I am joining in the blog cruise this week, the topic being explored by crew members is: Large Family Homeschooling. With the fact that we are a family of 8 I figured this would be a great topic for me to cover.
I have decided to share some of the tips I have found that have saved us lots of money in our 7 years homeschooling our children. Hopefully you can find a some ideas to save you money or get you something for FREE you didn't know before!
Laminate Materials Being Used More Than Once: We have learned to laminate any materials that are going to be used more than once, I figure if I have to go through all the work to print and prepare the material, it is worth my time to laminate the materials so that they don't get ruined during use. I purchased my laminator from amazon, and purchase my refills from there as well.
Put work pages into page protectors or laminate: I have put many pages into page protectors so that they can be used again for other kids you could also laminate the pages, but the page protectors seemed like an easier task to me. The cheapest place I have found page protectors is at Sams Club.
Buy used/free books from Amazon: most of the books we use, I purchase on Amazon for .01, and then pay shipping of 3.99 and do not pay more than $4 for most books.
Buy used homeschool textbooks: I always shop around for used textbooks if I do not have them already, places like homeschool classifieds, Veg Source, and Yahoo groups have been a blessing when looking for used curriculum.
Stock Up On School Supplies during back to school time: the savings from purchasing during the sales can behuge! I have learned to get lots of glue sticks, colored pencils, crayons, lined paper, pencils, and erasers or I will have to purchase them later in the year at a lot higher prices.
Memberships to online sites: Websites around the internet has saved me from having to go out and purchase certain materials when putting together our unit studies. Some of my favorites are:
My binding machine has been wonderful for us to make our own books, saving us from having to purchase extra books for school. I download most of my books from Reading A-Z.
Use discount codes/ Sales to make purchases: If I cannot find something I need used, I will usually wait for the company to have a sale or discount codes before I make a purchase. I almost never pay full price for something. Just google the name of the store and coupon code, for example, for Christian Book Publishers I would google "Christian Book Publishers Coupon Code" The odds are more often then not you will find a coupon code for at least free shipping! RetailMeNot is one of the places that usually has most up to day codes for just about anywhere online.
Reuse Workbooks: When the children are old enough to write, whenever possible I have them write their answers into a notebook instead of directly writing onto the book. The workbooks can then be used again when the next kiddo needs it, and I don't have to repurchase the book again.
Sign Up For programs: Signing up for some programs can get you free items or pay very little for certain School items:
Scholastic Book Clubs: Remember when you were in school and you would bring home those wonderful book orders? Well did you know homeschoolers can sign up for Scholastic Book Clubs to? All you have to do is head over to their site and register and in a few short weeks you will get your order forms in the mail. They have on average of 100 different books that are priced at .99, they offer discounts on sets, and you get bonus points just for buying your books so you can get even more books. If you sign up and enter my customer number 1543712986 you can get 10 FREE books (up to $5.00 value per book)!!
Book IT! Homeschoolers can sign up for Book It, just like schools. Your children are rewarded for reading book with free Pizza Hut Pizza, (something us homeschooler moms do lots of anyway.) They are taking enrollments right now through 9/1/2012 for this upcoming school year for homeschoolers.
Read To Succeed: Homeschoolers can sign up for the Read To Succeed program through Six Flags.Children read books through out the year and will get 1 free admission to any six flags theme park, the teacher will also receive a free admission so you don't even have to pay for your own admission!! We do this program every few years and make a family vacation out of it! Their program for the 2012-2013 school year has not started yet.
Sign Up For Summer Reading Clubs: Every summer we sign up for different reading clubs, the local library always has some wonderful offers with their program, some of the other ones we have used this year or in the past:
Barnes And Noble offers a Summer Reading program where children of reading age can earn up to $15 to spend on books of their choice, younger non readers can choose up to 3 books.
PBK Summer Reading Challenge: Pottery Barn offers a free book when you complete their summer reading challenge and bring it into your local stores.
HE Buddy: Is offering prizes for kids reading 10 books, they ask for a t-shirt size, so I'm pretty sure one of the prizes is a t-shirt.
Read Books For FREE Online: You can read a large variety of children's books online at
WeGiveBooks and for every book you read they will donate a book to a child in need.
Aesop's Fables offers 655+ of the Aesop's Fables and 127 fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen
Amazon also offers free downloads of children's books for the Kindle, the offers change daily, No Twiddle twaddle Updates frequently on free children's books for your kindle available on Amazon!