, the two of you work out payment and shipping. Go to Yahoo Groups and check out BobJonesCurriculumUsed_Homeschooling_Curriculum, ChristianCurriculum, All-Wholesome-BooksUsedHomeschoolBooks, and TheHomeschoolMomUsedCurriculum.

eBay: If you enjoy using eBay, look for the curriculum you need in the listings there. If you don’t like the auction-style format (it can become a little nerve-wracking sometimes), check to see if someone has listed the books as Buy It Now.

Used Curriculum Sites: You might find what you’re looking for by searching a used homeschooling curriculum site. Visit HomeschoolClassifieds, VegSource, and The Book Cover.

CraigsList: Often homeschoolers will list their curriculum on CraigsList.com. Click on the link for the city nearest you, look under the “For Sale” column, and click on “Books”. You can scroll through the list or do a search for the particular book you’re looking for. Remember to use caution when purchasing items from CraigsList, and meet the seller at a public location.

If you aren’t able to find what you’re looking for online, ask around to find out where homeschoolers in your area sell used books. Do they post it on an email loop, or is there a used book sale you can attend? You might even be able to simply borrow the books you need from someone who won’t be using them this year.

It is possible to homeschool on a budget, and buying used curriculum can help. For many homeschoolers, finding that good deal is all part of the adventure.

American Girl Doll Help

Like many homeschooling families, we are on a limited budget, and I try to help stretch our income as far as I can. When both my girls wanted an American Girl doll one Christmas, I was able to purchase two very nice pre-owned dolls off of eBay at a fraction of the retail price. They’ve loved the dolls for just over a year now, and it’s beginning to show.

The Mattel Company (who now produces the dolls) has a doll hospital where you can send your doll for some TLC and repairs. There’s a charge for each repair, however, plus shipping charges each way. Our dolls had a few marks on them and frizzy hair – not quite enough for me to justify the extra expense. So instead I went online and searched for ideas.

I found where several people recommended using Clearasil (or the store brand) for getting rid of ink stains and pen marks on the doll’s plastic skin (not the soft body). We followed the directions, rubbing a little bit onto the stain and then placing the doll in direct light (we used a lamp) for almost the whole day. Imagine our surprise when the stain disappeared – even the permanent marker!

Next I came across a wonderful site called JustMagicDolls.com. The author of this site takes you step by step on how to repair your doll, from brushing the hair correctly to reattaching limbs. Following the steps outlined on the site, my oldest daughter and I washed, conditioned, and steamed her doll’s hair, making it look smooth, shiny, and beautiful again.

Now my daughter plans to open up small “doll hospital” of our own, where she can take care of her friends’ dolls as well. We were both excited — what a great way to serve others! Perhaps one day she’ll even turn it into a small business, learning those life lessons as well.