Inside: Learn how to get the awesome curriculum deals for your homeschool that public schools get.
One of my favorite resources I have found over the years is the Homeschool Buyers Co-op. It the first place I look for curriculum deals. If you have’t heard of it, read on. You’ll be glad you did!
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What Is the Homeschool Buyers Co-op?
School systems order their curriculum in large volume; therefore, getting a significant discount. Homeschoolers, on the other hand, must purchase their materials individually and pay full price. That is, until now!
The Homeschool Buyers Co-op was created by a homeschool dad, Brett Walter, who decided to change that. He wanted to create a buyers club where homeschoolers could order in large quantities and get a discount similar to the school system. The setup is very simple. The vendor agrees to sell their product for a discount, and the Homeschool Buyers Co-op offers this product for a specific amount of time at that price. During that time, the more people that buy, the better the discount.
Let’s say the discount starts at 20% when it’s first offered. If 20 members buy it, it drops to 30%. If 50 members purchase, it goes to 40%. This what they call a “GroupBuy.” Often those rates can be locked in for the entire year when the GroupBuy is finished.
11 Reasons You Should Join
1. The Best Homeschool Curriculum
Curriculum that is chosen for a GroupBuy goes through a review process, and only one percent of all the products submitted are accepted. The co-op is constantly looking for new materials, and they attend conventions to see the materials firsthand. The owner only wants to offer what he feels is the best available. You may not have 20 different math programs to choose from, but you can be sure the 3-4 that are offered have been selected because they are top quality. There are products for every subject you teach, as well as electives, test prep, and even special needs. Many of the curricula they sell are in digital format, but there are some physical ones as well, and often you can get free shipping.
2. The Best Deals
The Homeschool Buyers Co-op takes their pricing very seriously. You will be getting the best deal anywhere. After all, that is the purpose of their club. If you do find a lower price elsewhere, just contact them, and they will take care of it. If there is a popular curriculum you like, but you don’t see it on their site, it’s most likely because they couldn’t get a better deal on it.
3. “Golden Rule” Support
Their customer service has a unique approach. When you submit a question or concern, your message will be answered by another homeschool mom. All are instructed to use the “Golden Rule” and treat customers how they would like to be treated.
4. Free Homeschool Resources
The purpose of the membership is to provide you with the best deals in curricula; however, they go above and beyond by providing a wealth of free resources.
They have collected a large database of free homeschool curricula with links directly to each individual site. The list describes what subjects are covered and the age range they are geared for.
5. Field Trip Planning
Finding great field trips can be difficult. Their site has a U.S. map which you can click on your state and see a guide for the most popular places to visit. This is a wonderful resource that includes a description, address, hours of operation, cost, and contact information for each destination. Field trip planning has never been so easy!
6. Summer Fun Reading Program
Keeping children mentally engaged during the summer can be a challenge. The Summer Fun Reading Program hosted by the Homeschool Buyers Co-op can help with that. It’s free to join, and you just fill out a short form each day that includes some basic information along with the title and author of the books read and the amount of time spent reading them.
The contest goes until fall and they pick three winners. The grand prize winner receives a $100 gift certificate from Amazon. First runner up gets $75 and the second runner up $50. Every time you record your child’s minutes, it’s an entry into the drawing.
These are awesome prizes and have definitely motivated my kids to read! All participants will receive a Reading Champion Certificate in September that lists how many hours they read for the summer.
7. Deals of the Week
In addition to the regular discounts, there are weekly deals that are for a limited time only. You can check in weekly to see what they are and grab them before they are gone.
It’s nice being able to save money on homeschool materials, but the Homeschool Buyers Co-op* takes that even further. Many of the curricula offered also come with a bonus of collecting SmartPoints. These add up over time, and you can be used like cash towards the purchase of other materials that qualify on their site. When you become a member of the group, you automatically get 100 SmartPoints put in your account.
9. More Savings Than Planned
When you look at a group buy, there may be several different prices listed. Often a company will allow a larger discount as the number of buyers increases. There can be times where you sign up to purchase a product before the offer ends, and you won’t get it until the closing date. When it closes, if the number of buyers has reached a higher level, you will get the lower price instead of what you originally signed up for. This has happened to me before and I was pleasantly surprised.
Here is an example:
Jim Hodge Audiobooks
This is the benefit of purchasing through their co-op!
10. Free Homeschool and Teacher IDs
There are a number of reasons you may want you or your child to have a homeschool ID. One of the biggest reasons I like to have the teacher ID is to get an educator card for a 20% discount at places like Barnes and Noble and Books-A-Million. All you need to do is show your ID to qualify.
These stores also have an educator appreciation week during the year when you can get an extra 5% off. These savings can add up if you buy a lot of books throughout the year.
To get one, you simply upload a picture, and an email will be sent to you with the link to your ID to print. You can laminate them yourself or pay to have them laminated and mailed to you.
11. It’s Free to Join
Unlike other buying clubs who have a yearly fee, this one will not cost you anything! And like I mentioned before, when you sign up, you will receive 100 SmartPoints.
My Experience with the Homeschool Buyers Co-op
I have used the Homeschool Buyers Co-op many times in the past. It has always been a pleasant experience and I believe I got the best deal. I have even received a better deal than first expected. I signed up for a GroupBuy for a particular curriculum, but by the time the deal ended, more people had purchased and I got the lower price. Score!
The majority of the products I have bought have been digital. Once my purchase was complete, I usually got an email within a few minutes telling where to go on their site to obtain my login information. Setup for these programs was very easy.
We have enjoyed typing programs such as Typing Pal and Type to Learn, Wordly Wise 3000, MathHelp.com, DriversEd.com, The Happy Scientist, and more! All of these have been wonderful to use and great quality. As I mentioned, I have gotten their homeschool IDs and have been very impressed with them. I print and laminate my own, but they look very professional.
One of my favorite features I like to use is the free summer trials of certain programs they offer. It gives me a chance to try out specific curricula over the summer to see if I want to purchase if for the upcoming school year. This is how I ended up purchasing MathHelp.com.
If you have multiple children you are homeschooling; often these deals include a license for more than one child. However, if they don’t, there is always a discounted price offered to add additional students.
If you are looking for ways to save money on your homeschooling, the Homeschool Buyers Co-op is certainly a good place to start. There is nothing to lose by joining and only money to save with all the membership benefits they offer.