When You Have No Money for Homeschool Curriculum

when you have no money for homeschool curriculum

Have you been there?  Some families have been there many times.  When finances are tight, the library can be an excellent tool for creating curriculum without costing you anything.  One year when I had limited funds, I started using the library heavily.  It turned out that the curriculum I was able to create using library resources was richer and more interesting than a purchased curriculum would have been.  Since then I’ve been using the library heavily each year whether I have lots of money for curriculum or not.

I used the library to create studies for science, history, and geography. It was also an excellent resource for reading books, language arts, living math books, logic, and foreign language studies.  My local library got to know me quite well and told me that I was their heaviest user.

I know many say that library fines can add up, so it isn’t free to use the library.  Library fines will happen from time to time, but if you do two simple things you can eliminate or greatly reduce any fines that you might receive.

  1.  Go the the library on the same day each week and return anything that will come due before you go again.  When you go on the same day each week it tends to keep the due date on the day you go, making it easier to get things back on time.
  2. Keep all of your library items in a special place.  When books are put away, make sure all of the library books are returned to that one area.

Ideas for using library items for different subjects.

Creating library-based studies takes a little time, but the studies have been well-enjoyed by my children.  My kids chose topics of interest and then I explored library resources to find one book on the topic that covered things well.  I then added in other interesting books and videos on the topic before compiling the books and videos into a chronological list that was easy to use.  Click here to read how I’ve created studies for my kids.  Click here to see examples of studies that I have put together over the years.

Library resources can be found for most school subjects.


  • Books on science topics
  • Documentaries
  • Experiment books


  • Books on historical events or people
  • Historical literature
  • Documentaries and movies


  • Books on different cultures and areas of the globe
  • Travel books
  • Travel documentaries and videos on different cultures

Language Arts:

  • Reading books
  • Movies related to literature
  • Grammar books and videos
  • Writing books
  • Poetry books
  • Language arts textbooks used at the local school


  • Living math books
  • Math textbooks used at the local school
  • Math games on CD


  • Word puzzle books
  • Visual puzzle books

Foreign Language:

  • Movies with a foreign language track
  • Foreign language learning resources
  • Rosetta Stone (some libraries will give free access)
  • Mango languages (some libraries will give free access)

So if you don’t have any money for homeschool curriculum, check out your local library.  Your best curriculum may be completely free!

What library resources do you like to use?  Please share in the comments.


One Comment:

  1. Great tips for homeschooling families. The library is invaluable. Nice suggestions for avoiding fines. Thanks!
    I wrote a piece about giving our kids a quality math education for free.
    I also wrote a piece about developing a writing curriculum for free:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge