As we work to wind down our school year, I wanted to fill you in on one thing that worked really well for us. I tend to be one that pieces together our school work. I love buying curriculum and getting all those new shiny books (with that new book smell) but I am cheap and so in reality a lot of what we get is used or something I put together on my own. At the end of last (school) year I really started looking into choices for literature for Apple. I found so many wonderful reading lists and unit studies but the cost of some of them would have blown our entire homeschool budget.
My other issue (especially with Apple) is that she has read SO MANY BOOKS. Like I cannot stress enough HOW MANY BOOKS. While she will re-read a book if I ask her to, I really want school to be as exciting and interesting for her as possible (trust me she needs this). So I spent a little time last spring researching various reading lists (you can find many on the internet divided by grade) and I made our own list. Once I had our list of books, I started searching for unit studies and lapbooks for each book. There are lots of those available online as well.
Then being the cheapie that I am I set out to find the books she would need. Some I had already collected and set back for her. Others I found at Goodwill. I borrowed one from a friend and ordered one used from Amazon. The point is you can get your books for literature at much much less than retail cost if you are willing to spend a little time looking.
Some unit studies and lapbooks I already had on my computer. I had gotten them as free downloads over time from various resources. In addition to those I used many free unit studies and lapbooks that I found with quick internet searches. While I didn't use any this year, there are some amazing ones available to purchase online as well. Some of them only cost $1 or $2! You can also easily invest your time to make your own studies to go along with the books. I made a few question pages on my own for some of the books Apple read this year in other subjects.
This method worked so well for us that I will be using it in the fall with both kids. I've already started making their lists and gathering the books they will need. The great thing is I put back all the ones Apple read this year for Speedy to read in a few years. Double savings! Don't be afraid to put together resources on your own, it will save you money. You can always see our curriculum choices including literature on the Curriculum tab at the top of the page.