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Desert Strawberry

What is "expensive"?

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I know we have a WIDE variety of budgets here. I'm just curious. I often see posts that say "Not too expensive". I spend almost nothing on curriculum. (Because 1. I'm generally cheap-ahem-thrifty. I don't pay for things I can get for free. 2. I like to use free online resources, free downloads and the like. 3. I like living books and lending libraries. 4. I don't have space to store a lot of stuff).

 Lots of things are "too expensive" for me. But I KNOW that's not true for everyone. I can't fathom spending $100 per subject, but I know that's not unreasonable. $30 for a textbook is just about killing me, even though I will use it 5 times. 

Where would you draw the line? What do you personally consider "expensive"?

PS I will be moving tomorrow. No internet for awhile I'll catch up at the library when I can. 

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Anything over $100 is "expensive" in my book. I don't think I've spent over $100 on anything yet (although sort of on LiPS -I got the manual used for $80 but if you count the cost of buying/making all the magnetic tiles and other materials, it probably comes out to $110). I tend to buy used or on clearance as much as possible, lots of living books, and not too much consumable stuff. The most expensive-feeling stuff I buy are new consumable workbooks; I cringe at the $90-$100 I drop every year on SM workbooks (2 wb, 2 IP, times 2 kids).

 

For reference, my hs budget is $600/yr, and so far that is enough for curriculum, a bunch of living books, and misc supplies.

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Expensive is the $2.5k beginners alto saxophone that I want to get for myself :)

 

If whatever I pay for is going to make my life easier as a parent, I'll pay up as long as I could afford it. So paying for aops online class even though I could help my own kids is worth it for not having heated arguments over math. Paying for B&M class for my kids to satisfy their social and emotional needs of being with people other than siblings, worth it from hubby and my point of view.

 

My parents do gift me some cash every year for my kids' education expenses so I could afford to have some wants.

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Like you said, 'expensive' is relative. For me, if it's a quality product, superior to others, that I can afford, it's worth it. A lot of people think RightStart is expensive.....worth every penny to me. Some people think AAR/AAS is expensive....worth every penny to me. Same goes for Artistic Pursuits. IMO, these are superior products that not only work for me and my dc but also save me TIME, which is also worth money.

 

Now, I was looking at Biblioplan recently. Their Family Guide is $40+ and Companion Text is almost $60. That is expensive compared to most history texts which generally range from $35 to $45. Not saying I won't pay it, they just haven't proven to me that's it's worth the extra $. 

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You're right - it's absolutely relative. It's even more relative than just "budgets" - it is probably relative to the priority the item, or service, ranks for a person. 

 

I think organic food is absurdly priced because I don't place a high priority on eating organic :)

 

I do not think that $100+ per subject is unreasonable, however, when it applies to a program that will make a subject more enjoyable for my children... and easier for me to teach, lol.

 

 

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I think it depends on subject and content, we sort of have a rough idea in our mind how we would like our budget divided, which varies depending on subject, so anything outside that mental guideline is 'cheap' or 'expensive' regardless of how much it costs compared to other items. So, for me, this year, the first four life of fred elementary math books felt REALLY expensive for a supplement! ($120 thanks to the crappy exchange rate now) But I have no hesitation spending $50 on our core math curriculum. On the other hand, spending $50 on spelling for a year sounds really expensive, one reason AAS is off the cards. I'd happily spend $100 on logic resources but, for this age and stage would not spend $100 for a science program as that is too expensive (obviously priorities and costs will change as the kids get older, $100 on science will probably sound cheap by high school!)

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Expensive is whatever I can't afford. 

 

As for what I will pay- I will pay whatever I can if I think something is worth it, especially on a core subject(LA and Math). I use a cheap solid spelling program for my daughter (Rod and Staff) but my son uses Apples and Pears(which is $50 a level) because he needs extra help with spelling. Not all programs are created equal, which doesn't mean everything cheap or free is bad but on some things it makes a difference how much you pay(as with anything). This year the only thing "expensive" I'm using is Logic of English- which I used with my dd1 as a beta tester, so I ended up with the first 3 levels for $50; Jousting Armadillos- $60 for the year(we started off finishing Beast Academy that was bought last year) and Apples and Pears- I did get the TM's used in a lot for $20 each but had to buy the workbooks new. Last year I paid a ton for books as I was having difficulty with the library this year I'm thrilled to be able to use them as fines are gone and I can request stuff on-line- it is saving me a ton of money. I am however strongly considering buying the Build Your Library schedule for ds, considering how much time it will take me to do it on my own I think it will be worth it, that is time I can better spend doing something else- as it is it is taking me enough time doing planning for other things that I can't find pre-done to my liking.

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From most of the budget posts here, I'm pretty sure everything I buy is expensive. :lol:   We're solid middle class, so it's not like I don't feel the spending.  It's just that I have a quirky accelerated kid, who has special academic needs, and I almost always buy what is easiest for me to teach, (that will work for him) even if it costs more.

 

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I agree expensive is a relative term.  For me, it's just a matter of quality vs. outlay.  If I get a good return on my investment (nice, reusable materials, easy to implement, not available cheaper or homemade), then it's not too expensive.  It simply is.  If I don't (one time use, poorly designed, website/product too hard to figure out how to use by looking at it, something I can and should be making, pain to implement), it's too expensive.

 

MCT is too expensive in my house.  From what I can see, it's not worth the time it would take me to figure out how to implement a $100+ grammar curriculum, mostly because the website is convoluted and doesn't offer proper information about their product.  I don't want to have to dig.  I want to see a sample day or week and how the books are used.  I had no problem paying $100+ for a science curriculum.  MCT can't convince me to part with my money.  I won't pay for online classes for my teen through WTM or AoPS or Veritas or any of the other smaller schools, but I will pay $360/year class through TT because my return on investment is solid. 

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For me, it depends on the subject.  For example, for foreign languages and music, I would pay almost anything to teach them.  For example, I'm about to purchase La Clase Divertida for $100.  I can't teach those courses.  However, for something like spelling that ranges from $10 - $100, I wouldn't pay the $100.  I would find something or make my own. 

 

I would also pay if it meant the curriculum will get done (the child likes it and I can implement it). 

 

I do shop around, buy used or on sale.  But for some things I buy new.  For example, Beast Academy.  Also, if I can use a curriculum for all 3 children, it's not that expensive in the end. 

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I agree that it's relative.  I was discussing curriculum with another mom.  She thought SCM history seemed very expensive (I consider it inexpensive, especially compared to other literature based history programs).  What I found funny was that she was a huge fan of IEW's SWI program, which I consider way out of our budget.   :lol:   I also think we each have subjects that we tend to spend more on than others.  Some of us spend $100s on sciences, while others spend that on history or LA.  I'm more likely to spend more on a curriculum I can re-use for multiple years and multiple students than a one time deal (like an online class).  If I had only one child, I'd probably be more likely to invest in more consumables or online classes and not consider them "too expensive".

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I weigh cost against anticipated or actual results for my determination of "too expensive".

 

RightStart was not too expensive for me because it worked very well for my daughter... until it didn't. Then I thought it was too expensive to buy Level D to see if it would work when C had been such a poor fit.

 

MCT is not too expensive because it has been awesome for us.

 

AAS was way, way too expensive because we got so very little out of it and it made my daughter dread spelling.

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I agree expensive is relative. I did not have issue spending $100 on a some subjects, knowing it would eat into my overall budget. Foreign language was one of those. There are some things I wanted to use that we never did because they were too expensive for our budget. 

 

For me, there is also a value assumption in the subjectivity of expensive. I found pre-packaged programs like Sonlight too expensive because I knew they wouldn't work for my son who liked flexibility in how to approach subjects. There was less value in them for me. 

 

I spent $200 on a purse as a reward for finishing homeschooling ds. It was expensive to my budget, but it has great value because it's the one I'd be eyeing for over a year. I'd also spent probably about $50 on other purses (thrift stores and such) over the last few years trying to find an equal substitute. That craving for the right purse stopped when I bought the one I'd wanted (it turned out to be just as good as I expected). 

 

Homeschooling is like that. Sometimes you put off buying something because it's expensive. Sometimes if you buy it, you're disappointed because the value to you and your dc is lower than expected. Sometime it hits the right spot and you wonder why you didn't budget for it sooner. We had a few of those, including AOPS math. I finally bought the Algebra book and he loved it, wish I had purchased it sooner. 

 

 

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Expensive is the mistake of waiting too long b/c you didn't think you could afford the books.

 

Eat steak when the kiddo is on his own.

 

Eat school books when the time is ripe for learning.

 

 

 

Seriously, there are times when I pay a lot on school books (a month of groceries worth of $ for a year's worth of school) and there are times when I skim by on what we already have.  I am paying $$$ for another teacher's wisdom when I buy a book.  That is priceless, really.  When I shop for currics I ask if I could seriously just come up with it myself?  Would doing it myself take too much time?  Would doing it myself benefit my children in any way?  Sometimes doing a skill "off the cuff" is better done by myself b/c #1 I self-educate on HOW to do it and #2 I can tweak to fit my particular kid (skip the girly, frilly books please!).

 

There are times when plunking down some $ for a curric is worth every dime and then some.  I am at a loss for teaching chemistry.  I am also at a loss for time b/c I have 4 kids, oldest is dyslexic and I am purposing my "extra" time on helping him.  I hear there is a teacher named Ellen McHenry who is nothing short of awesome. So...we will hold her hand through chemistry.  Could I self-educate and pull something together? Yes.  However, it would be a net loss for my family b/c my time is better spent remediating dyslexia.  

 

 

Every family will have a different answer.  

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Very relative.

 

I think for K-8, moderately expensive is anything over $50 for a year for a single subject.

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Expensive is whatever I can't afford.

 

As for what I will pay- I will pay whatever I can if I think something is worth it...

Agree! And this varies so much from household to household, with income, expenses, priorities, etc.

 

I think that an 'overall' guideline for whether something is 'expensive' is whether it is priced higher than other items/curricula of a similar category. That doesn't mean I won't buy it, though, if it meets a certain need.

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Yes, relative. When mine were little, I could do both of them for under $300/year exclusive of school and craft supplies. That's all we could afford then anyway. I used the library a lot and borrowed from friends.

 

We also bartered for both piano and martial arts when they were in grade school. I could do both of those for both kids for $100/month.

 

Now we're in a better situation, but high school is also much more expensive although some of that is the choices we've made. I've chosen to outsource some subjects although I've bartered some there too.

 

We switched to a higher-level piano teacher because my younger one competed for awhile, and our martial arts studio had to tighten up financially with no more bartering although mine get a reduced rate because they teach.

 

I just bought my 12th grader's math books for 2016-2017. I shopped carefully and bought a used text and new answer key, and they were about $100. I also had to buy her a graphing calculator for math this fall, and that was about $100. I already had her math books for 2015-2016.  

 

I forget the exact number, but she also took the SAT in December, and it was about $60.

 

So it changes. But as I said, some of that is the choices. I have no regrets about outsourcing languages, history/lit, AP classes, and art for my teens. I also haven't paid full price for some of those either.

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I look at it in terms of value.  Does the price make me feel as if it is in line with the value.  The value in terms of what I'm getting and the value in terms of the course.  For example, it does not seem like a good value to me to spend $300 on an elementary school science course no matter how awesome it is because it's elementary school science and I could do that for a lot less than $300! 

 

I am willing to pay more for materials that are very hand holding and step by step.  Sometimes I need that.  It might be entirely possible to do it for a lot less, but then I'd have to spend a lot more time preparing.

Math is a good example.  For the upper level math stuff I've gravitated towards stuff that had videos and solutions manuals.  I could pick up a math book for a few bucks, but then I wouldn't have the support materials that I need.

 

 

 

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I look at it in terms of value.  Does the price make me feel as if it is in line with the value.  The value in terms of what I'm getting and the value in terms of the course.  For example, it does not seem like a good value to me to spend $300 on an elementary school science course no matter how awesome it is because it's elementary school science and I could do that for a lot less than $300! 

 

 

I once found Van Cleave books for almost nothing.  Woot Woot!!!  I went out and bought the stuff needed to do all the experiments and a tote to put them in.  I spent more than I would have on Delta Science in a Nutshell Kits to cover the same material, and the Nutshell kits come with nice student journals.

 

We aren't talking $300, but I thought I was saving $ but lost time and $.  sigh...this is my rationalization for just.buying.what.we.need. 

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I am in the value for money. I spend more for extras, like maps or tutors, or CDs, if we need them.  I might not be willing to spend for history what I would for other programs because I feel competent to organize it myself.

 

But generally, a program that is getting toward $100 I often ask for a second opinion.

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I agree expensive is a relative term.  For me, it's just a matter of quality vs. outlay.  If I get a good return on my investment (nice, reusable materials, easy to implement, not available cheaper or homemade), then it's not too expensive.  It simply is.  If I don't (one time use, poorly designed, website/product too hard to figure out how to use by looking at it, something I can and should be making, pain to implement), it's too expensive.

 

MCT is too expensive in my house.  From what I can see, it's not worth the time it would take me to figure out how to implement a $100+ grammar curriculum, mostly because the website is convoluted and doesn't offer proper information about their product.  I don't want to have to dig.  I want to see a sample day or week and how the books are used.  I had no problem paying $100+ for a science curriculum.  MCT can't convince me to part with my money.  I won't pay for online classes for my teen through WTM or AoPS or Veritas or any of the other smaller schools, but I will pay $360/year class through TT because my return on investment is solid. 

:iagree: Although I love MCT it's just too expensive IMO but I'd pay twice the cost of MCT for a good Chemistry curriculum with Lab.  I refuse to pay $500 for a year long online class but when the time comes I will pony up the same amount for a one semester Community College course.  To me it's about value and what my DC will get out of it.  I do tend to buy things that I can "cut corners" on too.  So if all I need is the TE or if I can get by with only the SE then I'm more likely to purchase something that would otherwise be expensive.

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I find it's relative, even for me. Something can seem expensive at $20 if I don't see the value, and something at $100 can seem like a bargain if it greatly enhances our school, saves me time and headache, is well laid-out, etc...

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Expensive, to me, is when the cost of my kids' school year/supplies/classes start approaching 1/4 of what local private schools charge.  Here, hte private schools are minimum of 25K per year, per child.  

 

So, if I add up both kids' expenses (including extra curriculars as the private schools here include them for a very low fee), then I would like both kids expenses to be sigificantly less than 10K

 

So, next year my son's online classes will total 2000.00 and his math tutor will be 3000.00 and his swim team for the school year will be 1800...  (yes we should include sports because they are included at the schools.)  and books and supplies 1000.00

 

So my son's total high school cost next year will be about 8,000.00.  WHich is still less than 1/4 of the cost of private school.

 

I think, for us, the math tutor is "expensive" but it's very worth it because of my son's goals, needs, etc. and how awesome she is.

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OH and BTW, I believe K-6 can be done super, super cheap...for me.....middle school gets more expensive and high school gets very "expensive."  

 

....we live in a high achieving, high income, highly educated, highly competitive area, and even giving my kids a fighting chance to get into the mediocre universities here means spending money to get it done. :o)

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I think for me it depends on what it is. For us AAR wasn't expensive because it was the best program for my struggling reader at the time. If it were for my excelling reader, I would have considered it expensive and not worth the cost. And a $20 workbook can be expensive to me because of the content IMO isn't worth it. I try not to base my curriculum on cost but rather on if it's something we will truly use and it is something that fits my children's learning styles best. There is still a limit to what I will spend because of budget, but if there is something that will fit for my kids and is a higher price, I'll save for it rather than buy a less expensive item that won't work for us.

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Absolutely depends on the circumstances.  My dyslexic kids needed specialized reading remediation.  They were really struggling and DD was already in 5th grade.  She was slipping further and further behind and getting more and more demoralized.  Once we had a diagnosis and finally knew what was wrong, we tried local specialized tutors, wasted hundreds of dollars we really didn't have, wasted lots more time, and finally gave up on finding ANY decent outside sources in our area.  Buying Barton Reading and Spelling at $250-$350 a level would once have seemed sickenly high in cost.  After seeing how much we sunk on specialized tutoring that DID NOT HELP, switching to something specifically designed for a layman to be able to implement, something I could do myself, something that ACTUALLY WORKED,  saved us thousands of dollars in the long run and got the kids reading.  Worth.every.penny.   :)

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I don't find much homeschooling curriculum to be very expensive when looking at the big picture.  Even big sets, like MFW or Sonlight are so cheap compared to private education and even many homeschool classes that are outsourced.  Or think of it this way: one Sonlight core costs less than a year of ballet for an 8yo (going 1 hr per week).  Cheap!

 

For less than the cost of one child in elementary private school around here (about 6K) I can pay for CC tuition for all 3, ballet for one, lego classes for another, preschool for another, babysitting here and there to get a break, and pretty much any curriculum I want. 

 

When I look at it that way, it's just doesn't seem very expensive to me. 

 

 

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I don't find much homeschooling curriculum to be very expensive when looking at the big picture.  Even big sets, like MFW or Sonlight are so cheap compared to private education and even many homeschool classes that are outsourced.  Or think of it this way: one Sonlight core costs less than a year of ballet for an 8yo (going 1 hr per week).  Cheap!

 

For less than the cost of one child in elementary private school around here (about 6K) I can pay for CC tuition for all 3, ballet for one, lego classes for another, preschool for another, babysitting here and there to get a break, and pretty much any curriculum I want. 

 

When I look at it that way, it's just doesn't seem very expensive to me. 

 

Exactly. I think if you have the money and the budget, and you have opportunities available, you should take them...and that can get "expensive" compared to homeschooling for "free or nearly free" but people do that because they have to....why would those that don't have to, do that?  There's also a cost to lonliness, social awkardness, and not having whatever other benefits we have by spending what we want to and need to.  I love how AnniePoo, quoted above, even considers that time hiring a babysitter so she can get a break is worth it to her because it's STILL so much less than private school.....

 

expensive is so relative

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Online high school courses. I can somewhat justify BYU Independent Study to myself because they give you a year to complete and you can stagger buying courses. Plus the scholarship program that gives you free courses for good grades. Otherwise, I just can't bring myself to spend that much.

 

And all the extras we want to do. If we could afford it all, martial arts, swimming classes, music lessons, cooking lessons, dance lessons (that one we do) we'd do it. I considered adding another dance class for dd because she is so serious about it but the boys aren't really doing anything and I'd like them to.

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I agree with expensive is more related to value.

MCT doesn't feel expensive to me, because it has been extremely effective and most of it is non-consumable. When I look at the cost covering 4 kids it seems worth it (ditto life of Fred)

Eta, even with international shipping.

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Expensive has meant very different things to me at different times.

 

My budget is a lot smaller now than it was in years past, but I don't mind at all. I got to do the hoarding and endless switching, and have now moved on. I've really come full circle to my first years in the mid 90's and am experiencing so much peace.

 

Now, the things that I think are the most expensive are those that need to be purchased as a set, or have higher shipping. None of my stuff is expensive, but if I have to suddenly come up with a book for a student that cannot afford the book for herself, shipping of even a cheap book can be a struggle for me.

 

After the great roach infestation that almost rivaled a locust swarm from a historical novel, I have gradually replaced most of my 3R books.  I'm in debt, but making my payments for the tech I charged when several of my devices broke at once. My tech stuff is expensive. But the interest free loans make it possible.

 

As long as the roaches don't come back, and until I move, and if nothing breaks or is destroyed, I have everything I need, other than an additional copy for a student to own herself.

 

Pre-Y2K the average homeschooling budget was $100.00 a year. Wages for many lower income workers have risen very little since then and expenses have gone up, so I feel like we are in a similar place, maybe worse since curriculum is more expensive and some really good pamphlet and mom-written stuff is OOP.

 

My basic budget is back to about $100.00 a year for curriculum. I looked at what that meant, and decided to just do what I can do with that. And when a student needs at book, I'm going back oldschool that she might have to wait for it. Oldschoolers were used to waiting. Things were not instant. To cut my budget meant lowering some standards, but also...changing some standards more than lowering them. When you drop one thing, you open up time to do something else, and I've reevaluted the something elses. Am I just in denial? Maybe? But I like it here. :lol: In fact I like it a lot!

 

I remember the first few years when people thought doing the best with what they had was good enough, and that they were good enough, and how their kids turned out was enough. Then something happened about Y2K. Suddenly it wasn't enough to use what you had. Suddenly moms were bad moms. Suddenly kids were failing and more kids than not became labeled as disabled. I've been trying to figure out HOW that happened, and if anything REAL changed, or did people believe some sort of lies.

 

Those days sitting in my now empty apartment sometimes letting the roaches crawl on me, because I was tired of swatting them off, and too afraid yet to sic a lawyer on management, I did a lot of thinking and changing. A lot of other stuff happened, too, and it's all a bit fuzzy, but my idea of what is expensive and what is needed changed.

 

Anything over $100.00 are year is expensive, but sometimes I need to get something expensive even if it means skipping a few meals, skipping a subway pass and walking everywhere for a month, and washing out my clothes by hand. But it better be something dang good to be worth that!

 

There was a day last fall on an unseasonably warm day, that I'd walked too far on too little water and collapsed on the kitchen floor covered in sweat. I had to decide to take a nap on the kitchen floor or crawl to my more comfortable clean pallet on the bedroom floor because I was too weak to take a shower first. Obviously that was a mistake to skip the subway pass to spend that money on education. I crawled to the pallet and got the sheets all sweaty and then had to pay the laundromat fees to wash them. Not my smartest move ever.

 

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I think this changes a lot over time. When my child was small, we did not need a lot beyond library books. But as we approached high school, we realized that some curricula could open new worlds for our daughter. And we realized that we would be unable to open up those new worlds without spending some money.

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The quality of being highly priced. For example, a new luxury automobile is more expensive than a used automobile. 

 

 

 

But a used Chevy Nova is more expensive than a luxury auto. LOL

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I know we have a WIDE variety of budgets here. I'm just curious. I often see posts that say "Not too expensive". I spend almost nothing on curriculum. (Because 1. I'm generally cheap-ahem-thrifty. I don't pay for things I can get for free. 2. I like to use free online resources, free downloads and the like. 3. I like living books and lending libraries. 4. I don't have space to store a lot of stuff).

 

 Lots of things are "too expensive" for me. But I KNOW that's not true for everyone. I can't fathom spending $100 per subject, but I know that's not unreasonable. $30 for a textbook is just about killing me, even though I will use it 5 times. 

 

Where would you draw the line? What do you personally consider "expensive"?

 

PS I will be moving tomorrow. No internet for awhile I'll catch up at the library when I can. 

 

How old are your kids?  Often perspective changes then?  I'd be willing to spend a lot more than $100 on a book for a high schooler (now) but after years of homeschooling, it'd have to do a little dance and turn itself around to get me to spend that on K-5.  

 

I think expensive is any money spent on something not worthwhile. :D  But that's a little hard to judge before the box comes in the mail sadly.

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There are a lot of factors that go into it for me.

 

I spend a lot on science supplies b/c I hate science experiments, but still feel they're important. The more my kids can do relatively independently, the happier I am. I don't spend much at all on science *curriculum, because that's easily found cheap or free.

 

I try not to spend much on math, because... math.  My kids pick it up pretty easy in the early years.  I did invest in some cool manipulatives years ago, but we also make a lot ourselves.  I find it easy to teach until upper high school.

 

I do buy expensive English programs with little to no justification beyond the first or second.  I just love English programs and consider them my own personal splurge. The fact that they're more for my own unnecessary enjoyment makes me look at them as much more expensive than our endless science kits, which I consider essential to our schooling, even though I probably spend more in dollars on science.

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Since my oldest is 6th grade my thoughts are more based on elementary/middle school. I'm sure high school might be different. I think over $75 for a single-subject resource/curriculum is my price point at which I start thinking "that's expensive", and I have to think very, very carefully before I purchase. Not to say I haven't spent that, but those are the purchases I have researched most and really thought long and hard about. We are currently spending a little over $100 for each full year of Beast Academy for DS8, but it is the perfect fit for him, and I am pretty sure younger brothers will use it to some extent (and/or it would be fairly easy to resell the comics). Most of our other resources are much less expensive!

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I also think it depends on value/price (and then there are things that are obviously just plain expensive no matter the value). For example, I have more than half of the Life of Fred series now (Apples through Fractions, Pre-Algebra 2 through trigonometry, chemistry, and financial choices), but I love the series, read/do it myself for fun, they seem to be keeping their value pretty well, are hardcover, the kids love them, etc. I don't think LOF is cheap, but I wouldn't say it's expensive, or certainly not "too expensive" (obviously, or I wouldn't own so many of the books).

 

But, looking at literature units* I think that $9.99 is too much for what they are, so, I'd say they're expensive. But then and again, if I was a classroom teacher I probably would think $9.99 is okay for them, since teachers can make copies for classroom use, so using the book with 25 kids, year after year (or even just one year) seems like a reasonable deal to me. So, yeah, I'm a little random.

 

*e.g. http://www.amazon.com/Guide-Fourth-Nothing-Classroom-Literature/dp/1557345260/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8

 

 

What I think is expensive by almost any definition (not just value/price) is Zombie Based Geography:

 

http://zombiebased.com/printed-books

 

Those prices remind me of the college textbooks I had to buy (though those cost that much *used* and typically didn't have any cool angle to them). I may or may not end up buying it, but it's certainly expensive, no doubt in my mind about it. Even if we made 10 times what we make now I'd consider Zombie Based Geography expensive... though I wouldn't hesitate to buy it if we made that much, just like a Ferrari is definitely expensive, but if I were Bill Gates I wouldn't hesitate buying one if I wanted one.

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I have an expensive garage. Books and materials that I researched so thoroughly, but fit only one child live there. I resell a lot, but my kids have such diverse stregths and weaknesses, that I must hang onto many things. I have curriculm plans, but know they won't always work out, or that we may need to look something up in another math, science or history book.

 

So, the difference between something I immediately resell or have to keep, is whether I (or most likely my husband) says,"Hey, that was pretty expensive, we had better hang onto it in case we need it for the younger kids." Expensive means stuff you keep..just in case."

 

Online classes...we call them expensive if effective. Waste of good money if not.

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For online and B&M classes, my hubby compares for fun to local babysitting rates. If gym class which has help in reducing my kids motor skills deficiency is cheaper than babysitting, then it is so worth it knowing that kids benefit while we catch a brunch or just relax.

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What is expensive? Whatever I want that I can't quite afford...sometimes that's 50$. Sometimes that's 150$. Typically I really start to squirm around 200$. I want to buy a chemistry set next year. I strongly suspect I'll be wriggling around in agony over that purchase.

Keep in mind I'm buying for two boys at the same time, so any one subject is often twice the price.

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I don't find much homeschooling curriculum to be very expensive when looking at the big picture.  Even big sets, like MFW or Sonlight are so cheap compared to private education and even many homeschool classes that are outsourced.  Or think of it this way: one Sonlight core costs less than a year of ballet for an 8yo (going 1 hr per week).  Cheap!

 

For less than the cost of one child in elementary private school around here (about 6K) I can pay for CC tuition for all 3, ballet for one, lego classes for another, preschool for another, babysitting here and there to get a break, and pretty much any curriculum I want. 

 

When I look at it that way, it's just doesn't seem very expensive to me. 

 

I did a similar calculation once related to an intensive online class.  I compared the cost of the class to the cost of an hour of childcare.  Not that the class was babysitting, but what would the teacher have expected just to engage the kids, let alone teach them a subject.

 

It does depend a lot on the situation.  I spent more on one semester of dual enrollment community college for my oldest than I spent on two kids for kindergarten and first grade together.  We have not always lived in an area with access to a good library.  I spent a lot more then.

 

I also love to buy used books.  Many of our literature books have been picked up for under a dollar.  But out math books cost around $100 per level.

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For online and B&M classes, my hubby compares for fun to local babysitting rates. If gym class which has help in reducing my kids motor skills deficiency is cheaper than babysitting, then it is so worth it knowing that kids benefit while we catch a brunch or just relax.

 

True... except it's not like we can afford to hire a babysitter on a regular basis, so I consider "babysitter" to be in the "expensive" category. I do think camps are the biggest expense in this homeschooling thing... I send the kids to e.g. Columbus Day camp to get a break, that I wouldn't send them to if they were in public school. And that is not counting the lost income from me not getting a job.

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What is expensive? Whatever I want that I can't quite afford...sometimes that's 50$. Sometimes that's 150$. Typically I really start to squirm around 200$. I want to buy a chemistry set next year. I strongly suspect I'll be wriggling around in agony over that purchase.

 

I agree... but, homeschooling is a great excuse to buy all those cool toys (chemistry set, microscope, etc) that would just be crazy to buy just for yourself... (yes, I'm a geek).

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I suppose I think of something as expensive if it costs significantly more than the average for the same subject/type of item. So AAS is expensive because you can get spelling for much cheaper. But it is worth the expense to me. RS is expensive because the start up cost is much more than most math programs. But if you use it long term it averages out. So someone who planned on using it all the way through probably wouldn't consider it as expensive as someone wanting to use it for 1-2 years. I don't know if this one would be worth the expense to me (we get it through our charter). If most games/manipulatives/toys of a certain type run $20, then just $30 would be expensive. So for me it's relative more than it's a dollar amount.

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Expensive is anything I can't afford, right now that's anything over $200 (maybe $300 but that's a stretch) for three kids combined whole curriculum. I know families that do that much for one kid and consider it a good deal but its what they can afford.

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Expensive is anything unnecessary, gimmicky, or dated.

 

It's not something I can exactly put a dollar value on. I have the same issues with Saxon Primary when I got it free for shipping as I did when I got it for over half my year's curriculum budget, I just don't feel as funny about tweaking it to better suit my child's needs as I would if I was afraid of "not getting my money's worth".

 

I'm not anti-Bravewriter, anti-MM, or anti-AAR, I just don't know as much about those specific programs as I do about the analagous longing I felt for Shurley English and Konos when they was just as popular and expensive as those are now and my recent experiences of having those long-deferred dreams tranmorgrify into reality.

 

I'm perfectly capable of getting my Peace Hill Press products from the same place many of you get your popular music, but I choose to skip desert or that cute new shirt at the store instead because I believe that they are some of the best and most reasonably priced elementary homeschool curricula in the business right now and I want to support SWB financially as well as with enthusiastic words on internet forums and happy woo-woo vibes in the privacy of my own mind.

 

Does that help, Strawberry?

 

FWIW, my beloved and battered rescued-from-the-recycle-bin Shurley and Konos are sitting happily on my shelves like your crazy Aunt Bertha's glass unicorn figurines while ds does the same Daily Grams his siblings used at his age and follows his own rabbit trails the same way they did and I'm considering the switch to Strayer-Upton if Saxon stops being fun. Knowing that I can do that easily takes enough pressure off that I can look forward to waking up two hours before ds to cut out 22 construction paper circles instead of dreading it. ;)

 

*edited, as all my posts are, because of java script issues

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I have a limited budget, but my kids educational needs are pretty high on the priorities list. A good curriculum that works well is worth every penny. I guess expensive would be where the cost outweighs the benefits - for me Teaching Textbooks are expensive. MCT for instance is not. It's amazingly effective for us. I'm about to shell out an AoPS online class. It seems high to me, probably because I haven't found the need to spend much on math so far? Clothes on the other hand, are expensive and tend to be what gets the least amount of funding. My kids did get cloths and sites for Christmas :) No worries through, Grandma buys toys!

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I was thinking about this again and I think what becomes expensive is the workbooks. I don't mind paying more for the reusable resources but I hate that we buy workbooks and throw them out at the end. I have tried getting the kids just to do the work in an exercise book but it's too much writing.

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