I'm trying to get a feel for what the actual cost (approximate) would be to go through a year of SCM. I'm torn between wanting to use SCM or another curriculum, so I'm trying to figure out what the cost comparison is. At a glance, SCM looks very low-cost. But do all the extra recommended/required resources add up? My kids are just starting so I'm talking about early elementary. Can anyone give me an idea of what you've spent? TIA!
approximate cost for a year(18 posts) (13 voices)
I think it completely depends on if you want to buy the books or borrow them from the library (if you are able to do that easily). I can only give you an estimate with using the library as much as possible, others can give you one with buying all their books. We buy our math curriculum but use dry erase markers and an overhead sheet so I can re-use it each year, so honestly that's been our only expense. I did buy Spelling Wisdom for next year, but again I can use that over again the next year. So with the guide book and the history spines from SCM, then math, we spend less than 100.00 per year (that's for all my kiddos, not per child). The first year we started I thought I was doing AO so bought many books, but it still was less than 100.00 for all kiddos since I used half.com or abebooks.com, ebay, or amazon.
It really varies quite a bit. As amamam5 said, if you're willing to use the library a lot and substitute what you can find there you can do it for next to nothing. I keep saner if I have the books on hand, but I do that at the least possible cost. I go to used curriculum sales, garage sales, and Half-Price books often has cheap classics. I also use Paperback Swap...you need to plan ahead, but can get many paperbacks for a couple bucks. I've also had luck on VegSource and the CM Curricula Group.
As far as Science, Math, etc. curriculums I've had luck on Homeschool Classifieds and The Well Trained Mind Forums. I basically just always keep my eyes out and buy ahead when I find something I know I'll need. And sell when I'm done. I spent about $500 per year for 2 kids in elementary....but have also been re-selling books and making probably $100ish per year. I could probably do it for at least half that if I used the library and bought less 'convenience' items like copywork books, etc. HTH some:) Gina
It definitely depends on the family and how much you use the library, buy used, reuse, and use what you have. I buy alot of books for the coming years when I see them, would rather own our books (but I do use the library alot, too), and do use copywork books that are consumable (sometimes).
We've been blessed to have items given to us or have found them at a really inexpensive price, so that has helped alot.
Plus, you have to figure that a one time investment can be used over and over, so it's not an expense when it's needed in the future.
I think another factor to consider is how many children will be using the material?
I spent about $600 last year, BUT we switched to SCM and had one child start middle school and bought Apologia Gen. Scienc new, which was about $75 I think?
BUT I plan to use it with 6 children, so once they all use it, not so bad on cost.
Most ALL of the CM type curricula are non-consumable b/c we use so many living books.
This year I think I will spend only about $400 and that includes as my3boys said buying some convenience items like copywork books. I LOVE Lighthome Pubs at CurrClick and it is all done for me. Since I buy the PDF with the copyright to reproduce over and over for my family, they are very reasonable by the time all DC use them. Of course I found these just last year so oldest won't use but other 5 will.
Our main math curriculum, Math on the Level, is PreK-Pre-Algebra so though it cost up-front every year it pays a little more for itself.
We also subscribe to Readingeggs (gasp .. I know, but I have some children with different learning abilities and this helps them a lot and me too!) for 2 DC and IXL.com for math drills for 5 DC.
BTW, you can get a lot of things at a discount by joining Homeschool Buyer's Co-OP, which is free to join. I highly recommend it. And using Currclick as well. Both sites also offer free items that change out often.
We use the library at certain times, but this is going to sound odd mabye, but during the winter we don't. We have 4 DC who were born with heart disease and 3 of them complex heart disease .. we have to be careful every winter. And right now, our newest DD is considered immune deficient and we are keeping her away from germs as much as possible getting ready for her heart surgery hopefully late summer/early fall ... so sadly, we don't go to the library much as I just can't take her OR bring the books home. Unfortunately, library books are dirty. But I love the library!!!
Just some random thoughts coming from my brain tonight!
Agreed that it varies! (I know, no help, right?)
We usually budget $500.00 per year. I have 7 kiddos, all elementary or younger. I try to buy reuseable books for most things and when there is less money to use I spend time with the library and interlibrary loan.
When buying the books for a SCM history module I do the following:
Put all the books on my Paperback Swap Wish List.
Start looking at prices new or used on Amazon, ebay, etc.
When I have about a month before we're starting the module, if I want all the books on hand, I buy new whatever ones I've not found inexpensively.
I did this for the school year that is about to end and it was wonderful to have everything on hand because life was very difficult (a rough pregnancy that delivered a special baby in Jan who has lots of medical needs and had 2 surgeries within a week of birth).
For this coming year I'm writing a curriculum guide similar to the SCM history guides with a focus on my church's history. I've gathered many of the main books we'll use, but for side topics we'll grab something from the library or look things up online to see pictures of places.
Haha, @Tristan, no help...right! BUT, I thank you all for the wonderful resources for finding used books. I had no idea! I'd rather not get a majority of the books from the library. I don't mind supplementing with library books, but want to keep our main curriculum at home for the kids to use all year. I will definately be checking out all of the above mentioned sites. Thanks SO much everyone!
I wanted to add that I keep a mental list/or actual list of books/cds/whatever all the time for used books/curriculum so when I see something for .10-1.00 (or whatever price) I can pick it up knowing that we will probably use it. Or I can put it on paperbackswap and know that someone will probably want it.
Thrift stores have great prices on their books, or a Friends of the Library, etc., if you're in to shopping/browsing/searching through the bookshelves (which I am, it's kind of a hobbie for me).
I can't really say how much we spend a year on curriculum/books/guides, maybe $200, I don't really know since I pick up items all year long. I did need math this year for all 3 boys, but I borrowed pieces of their sets from friends (bought Alpha teacher's guide/dvd for $5, borrowed those same items for Beta from someone else).
Hope these replies help you to see that it does vary, but that ultimately you are in control of what/when/where you purchase your material. There is so much free on the internet, and if you have a kindle or even just use your computer for reading books, copywork, games, printables..it can be done fairly inexpensively, if that's what you need.
I have made a long list of everything I want to use for next year. I am combining suggestions from SCM and AO, plus consumable math curriculum. I will be using a lot of books that are available free online, and some library resources and buying the rest. If I had to buy everthing brand new the total cost would be around $380 before tax and shipping. However, I have already bought 5 resources used through personal sales and shaved off $65 from that total. I am hoping once this school year ends for everyone that I can find some more great deals!
amama5~ I tried using dry erase markers for math on some clear pockets i bought from RR. However, I found that for the price of dry erase markers and how quickly they got used up, i wasn't going to save any money. Where do you get your markers? And you just use overhead transparencies?
roseannvj, I also at one point wondered if it was saving me money to buy the markers, but I decided it does for sure because one Math U See workbook (student set) is 25.00+ shipping from their website. I get a pack of dry erase markers at Walmart for 7.00 or less, and I buy one,maybe two packs per year. But that 7.00 is for all my children, whereas the 25.00+shipping is only for one child. I also found out my kiddos weren't clicking the lids tight enough so they were drying out fast. They looked okay but when I double checked the lids weren't all the way on, so I taught them to listen for the snap.
Yes, overhead sheets, and you might even be able to find a friend who already has a pack since you only need one per child. Hope that made sense!
amama5- I was just wondering if you were using the over head transparencies over the school book page? I use slip in sheet protectors for some of our projects but was wondering if this would be better for some books that I wouldn't want to take apart. Hmmm..... Could you elaberate??? Is it better than slip in protector sheets to write on?
This is a random thought for veterans & newbies alike. Probably everyone here already does this, but I still want to urge everyone to save your school downloads/ PDF's/ etc. to a back-up disk, thumb drive, or other such external device so that you can retrieve it should your computer go down. There is nothing more frustrating than losing ALL of your stuff because of a computer virus, lightening, or other issue.
This has been your PSA for the day.
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