Budgeting for homeschool books

I have included what we spent on books for Pippi and Jem this school year. I would also like to say that George’s parents blessed us with the money to buy some of what’s on the list. That doesn’t always happen so I do a lot of research before I buy. I also bought some of them at a curriculum sale. I chose to share this information so that I can explain how we budget and why. We mostly use a mixture of Catholic curriculums. If you are not Catholic you can still get an understanding of what my goals are and how I budget. I can’t even begin to explain how much time and research I put into making sure I pick the right curriculum for the girls. Some of the things I look for are online samples, other people’s experiences, and cost. I am not very likely to buy something I have not seen a sample of. I have even went so far as to show the girls samples so they can tell me which they like best. (They girls are very much a mix of visual and audio learners)This year was a little harder because we made some changes to our curriculum. I had to research Math and English pretty heavily to make what I bought would work.I would have to say I am very happy with the changes. I love that with homeschooling if one curriculum doesn’t work we are free to try another.

School books purchased for 2014-2015 School year 3rd & 4th grade:

Faith and Life 3 Activity book ($8)
Faith and Life 4 Student text {1 time purchase} and Activity book ($12 and $8)
Behold and See 5 text {1 time purchase} and workbooks ($40 and $13×2)
Social Studies
Tour a Country:Learning about other Lands and Peoples {1 time purchase} ($27)

Art 3 for Young Catholics ($10) {1 time purchase} NU
Art 4 for Young Catholics ($6) {1 time purchase} NU
The Catholic Faith Comes to America ($15) {1 time purchase}
The Catholic Faith comes to the New World ($16) {1 time purchase} NU
English for Young Catholics 3 ($17×2)
England for Young Catholics 4 ($15×2) NU
Vocab 3 ($10×2)
Vocab 4 ($6×2) NU
Teaching Textbooks Math 3 Cd-rom ($120) {1 time purchase}
Teaching Textbooks Math 4 Cd-rom ($120) {1 time purchase}

Total: $504

NU= Not Used
{1 time purchase} = text book or Cd-rom, used for multiple kids or all

I purchase Pippi’s and Jem’s curriculum from 3 main companies. I order Religion and Science for Catholic Heritage Curriculum. It is obviously a Catholic curriculum.The girls have really done well with the Faith and Life series. They have both used it since first grade. I have really enjoyed Behold & See Science curriculum. It has alot of great information as well as many different experiments. I would have to say that science is the kids 2nd or 3rd favorite subject. I have never heard them complain once when its time to do Science. We have used another of CHCs Georgraphy curriculums in the past and liked it. The girls are very excited to learn about different countries and cultures. I order Art, History, and English from Seton Home study. It is also a Catholic curriculum. When we moved to DC Art became one of the required subjects. The first couple of months we were here I just picked an artisit and we made a painting, etc. like they did. But it wasn’t long before the girls were showing an interest in learning how to draw. Seton’s Art is great for the girls to learn how to draw people. They are slowly working towards Art 3 but it is very hard for them not to want to do what Duke and Bubbles are doing. Art is their favorite subject. History is something new that we started this year. Some form of social studies is required in DC. My husband is a History buff so I asked him to teach them. He has really enjoyed it. They finished their book and are starting Geography soon. This is the first year we have used English for Young Catholics from Seton. This is a subject the girls have really struggled with. I am very Thankful this year to have something that seems to be working. I order Math from Teaching Textbooks. It is not Catholic. It is a Cd-rom which means the girls rely on the computer for one subject. Math was another subject the girls were really struggling with. I couldn’t say enough good things about Teaching Textbooks. Pippi and Jem both have done very well in Math since the change. I no longer have to fight with them to do their Math, they are actually excited to do it.

It looks like alot but these are the books that will be used next school year:

Faith and Life 4 Student text ($12)
Art 3 for Young Catholics ($10)
Art 4 for Young Catholics ($6)
The Catholic Faith Comes to the New World ($16)
English for Young Catholics 4 ($15×2)
Vocab 4 ($6×2)
Teaching Textbooks Math 4 Cd-rom ($120)

$504 (2014-2105 total) – $206 (books that will be used next school year)=$298 (actual 2014-2015 curriculum cost)

Again almost $300 dollars sounds like alot but several of these books are one time purchases. This means that the only curriculum I need to buy for Pippi and Jem is
Math, Religion, and Science for the upcoming school year. It also means that I will only need to purchase Math, English, and Religion workbooks for Bubbles and Duke for next year. Please remember this does not cover all subjects. In DC we have the following required subjects: language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, art, music, health, and physical education. I really hope this has given you a little insight into purchasing curriculum. As the kids getting older choosing what works best for them gets a little tougher. I am very happy to have the support of my husband along the way. Happy Budgeting!