I like to joke that, in homeschool land, I don’t call the lovely months of March through May Spring. Rather, I call them “Buy All Used Homeschool Materials” season. Perhaps I am not the only one?

I find it so tempting to see the numerous posts about curriculum marked “excellent condition”, “no marks”, “latest edition”, and “clearing the shelves”. Everything is all so perfect looking. I have even found myself sending private messages to the sellers asking a few further questions, only to realize I am not 100% sure that I even want to use that textbook. I slow down and force myself to believe that paying full price for a textbook is better than buy a book I won’t use even if it is the best price ever.

Although some of my kids have finished a subject or two for the year, our academic year is not done and I have been around this bush before. I must stay the course and finish what we began before being tempted with all the pretties online. When my kids were younger, much of what I used was hand-me-downs from other homeschool families. I had to buy very little. But now that they are older, my shopping list is much longer.

The flip side to this season of the school year is my anticipation of offloading my own used textbooks and manipulatives. I crave more space in my school storage. Whenever my youngest finishes with a level of book, learning toy, or some other school related item, I cheer!  Outwardly, I share my excitement because of the learning which happened, but secretly I cheer because I can finally pass it on and fill that space with something new! Maybe I am the only one that does such silly things.

How do you navigate the great deals which seem to fill your social feeds this time of year? Are you the plan it all out and buy it from once source type of homeschooler? Do you have a master list made months in advance and buy the right item at the right price whenever it comes available? (This is what I dream of doing, by the way.) Or, maybe you don’t buy many books at all because a bulk of your content is online?

PS: The 11th Commandment is, after all, ‘thou shall not make hasty purchases for your homeschool’, right?

Lindsay Banton is a caffeinated mother to three great kids. She never expected to homeschool, but has found that it is a wonderful addition to their lifestyle and wouldn’t change it for the world. In addition to homeschooling, Lindsay works alongside her husband in campus ministry at a large university in Connecticut. She grew up in Virginia but has settled into life in New England, learning to love the long winters, cool springs, green summers and gorgeous autumns- and has built a boot collection to meet all the demands. She is currently blogging at www.lindsaybanton.com.

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