Topic | how many of you buy or borrow books?


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  • heatherma

    I am planning way ahead to next year which will be our 1st official year hs my ds for 1st grade.  I am trying to do it as cheaply as possible of course but some books that will be read over and over or used for multiple children (like the SCM guides) will of course be purchased.  I am using the SCM guide.  But for all the read-alouds how do you handle it? My younger ds is 2 years younger and he will not be doing module 1 at 6, we’ll be on to module 3 by then and needing 1st gr books for that module for him.  I am making this too hard or what?  Some things like the Real Noah’s Ark cannot be easily found to borrow, but looks so good to buy.  If I save a little every few months this year and buy books used online I will be paying seperate shipping most likely for each book.  Any feedback would be great! Thanks.

    My first year I got everything from the Library. My problems with that are:  late fees, the book not being available when I needed it, and dragging all the kids in and out every week.  I probably spent $80 that year in late fees to be honest, and then there was the book we could never find. So, this year I started buying all my books. I have found most of my books at Garage sales, thrift shops and GoodWill. 


    see if your library has Interlibrary loan.  What I do is I check and see what our library has, what we have at home and the price of the book at Amazon or other used places.  I also make use of our goodwill, i’ve found some great treasures there.  Don’t be afraid to substitute if you can’t find the exact book and can’t afford to buy it.  That’s what I love about SCM, you can use what you have and just ask for oral or written narrations.


    Hi  Heather,

    Our boys are seven and five and we are in Term 3 of Module 1.  I purchased The Real Noah’s Ark, Boy of the Pyramids and the Vos Children’s Story Bible and the rest I was able to get directly from the library.  All three of those are books that I really wanted to have in our collection.  Though the younger isn’t officially “in school” he really loved listening to all the read-alouds.  I did get Letters from Egypt but mainly for my own enjoyment.  We’ll use that on our next go-around.

    If I’m understanding correctly, when you do Module 3 all you will be needing is the 1-3rd grade books which are the same.

    Does that make sense?



    Lesley Letson

    I use the library to preview most of my books – I try to plan and reserve them WAY ahead of time, even checking out books I know I won’t need for another year or two (that also lets me know how quickly/easily I can check it out). If it is something I really like and think we’d read over and over, or if it is rare/hard to find I try to find a cheap, used one online and buy it – unfortunately for the checkbook we really like too many 🙂 By checking them out so far in advance I have plenty of time to find a cheap one used. If it is something I don’t want to buy, I just check it out again (if it’s easy to get) when it gets time for it. I have found buying used books can be pretty cheap even with the shipping. I will try to find a site that has a lot of what I need and try to get as many from the same place to save on shipping. I have found many books for under $1, so with shipping they only end up being $4-5, not too bad. I am sure I have bought or will buy something that I later decide I don’t love as much, but then there’s always Ebay right? Smile


    We buy what we can find and afford, use the library ALOT and the Interlibrary Loan is available to us, and we use it. 

    I would love to just own all the books we need for the modules or that are suggested, but that’s just not a reality for us right at this time.  With 3 boys to be homeschooled now I have to watch our spending a little more closely.  I did purchase all that I couldn’t find at the library (books and videos) for 106 Days.  I knew I wanted all of it at the house to pick up whenever we needed the supplies, but the history modules and suggested literature I have felt differently about.  We are utilizing the library, used book stores, Goodwill, garage sales, etc., BEFORE I buy from amazon. 

    Also, I’ve given myself more time for planning since I’m planning for next year right now.  I’m out on the hunt for the books I know I will need to substitute, purchase or  will need to do an interlibrary loan for.

    This will be the first year that,  Lord willing, I will be prepared for each subject, for each child, for the whole year and I’m so excited.  What  a concept, huh?  I’m actually a pretty organized person, but I’d been “all over the map” with resources, methods, styles, schedules, etc. for the past 2 years.  I’m so ready to have a solid, well-planned plan:)


    I usually buy.  I keep a list on Amazon and Paperback Swap of books I need for the next few years.  I periodically check it and find many of them for a penny (without shipping).  I also hit the yearly library sale.  If you buy from the same seller on you get reduced shipping.  If I find a book I want from a certain seller I’ll check the rest of their inventory to see if there is something else I need so take advantage of the cheaper shipping.  I also try to take advantage of the 4-for-3 deals on Amazon.

    I have never lived in a good library area and interlibrary loan always takes so long (at least it does here) that I never have the book in time.  We are a one car family and with my husband’s crazy military schedule books never make it back to the library on time thus resulting in many, many late fines.  We do use the library as much as possible but I’m finding it easier to just have the books I need on hand.

    I have 4 boys, 3 in school, so I know we’ll be using the books for years ahead.  I’ll have the older boys either listen in on the younger boys lessons or have them read it to the younger boys, and the younger boys will most likely listen in on the older boys books.  It all gets sort of blobbed together.


    I buy.  We are a one car family and in the middle of winter it is just not feasible for us to get to the library regularly.  I have also found that going to the library tempts us (myself included) to read “empty-calorie” books.  I love the fact that we can pull a great book off our shelves whenever the mood for that books strikes.  We do have a great library in our smaller town and I do use it occassionally to preview books I’m unsure of or if I need a topic specific book, etc.  If I do wind up purchasing a book that we really don’t care for, we donate or sell it.


    I do the library.   We are not that far away from our library (we would have to drive though) – and can get any of the books from the libraries in the city.   I usually request, and run in and pick the books up when the family (including my dh) is in the car.  I can renew up to 6 times for most items – unless someone else has requested it.  A few items I have had to return, and then request again, so that can give me a week without it – but that is the stuff that I’ve needed for very long term (more than 18 weeks….)

    I did borrow a couple of books that our library had only one copy – and then someone else requested it on me…. but it has been pretty rare.  (The Handbook of Nature Study was one… and I think the Blue Fairy book….. I figure someone else might be doing a Charlotte Mason type homeschool…)

    For the ones available online, I also have downloaded a copy. Then if I don’t have the book right when I need it, we can read it off the computer.  I can also read it on my old palm-pilot, and I keep the books on it, so that we can read if unexpectedly delayed somewhere.    A couple I have printed, and a couple I have bought.


    Thank you ladies for all the great feedback!  Rochelle, from what I am understanding, when ds1 is in 3rd grade doing Module 3 and ds2 is in 1st grade doing Mod 3 yes that year we can use same books for Rome study.  I have yet to really get in there and map out all the years that detailed, but I would like to see it all laid out. I think then I will really get it to see it visually like that.  Of course, if we have any more kiddos then that changes a few things (not likely but we’re just talking what if).


    I just recently found most of the books I need (we use an AO/SCM combo) on Vegsource.  There are 2-3 sellers I found who sell a lot of classic books (often have them listed as Sonligt or Newberry, but books are the same). The site is a bit of a pain to navigate at first, but worth it.  I also found my Apologia Science for $20.  I found many history/lit. books for $1, some for $2 and since I bought many from one seller got a shipping discount (they just charged actual media mail for the lot).  I also always check Homeschool Classifieds.  And have a 1/2 Price Books close by—classics often go cheap (often .25 or .50!)  Then whatever is left I go to Amazon or          Blessings:)  Gina

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