The homeschool year is done, so what should you do with that curriculum you’ve got? Most people will let it just accumulate until it contributes to overwhelming homeschool clutter. But not organized homeschoolers! We understand the necessity of developing a system for evaluating your used homeschool curriculum and discerning whether you should keep it, trash it or pass it on (either selling, donating or swapping).
What Should I Do with Used Homeschool Curriculum?
The first step in dealing with used homeschool curriculum and materials is deciding whether you should even keep it at all. I suggest setting aside time to really focus on the task, alone and without kids who will try to convince you to keep things for sentimental reasons. Gather all your used curriculum in an area where you’ve got some empty space around you to make three piles – one pile for things to keep, one pile for things to sell/donate, and one pile for items to throw away. Then go through your materials and put them in the correct pile.
How do you know whether to keep an item, pass it on to someone else or to throw it away? This is the criteria I’ve used over the years.
If it’s a completed workbook, trash it. If you haven’t already, take a picture or scan the table of contents. Then snap some pics of your child’s work on the first few pages, then the last few pages. This will give you a record of their growth for the year.
If it’s a partially completed workbook, ask yourself, “Why didn’t we finish this? Will we ever come back to it, for that particular child?” Be honest with yourself and admit if it just wasn’t a good fit. Don’t save it for another child to finish it later.
If it’s a textbook or unused workbook, consider whether another child will be studying that subject/level within the next 3 years. Don’t look further out than that because a lot can change with your homeschool in a few years. You could change your style and method or even decide to send your kids to school.
If you think another child will be studying that subject/level soon, consider your child’s learning style, and ask “Is this curriculum a good fit?”. Also, ask yourself, “Do I like teaching this curriculum?” If yes (for both those questions), keep it. Otherwise, put it in your sell/donate/swap pile.
If it’s a supplemental homeschool book (such as a read-aloud or reference book), decide if
- You will need it to supplement a textbook or curriculum that you’ve decided to keep
- You would like to keep it as a good reference for your child’s future interests or education
- You wouldn’t be able to borrow it from a library or friend if the desire to read it again ever emerges.
If yes, keep it. Otherwise, put it in the sell/donate/swap pile.
If it’s project supplies or manipulatives, be honest with yourself over whether you will use them again. If you’re unsure, take a picture (to reference and remember what they are) and put them in a box with the current date on it. Set yourself a reminder for 6 months later, and if you haven’t used the items, get rid of them.
In my experience, I’ve found that art supplies are good to keep. Half-used science supplies should be pitched. Non-consumables (able to be used again) could be sold/donated/swapped.
Of course, if the supplies got with a packaged curriculum, it’s good to keep them together, especially if you plan to sell it. You’ll get a better price if you have everything that’s needed.
How Do I Store and Organize the Homeschool Materials I Keep?
Where you put the materials you decided to keep depends on two factors: how much space you have and how soon you’ll use it again.
If it’s going to used for the next school year, keep it readily accessible.
How to Organize Homeschool Books and Curriculum
If you don’t anticipate using the curriculum soon and have ample bookshelf space, by all means, put it on a shelf. Then you won’t run into the “out of sight, out of mind” syndrome when it’s time to shop for new curriculum. You can easily see what you already have.
If you don’t don’t have space, put it in storage, but first catalog what you have. Create a simple Google Doc with a list of the items in the box. Or take pics of the books and put them in an album for easy reference later.
There are several ways to give away your used homeschool curriculum. Let me give you a quick rundown of the best places to donate, swap, or even make some money out of your old curriculum!
Should I Donate, Swap, or Sell Used Homeschool Curriculum I’m Getting Rid Of?
It’s always a matter of preference. In my case, I do a good mix of donating away pre-loved items and on some occasions, selling them for a very reasonable cost to parents who are willing to invest a certain amount for their homeschoolers.
Regardless, joining homeschooling groups and networking with other homeschooling moms and dads offer two-way benefits. You can either save up on curricula for next year by buying used homeschool books for your own kids or help other parents and also declutter your home by donating or selling your own stuff.
But either way is a win-win for you, right?
But why not teach your child charity? For Christian families like my own, giving back is a value that we always keep close to our hearts. So it depends on what your personal or family values are.
Donating, selling, trading – there’s no right or wrong method here for letting go of used homeschool curriculum.
Instead, the key word here is “let go.”
We don’t need to hoard all that curriculum. We can start thinking of others instead. Donating and even selling them at a cheap price is a huge help to families who need financial assistance in educating their children.
Where to Donate Homeschool Books
This is a group to reach out to when thinking about donating your used homeschool curriculum. They were initially a grassroots group on Facebook, formed as a way to provide homeschooling supplies, textbooks, and other resources to homeschooling families that can’t afford to buy their own curricula. So if you want to bless a newbie homeschool mom, then this community is a perfect way to lend a hand. This group can also be a great way to connect with other homeschooling parents to share not just resources, but also ideas to make your homeschooling journey more meaningful and fun!
You are responsible for the shipping fee but the cost of the curricula or homeschool materials are freely given by other homeschooling families. You can join their group by visiting their blog or requesting membership on their official Facebook page.
Many local homeschool support groups have lending libraries where you can donate your used curricula. Through these groups, you may also meet a fellow parent in need of a free curriculum. Or try contacting your public library. Some provide guidelines for donating books.
Popular social media sites are instrumental in looking for a support group in your area. Otherwise, you may search this database of homeschool organizations and support groups in your state. These days it’s super easy to connect in just a few clicks!
An excellent way to declutter your homeschool is by donating to charity! Not only will you keep your home free of excess stuff, but you’ll also gain the benefits of giving – the priceless joy of being able to help someone in need!
Donation Town is a non-profit organization that helps you connect with a local charity to pick up your non-cash donations including your children’s used textbooks and homeschool curricula. You may check out what their acceptable donations are or go straight to donating your children’s books.
Best Places to Sell (and Buy) Used Homeschool Curriculum
Of course, some of us may need a bit of extra cash to augment our household finances. Totally makes sense!
Posting your used books or homeschool curriculum for sale is a good way to not only gain some bucks but also to help single-income families who are on a tight budget.
Here are some sites where you can do so!
Where to Donate Homeschool Curriculum On Facebook
There are some popular public homeschool pages on Facebook where you can instantly connect with homeschoolers interested in buying homeschool curricula for less. One is the Homeschool Curriculum Marketplace where homeschooling families either buy or sell homeschooling items. All you need to do to get started is to join the group and start reaching out to people!
Homeschool Curriculum & Book Swap is another awesome Facebook group to sell or exchange used materials with other homeschoolers.
You can join this page if you feel like expanding your homeschooling network. Again, there’s an ocean of resources out there that homeschooling parents like us can join and get connected with many virtual homeschooling communities. How lucky we are in this time and age!
Another awesome way to get involved with your local homeschooling community is via the Homeschool Classifieds. I myself found this site to be a handy and useful resource to have as a homeschooling mom. Apart from selling your used homeschool curriculum, there are many other homeschooling goodies to check out as well, such as group activities to try and even events to participate in!
eBay or Craigslist
Buying a specific grade-level curriculum or selling your own homeschool items through eBay is one of the fastest methods. If you don’t have one already, then create an eBay account first. You may also download the app on your phone for quick access later on. After setting up an account, then go ahead, gather those old piles of books, take photos, and start creating your listings!
If you live in a larger city, then your state’s Craigslist is a good classified ads platform where you may dispose of your used curriculum for a price. No matter which online selling platform you use, just be wary of people you deal with and handle with caution.
If you want to get rid of used textbooks and homeschool curriculum then the Back Pack is one of the most reliable places to partner with and sell your used homeschooling materials. And if you’re only starting out, this place is also a great resource to obtain affordable educational materials and homeschool curricula to use for your own kids.
Second Harvest Curriculum
Want to sell your living books or any other homeschooling textbooks? Used Homeschool Books will welcome them with open arms! You can contribute to their massive selection of homeschooling curricula by selling yours too.
Home School Books For Less
You can also become a consignor of a Christian Curriculum homeschool if you want. It’s easy and is a great way to turn your old homeschool books into cash.