Sunday, July 29, 2012

Homeschooling Textbooks

I'm sorry that my posting has been a bit sporadic lately. I've been preoccupied with ordering textbooks and writing up IHIPs (Individualized Home Instruction Plans) for my three children. It's always a huge task during the summer, and one that I'm happy to finally have over with.

Here in New York state, we have to report to the local school district about certain required subjects, sharing each year what we plan to teach and submitting reports and assessments during the school year. My family, like many others, covers more academically than what the regulations require, but since I'm busy with the paperwork anyway it's a good time to get my book ordering done.

Selecting books stresses me out far more than the district paperwork. Although the cost is minimal compared to sending the kids to private school, textbooks are expensive - especially to a single income family like ours. I spend days poring over curriculum catalogues and websites, trying to choose the very best materials and track down the lowest prices. Whenever possible, I choose books that can be handed down from child to child to cut some of the overall cost. As we're now entering our fifth year of homeschooling, I've found some textbook series that work best for my children's learning styles. Still there's always some tweaking to be done and some trial and error involved.

So in case you've ever wondered what just over $500 worth of textbooks look like, wonder no more. These are just the new arrivals. I'll also be using books saved from other years, as well as some online curriculum and library resources. Still, at less than $200 per child for this year, I managed to get top quality materials.

After all of my stressing, it feels like Christmas when the boxes finally start arriving. I'll enjoy the rest of my summer more, knowing that I'm prepared with next year's materials. Now I've just got to get our schoolroom reorganized!


  1. Yay! Way to go!

    Texas is far less demanding with paperwork and I like it that way. We started up "school" again early this month as it is just too hot outside to be playing around much. We take extra time off in the spring and fall when the weather is nice and they can enjoy it instead of being couped up inside.

    We started off with one program and now are eclectic and have something different for every subject as like you said, trial and error. LOL! It is a great feeling to check off each level as they pass. :)

    1. I was afraid of New York's rigid laws before we moved here, but they're really not hard to follow...just a bit time consuming. We've been keeping up with our summer work, but for us the new schoolyear will start up after Labor Day. I want to go into it as prepared as possible.

  2. Wow! Nice job on the cost per child!!!! I tried to hand down curricula, but with different learning styles and different learning disabilities for each child, we've rarely managed to pass on a product to the next one. I try to save by selling one and buying the next one used instead.

    1. I should look more into used books myself. It can definitely save money, but I think it also requires more patience to search the right editions out. Since my youngest is only going into first grade, I haven't started selling our old books yet, but I'm looking forward to cutting the overall cost that way.