Today there are more and more parents pulling their children out of school and teaching them themselves. Whatever the reason may be, this departure from public education is picking up steam and unlikely to change course anytime soon.
However, one of the greatest challenges that most parents starting off on this journey experience is the cost for the materials to be used. So we get online and search and search for a “Homeschool textbooks sale”.
Textbooks: one of the most marked up products there is!
Okay, prices go up and over time generally never come down. That’s just a fact of life. But why do textbooks increase in price at a much greater rate than just about everything else?
From one report done in 2017, school textbooks have seen an 812% increase in price over just the prior 35 years, an increase that is more than double that of housing over the same time period.
In an article published a little over a year and half ago, textbooks made it to the number 16 spot of the 19 most outrageously overpriced products overall.
How can I afford to homeschool on one income?
When you factor in the reality that in order to homeschool a child it requires one of the parents being “home”, the cost of these textbooks is an even greater burden to bear.
Most homeschooling families already go without many of the luxuries and amenities that a two income household enjoys. But beyond that, those same families have to be able to shell out hundreds if not thousands of dollars each year for the textbooks necessary to accomplish the goal.
Just go ahead and Google the phrase “homeschool families on one income” and look at all the articles that come up. This is not an uncommon challenge for those who decide to educate their children at home.
Textbooks: built to last beyond the single user
The average lifespan of a school textbook is estimated to be five years. How many closets are filled with textbooks that have only been used once? Why can’t these books be recycled like everything else?
And once this concept is grasped and we put forth a little extra effort, we may very well extend the lifespan beyond just five years. More and more cash strapped school systems across the country are recirculating textbooks, so why shouldn’t the homeschool community do the same?
Where do the used textbooks go?
While it may be a good idea to literally recycle textbooks, you might find that fewer and fewer recycling centers accept them because of the adhesives used to bind them. Then there’s the cover to consider as well, since many contain plastic, leather, fabric or other non-paper bookbinding materials.
Instead of recycle, why not recirculate? At some point down the road, a textbook may no longer be in condition to resell, and at that point can be donated to worthy causes looking for such contributions.
But in the meantime, your desire to homeschool your child is a worthy cause to be supported by the resale of those textbooks.
Pay it forward
With the concerns that many of us parents have regarding the public education system, this is one way we can band together and help each other with the cost of purchasing textbooks.
It’s just one way that we can help mitigate this significant expense, by passing along the savings and procuring the resources to purchase used these books for the following year.
By teaching our children to be good stewards of their books through the course of the year, and explaining to them the reason why, we are providing life lessons that will help them make the most out of the resources they have and build principles upon which a firm financial foundation can be established. We are also teaching them to think beyond themselves and to consider in every endeavor how to share the resources they have on a larger community scale.
It’s a win-win situation and one that provides learning on multiple levels. Keep your eyes open for those wonderful words that bring music to our ears: “homeschool textbooks sale!”