Many people use Facebook as a means to have hundreds of friends, complain about the world or use it as their only interaction with the outside world; my focus is a slight bit different. I now only have a small handful of “friends” (under 30 of them), I primarily use Facebook to buy and sell items and network.
Yesterday, a woman posted she was having a garage sale. She was a teacher and had 10 boxes of books she wanted to downsize. If you ever thought no person truly gets giddy at the thought of garage sale, then you’d be wrong. I adore garage sales and I love going to them when I know they will have specific items.
As with most homeschooling families we may be winding down like public schools. Summer vacation is on the cusp of summer, yet we have another aspect in our educational world most parents don’t need to consider: next year’s curriculum. I had already reviewed several “boxed” curriculums, selected the one we were going to use, and started searching for deals to save on the cost of buying new.
When the teacher was able to confirm she had a lot of 4th grade material, my preselected curriculum went out the window. I could hardly sleep that night, because I needed to be there early. They say the early bird gets the book…I mean worm. Well, I was the first there and the teacher and her mother (a retired teacher), started pulling out all sorts of books for me.
I also kept sorting through the mountain of books and adding to my ever-growing pile of books and supplies. I primarily kept to teaching books. Many of them had exercises already in them that my daughter could complete. While it’s not a Christian-based curriculum, it’s pre-Common Core. With the family budget being what it is, I conceded that I would download and print the Christian aspects for next year.
The books I received aren’t necessarily a teacher’s manual that would correspond to a student workbook, but there are plenty of options in the books I did purchase. The woman asked if I minded binders. She had three of them, full of history, reading comprehension, non-fiction work. It was sorted, organized and something that would have taken me hours of research, several reams of paper, and several ink cartridges to print out on my own. Do I need to raise my hand or will a “hell yea I’m interested” be sufficient?
I was able to score some 5th grade learning material as well. If my daughter needs to elevate her learning next year, I’ll be ready. I might need to pick up one history book. However, all in all, I’m fairly sure the materials I walked out of that garage with are easily several hundred dollars.
Not only did I receive books, workbooks, binders, science cards and test prep material, I also picked up some supplies. I found some study cardboard for project, a table of the periodic elements, a small abacus, a minerals chart with the minerals attached that can be felt and examined. I found a measurements foam cut-out, miscellaneous shapes and colors (math related), geometric shape models, slices of tree (to see the rings) play money, ruler, protractor, magnets, a compass, patriotic stickers (for projects) etc. I even picked up a brand new game of Mancala.
When all I was said and done, 9 bags and an one hour later, I paid a whopping $53, loaded up my trunk and was on my way. This was not the curriculum I had planned for this year, not even close. I really needed to put that $53 to other bills; however, I took it as a sign. It was an immense savings. Granted, I will have to do a bit of organization and a little more prep-work to utilize these materials, but I believe this was the best decision for our little homeschool.
I will do a couple fundraisers for next year’s curriculum. Now I can spend the next couple months organizing for the next school year. My daughter will continue math and language arts through the summer. It will not be a rigorous summer full of school work, but it will keep her geared toward what she will be learning and we won’t need a week or two of review.
I smiled when I thought about my big score this morning. Homeschooling allows for flexibility. This was proven when I was able to choose what materials we’d be using. I was set on one curriculum, for weeks in fact, and then right opportunity came along, with a bit of flexibility and that was changed in the course of 60 minutes. Welcome to homeschooling!