This post was originally published as the introduction to an issue of TheHomeSchoolMom newsletter. Sign up here and get access to subscriber exclusive downloads.
In much of the U.S., the spring and summer seasons also bring yard sale season. Where you live, it might be known as a garage sale, rummage sale, or tag sale, but whatever the name, buying used items from families who are ready to let them go can be a boon for your homeschool budget.
Some great homeschool supplies to search for at yard sales:
- Globes and maps
- Children’s books
- Clothes and accessories for “dress-up” (don’t forget jewelry, hats, briefcases)
- Craft materials
- All the writing boards: white boards, black boards, chalk boards, bulletin boards
- Furniture: desk, table, chairs, book shelves, desk lamps, old TV armoire to re-purpose for storage
- High quality toys: wooden puzzles, building toys like LEGO™ bricks and Lincoln logs
- Reading nook elements: floor lamp, bean bag, book basket, throw rug, cozy afghan
- Adult size shirts to use as kids’ art smocks (over their clothes) for painting sessions
- “Fancy” or “special” plates and tea cups to set the table for poetry teatime
- Outdoor game equipment: game balls, bats and gloves, corn hole, croquet set
- Pots, pans, utensils, and measuring cups for an outdoor “mud kitchen” for the kids
- Gently used backpacks and tote bags, to use for:
- Library books
- First aid and extra supplies in the car
- Mobile art supplies
- Nature walk and hiking supplies
- Corralling each child’s selected toys, “collections,” or hobby supplies
In addition to yard sales, of course there are buy, sell and trade groups for homeschoolers and non-homeschoolers on social media. You can often find curriculum, science supplies, math manipulatives, and more—and of course with fast growing kids, many families find gently used clothing saves a lot. When you’re homeschooling on a budget, give used items a second chance!
What are your favorite yard sale finds?