Topic | planning help:-)please

This topic contains 14 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Dustyandkassey 2 years, 3 months ago.

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  • This is my first year to homeschool and we live on one income so I’m trying to be frugal yet I’d much rather own a book than borrow from my library, which by the way is small. If doing, most of the suggestions by SCM it can get quite pricey :/ although def worth it I know. Ok to start I will tell eveyone what I was planning on teaching and if anyone has advice please chime in. For my 2nd grader I was planning to go with Right Start math, 106 Days of Creation for Science ( btw which books are required to go with this and how many? ( Sorry I was confused about that) For Reading the suggested a Childs copybook reader, with Busy Times, and More Busy. For Spelling I was planning on using the All about Spelling a Multi sensory program, English for the Thoughtful Child, Handwriting a childs copybook reader, History Oxford First Ancient history, Geography Then and Now Bible maps, Bible Exodus a commentary for children, Scripture memory/ per dev A childs book of character building, Literature ( this is one section I plan to borrow library books), Poetry A Childs garden of verses, Nature – Natures notes. Music and picture study I pkan to borrow books from library. The price for all of this is $353. This is not including whatever books go along w the 106 Days of Creation bc Im not sure which ones I need. This seems a little expensive but I will be able to reuse it once my 9 month old is in school so bin g the books seems good bc I plan to homeschool my children. So is this too much for a second grader? Is there any way to shave down some cost? Please advice on any of my chosen subjects is appreciated.


    Kassey :-)

    Sorry tyops I’m on my tablet and the touch screen causes many typos.


    First of all, I agree with you on owning books. We used to borrow a lot from the library, but I much prefer to own the books and not be bound by someone else’s deadline or lack of having what I need.

    Second, my personal opinion is that you have perhaps overscheduled your little 2nd grader. She doesn’t need All About Spelling plus English for the Thoughtful Child. In fact, I’d just use EFTTC and wait until next year for AAS. Also, if you’re using SCM Module 1, they have made a less expensive replacement for Oxford First Ancient History, which is an expensive book to buy anyway. We opted to just do a simple map study/drill rather than using Then and Now Bible Maps. It has worked well for us.

    I would absolutely take advantage of the library for the extra books to go along with 106 Days. You don’t need any of the extras (Yellow and Pink, for example) for more than a couple of lessons, so you should be able to have them back to the library in plenty of time to avoid late fees. The only caveat to this is if your library doesn’t have a book you need. In this case, you can try inter-library loan or buy the book. Check with your library before you start the year to see what they have that you need.

    Also, I don’t know what source you’re using for all these books, but have you looked at We get many of our books from here. They are all used, but you can find a Like New or Good Condition book for $3.95 with free shipping if you watch out for it. 

    For two children and buying all of our books/resources every year, I rarely spend over $400, and that’s with buying Math-U-See, Apologia Notebooks, SCM materials, literature books, and more. I get a sort of high off finding stuff for really cheap. It’s like a game to me. Innocent


    Hi Kassey,

    I have two sons your son’s age so am right with you in figuring out the upcoming school plans. First, I suggest buying used. We started with RightStart and I wanted to love it (as so many people do) but now we’ve switched to MUS and are happy-ish. I hated the RS teacher’s manual with seven activities to do at one sitting. I felt like I was just reading my notes the whole time instead of just interacting around a subject. MUS is much easier in this way, much less teacher prep BUT they don’t group around 5’s the way RS does and I wish they did. When MUS has a diagram of say 7 blocks, they are just all put together and there is no way to count them except to actually count them. So I go ahead of the boys and mark in a darker line after the FIVE so hopefully they’ll keep that part of RS that I loved so much. You can easily see 5 and 2 more is 7. You don’t have to count. OK, that is an aside. I have almost all of the RS manipulatives and we won’t end up using many. I was going to sell them eventually so if you are interested PM me and I’ll figure that out.

    For reading we use All About Reading which we LOVE. I also have AAS which I used a little last year but put it aside for a later date, maybe this coming year. I’m not as concerned about spelling in second grade as I am about getting them to a higher/more fluent level of reading. Mostly I want them to be reading on their own for fun and information which they are still not doing. If you are interested in learning more about AAR, let me know. We use it slightly different from what they suggest but it really works so well for us.

    The Busy Times books are really sweet. I have them, but my boys are reading such elaborate stories right now. The benefit for us to AAR is they have ‘lessons’ and also stories to read. I hope my sons will read the Pathway Readers bc I like them, but they aren’t at that level of reading yet. We got ours used.

    I don’t know a lot of the other resources you are planning to use. Let me suggest something that may be able to combine several of your resources. It is called Writing with Ease: The Complete Writer by Susan Wise Bauer. It is $21 for a four year guide that incorporates narration, copywork, and dictation – so how to speak well, how to write well and how to listen well. It is a very sweet book and provides examples for how you do the lessons for the whole four or so years. We started it last year but stopped (to focus on other things) and I look forward to using it again this year.

    I don’t know if this is any help or not. Good luck in deciding!


    Don’t be afraid to subsitute books.  If your library doesn’t have the exact book for 106 Days of Creation, just find something similar.  For example, you might need the book Footprints on the Moon….if your library doesn’t have it find another book about the moon.  Will it be the same?  No.  But will it work?  Yes.  (If you look at the sample of 106 Days you’ll see a list of books and resources needed.)

    You can often find more expensive items such as math programs for sale used at eBay, Homeschool Classifieds or Vegsource, to name a few.

    I, too, am a book buyer over a book borrower, but sometimes the cost just isn’t worth it, especially for books you are only going to use for one or two lessons.  I buy a lot from Amazon and  This is also a cool search engine for finding books:


    I’m a book borrower, myself. I keep my house as ‘thing free’ as possible and that means borrowing most of our books. That said, I see the appeal to buying and certainly get the urge myself. I have to continually remind myself of what I’ve decide is more important (environmentally and financially).


    For 106 Days, there is a list of books on the sample pages.  I’ve been collecting many of these used through Amazon.  I picked up the Moody videos inexpensively from Library and Ed, but I did find a couple of them available free online (I googled the titles).  You could even just skip these I’m sure.  Also, you can substitute the picture books for similar library books.  

    For literature, if you have an e-reader, most of these are available for free or $1-2!  The Exodus/Numbers commentaries are available as e-books on CBD’s website for a few dollars.  Ancient Egypt and Her Neighbors is the replacement of the Oxford book and a fraction of the cost.  Instead of the Bible maps, I imagine you could find similar maps online for free.

    Instead of EFTTC, you could use Primary Language Lessons (free at Google Books).  They are very similar books and many moms on here use it instead.  

    I like to buy our books a little at a time.  You do have to be cautious with shipping though!  


    Also, I start buying books months ahead of time. For next year, I started buying books back in February! It helps to spread the expense out over months than waiting until July or August and having one really tight month. Also, I am not shy about e-mailing my mom and MIL with titles that we’ll need and a link for them to buy it for us. They are very supportive of us homeschooling and do whatever they can to help out. Usually they buy on Amazon and have them shipped directly to me. It’s easy and helps out so much!


    Shannon, I love your happy-ish word. I think that’s how I always feel when I need to change something, change it, and then realize it’s the subject that’s the challenge, not the curriculum. Readiness, patience, and contentment are words I have to continually study while homeschooling. :)

    Buy curriculum on the cheap as much as possible. I like Shannon’s reminder to be a minimalist. I forget this at times. It’s completely off my radar in regard to living books. I’m an admitted hoarder, so I concocted a camouflage of sorts and hope to open our Homeschool library in September. :)

    If you aren’t set on 106 Days, you might consider only doing nature study for this year and make journals. You can refer to field guides online, or at the library and accomplish lots of learning that way.

    Ease your way into things. Begin good habits in a few areas and add to it along the way. That will spread costs out a bit, too.


    I just wanted to suggest Homeschool Classifieds and Amazon (used options) as excellent choices for finding books inexpensively.


    Paperbackswap may have some titles you’re looking for too.  You do have to have books to swap but you can always purchase credits to buy their books.  Just an idea.  I think I got most of my books for 106 days at thrift stores/PBS/library/amazon and I use my kindle. If you don’t have a kindle, you can download the kindle app and just use your computer. 


    Participant is great for price comparison.  And i use AbeBooks, PaperbackSwap, the library, etc.

    I haven’t yet used my Kindle for school.  I use it to read my Bible, mostly.  I’m just not sure if I’d like it for school.

    I also put books on our Christmas lists for grandparents.




    @sklong – I didn’t think that I would like a Kindle for school, but I love it so much that I bought one for each of my older kiddos. We use it for scripture study, composer study, poetry, science, history, literature, and more. LOVE it.


    Here’s what I am seeing in your plan:

    Math – RightStart Math

    Science – 106 Days of Creation

    The list of resources you need for the 106 Days is in here, but you will have to download the sample and click on the Resources Needed page:

    It’s a great choice. We had fun with it.

    History – Ancient Egypt using the Oxford First Ancient History

    If you are going to use the older version of Module 1, there are substitution lessons using the Ancient Egypt and Her Neighbors book, and I have a list of all the lesson that use the Oxford with the topics taught so you could get library books for that and not even purchase the Oxford. That alone will save a pretty chunk of cash! Here is the link to the substitution list for the Oxford…

    I have to say that you will get better value for your money if you use the Acient Egypt and Her Neighbors. We only used 20 pages out of the Oxford for Module 1, although it was much more used in the other ancient modules for the older kids.

    Geography – Geography Then and Now Bible maps – Actually this is not really a map drill book or learning about other cultures…it simply shows where the Bible towns are in relation to towns today. You can choose to study whatever continent you want and get books about the countries from the library. Google blank outline maps and use those for your map drill.

    Handwriting: recommended Copywork Reader

    Spelling: All About Spelling (CM recommended waiting until 3rd grade for this, so it might save money to buy later)

    Grammar: English for the Thoughtful Child

    If you use English for the Thoughtful Child, there is some pretty good overlaps in your plan and you could easily simplify…it has picture study, copywork, and more in it. I really think that you could wait on the spelling until next year. I know that it is hard, esp. coming from PS, but you could sort of ease into the methods before you start overloading both of you.

    Reading: the suggested a Childs copybook reader, with Busy Times, and More Busy.

    Bible Exodus a commentary for children. You could read the Bible stories straight from the Bible yourself and retell it to your kiddos, unless you are more secure having the book.

    Scripture memory/Personal Development  –  per dev A childs book of character building, – You can also use the free SCM verses here:

    Literature (this is one section I plan to borrow library books), – You can also listen to a lot of it free if you use  We listen during lunch. 😉

    Poetry A Childs garden of verses – you can also just check out poetry from the library.  There is a great series called Poetry for Young Children if you can find it. You can also find tons of free poetry on Kindle and from the free sites – just download a Kindle app to your computer.

    Nature – Natures notes.

    Music and picture study I plan to borrow books from library. – You can also get some great resources free online. Here is my Pinterest board with a tiny fraction of things available…I also have lots of ideas for some on my blog if you are interested. – I am in the middle of getting a custom design for my blog, please excuse the mess. =)

    I buy used books all the time. I have discovered that I can buy a lot of ex-library ones that are recommended here for less than $1-$3 usually, plus shipping. I use all the recommended places too. Those were just my thoughts when I looked at your schedule and the cost. 😉

    You know your child and your legal requirements best, so take them for what they are worth.






    Call your local libraries and ask about their used book sales. I buy used most of the time. Also check Better World Books and Thriftbooks. They have sales on used books and sometimes I get them for less than $3 each shipped. My ds 9 is a very visual learner and looks at our books over and over again so I prefer to buy. But for 106 Days I would only buy after seeing which ones from the library are your favorites. And then look for used.

    Thanks everyone I am so excited about using the CM method and your help means alot.

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