If you are hoping to use a literature-based homeschool curriculum, the cost can at first seem to be an obstacle. When money is tight on a single family income, your favorite homeschool curriculum can feel like an extravagance. You may start to question if purchasing a literature-based curriculum is really the best option.
Our family has experienced rough financial years where I had to scout out deals, get creative, or scale back on extra subjects. Usually we had a budget planned for homeschool curriculum, but just as spring rolled around, a major appliance broke or my husband's hours at work were cut. No matter what your budget says on paper, it's hard to shell out the big bucks for curriculum when the family car breaks down. I understand the challenge.
There have been better years, as well, when we have successfully saved for our big curriculum purchase. On those years, we had margin even for extras so that my budget-savvy husband didn't even break a sweat at the homeschool convention vendor hall.
Either way, whether a rough or fantastic financial year, there is one curriculum choice where I have never compromised. A literature-based homeschool program has been my foundation every year since my oldest was in preschool. Even from the those first years of homeschooling, I saw the financial value of sticking with a literature-based curriculum like Sonlight.
Family Schooling Benefits
When my oldest, Dreaming Daughter, finishes her curriculum, I simply put the books and Instructor's Guide back on the shelf to be used for my next child. Once the new school year rolls around, I have to purchase a new program only for my oldest. The younger children use the hand-me-down History / Bible / Literature programs already in my home library.
My two younger children, Tenderhearted Boy and Wild Little Girl, are close enough in age that I can combine them and use one program for both. This choice means big financial savings for the family and time savings for me.
If the time ever comes when you are truly finished with your curriculum and ready to say goodbye to the beloved books in your literature-based program, you can pass them to another family who will get more years of use from them. Unlike so many consumable curriculums that are only worth a trip to the storage box or garbage can at the end of the year, a literature-based curriculum never becomes obsolete. Quality books can always find a second life in a new home library.
One year I was blessed to have my parents hand down their Sonlight books to use with my kids. It was a financial blessing to me, and it blessed them to discuss favorite stories with us as we went through the year. In turn, I have loaned our favorites to friends, enriching their homeschool experience.
Discount on Replacement Instructor's Guides
Maybe you want an updated Instructor's Guide or need new consumable pages for your Science or Language Arts. The advantage to choosing Sonlight as your literature-based curriculum is that you can purchase a brand new guide for 50% off. Some years I have chosen not to update to a new Instructor's Guide at all. When I have chosen to update, I was ever so grateful for that huge discount.
With a literature-based approach to homeschooling, you purchase very few consumables. Most of your subjects are covered via conversations about a book. Instead of filling pages in a workbook that you will toss in April or May, you are building connections with your children. In upper grades, children may have papers to write, but every single book can be enjoyed again as part of your home library.
More Efficient Planning & Teaching Time
How valuable is your time? With four little kids to raise, a husband busy with work, and a home to keep, my time has become more valuable by the year. Thankfully I don't have to spend time planning my year because Sonlight does that for me. Once the books are organized on bookshelves, I am ready to go. I have more time to meet the needs of my family.
I save even more time because I can teach some of my kids together with a literature-based program. When we sit down for daily read-alouds, I get a two-for-one deal on my time— two kids hear the same lesson each day.
Our choice to use Sonlight has allowed me to support my husband in a huge way as he worked two jobs for over a year. We had three kids under the age of five when he started his own business! His new venture was difficult enough without adding one more thing to my plate. Even when money was tight, we knew there was value in having my year planned, teaching some of our kids together, and building a home library of amazing titles. Looking back, we can agree that Sonlight was a lifesaver for us during those years.
There is no question that purchasing homeschool curriculum is a big financial investment. Before you invest in anything, you have to see the value in it to make the commitment. In my experience, there are huge financial benefits to choosing Sonlight as my literature-based curriculum.
What are the goals and values you hope to get from your curriculum this year? Once you narrow down those objectives and find a program that fits, you will know it makes financial sense to invest in that curriculum. For me, that's Sonlight.