Wednesday, January 20, 2010

To buy or not to Buy

One of my absolute favorite things about Tapestry of Grace is the fact that we are using actual books. Even for lower grammar students (aprox. K-3) there are no "readers". My girls aren't reading random excerpts, but instead, complete stories. I have been pleased with the choices. Highlights from year 2 unit 2 have been - -
Children's' Shakespeare
Mother Goose (that took me by surprise; my 1st grader has enjoyed reading all of the poems in an over-the-top, animated way)
I, Juan de Pareja
Trial and Triumph

As I finish up a nine week unit my husband and I begin the "to buy or not to buy" discussions. Using real books is an educational joy and a financial strain. We live in a college town and have decent access to many of the books that are needed. Tapestry is purposefully designed to allow for book substitutions. In fact, the teacher's manual includes library call numbers, so that you do not have to work at finding similar books. That fact alone might lead you to ask, "what's the debate all about? Borrow the books and save some money." And you are right . . .I think.

My girls will reread books. My first grader has recently realized that she is actually reading. She has enjoyed returning to books from earlier in the year. She can measure her progress. She knows that she is reading something that was far too daunting in August. It is encouraging to her. My third grader is a devoted reader. The library is not large enough for her voracious literary appetite. A pile of great books seems like a reasonable investment.

So, here I am again. Weighing the pros and cons of purchasing verses borrowing.

purchase: creates a storage problem, means I once again wait for __________(random household item that, while not necessary, sure would be nice), means that if one child is sick and I don't make it to the library school can go on, and allows for the silly joy that comes with a pile of new books

borrowing: involves some extra work on my part, hello cute little house thingy that I keep not buying, can cause a set back if I am unable to make it to the library, teaches my children that they do not have to own every single thing

No matter the outcome of this debate, I can homeschool two children for half the price of sending one to a private school.


Anonymous said...

I understand the debate. So, true on the price of one student in Private vs two homeschooled.

I am interested in learning more about Tapestry of Grace.

Anonymous said...

I buy all my books. It's a little expensive, but with this many kids, we'll get our money's worth. Also, I am incapable of returning a book on time, so I don't have to think about that very often this way. I just save myself the trouble and buy them. (I don't have my cute little house thingy yet, either, and I guess this is part of why. Heh.)

When we don't have room anymore, I guess we'll store them at my mother-in-law's house. She has lots of space in her storage buildings, so that's no problem.

One way I've found to pay for books is Swagbucks. Any homeschooling mom is going to do a lot of internet searches, so it's easy to rack up a lot of points. 45 Swagbucks=$5 in Amazon gift cards. So we don't pay for a lot of our books! Sign up here, if you're interested:

Disclosure: I am not being a selfless person here. If you use that link, I get a few Swagbucks, too. But don't let that stop you. It's saved me a few hundred dollars so far!

I also enter a lot of giveaways for Amazon gift cards and cash, so that helps a little.