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Evanthe

Have curriculum prices skyrocketed over the past few years?

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Or is it just me?  Am I just being a complainer?  I'm starting to look around at curriculum again, because I'm starting this homeschooling thing all over again with my 4 year-old.  I also have a high school senior, so I am in this twilight zone of homeschooling.  Some of the curriculum I haven't looked at in years.  I'm looking around at what I would like to do with ds4.  

Oak Meadow basically looks like it doubled in price from when my teens were little...  I was on their website last night and was sticker-shocked.  It seems like the Sonlight guides tripled in price, which is actually a bummer, because we did a SL year (and we all liked it) and I was leaning towards using SL with ds4.  My Father's World had a great sale about a year and a half ago...now they didn't have that sale this year, so we didn't buy the next level for dd11.  I remember paying a little over $100 for MFW K when dd14 was in Kindergarten.  Now it's a little over $300 for the basic package.  Mathusee has always been on the fringe of "way too expensive" for our family, but it seems like their prices have really gone up in the last couple of years, too.

I've been browsing some newer curricula/homeschool books out there and a lot of it just seems overpriced for what it is.  

Peace Hill Press products haven't been tripling in price...

Everything could be doubling in price, but our salaries aren't doubling - Lol.      

Have I finally lost my mind after homeschooling for 10 years and my imagination is running wild?

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Nah, you haven’t lost your mind. I have my original MUS price guide for the dvd sets from about 12 years ago. It is quite a bit more expensive and less wiggle room in which sets of blocks you buy.

Other stuff, though, hasn’t changed more than a dollar or two. I refuse to purchase from Sonlight/Bookshark because of their methods of making previous editions obsolete, but I do tend to buy either things that don’t change a whole lot each year and ones that are flexible to begin with.

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I see greater ranges of prices out there now.

Some of your sticker shock might be to do with having a high schooler and a new kindergartener. In my head, I think of early elementary as having been this golden time when everything was so cheap. If I were to go back now, a decade later, with new products, a bit of inflation, and the high cost of homeschooling high school in my head as a baseline and thinking that elementary materials are so cheap... I might have a rude surprise, honestly.

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I first bought after school stuff in 2009 when DS14 was in kindergarten and the prices hasn’t doubled. However, mine were all secular, mass market use stuff like Singapore Primary Math, Chinese textbooks, German textbooks (Klett, Hueber), and music theory books.

Beast Academy books are more expensive than Singapore Primary Math books. The newer Michael Clay Thompson books are pricier too. 

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SL (and other all in one packages, like OM, MFW, etc.) have gone up.   Even on the used market.

Sigh.  Education --and even homeschooling-- is big business.  And more and more new homeschoolers WANT that all in one package, even with the sticker shock.  Fewer folks want home-grown and self published materials that are inexpensive (for the customer) and look like it.  Fewer folks want to DIY it all together. 

I guess that's why I've been hoarding school stuff for years.  I have my older versions of SL cores (that I bought used way back when...) and I don't have plans on getting the updated versions.  I might buy a new book or two, but if my now 17 year old did fine with it when he was was in K, my upcoming K student will be fine too.  I make adjustments, sub out things as needed to fit the level of the child in front of me, but for the most part, my younger ones use the same stuff my older ones did. 

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I'm with Zoo Keeper; I knew this would happen (because we've had inflation in an era of stagnant wages), and I knew we would all regret it if the grandchildren are to be homeschooled but Grandma sold all the books and materials. Obviously, a lot of it is going to be a little dated. We'll need new science books, social studies instructors' guides will be outdated, etc. But animal encyclopedias, whole books, math curriculum, English/grammar, Logic, Latin, ancient histories and more, will be very usable in the future.

I think part of the price hike is because people want all-in-one, but I think another reason is that it's possible the homeschool curric. market has shrunk more than we realize. Again, agreeing with Zoo Keeper, there may be fewer new people wanting DIY materials at all. A lot of the newbies want to be homeschooling parents who do not teach - they want computer programs and drop-off co-ops. If that's the case, the publishers and suppliers will want to charge more for what they CAN sell.

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This thread is making me change my mind a little about ruthlessly cleaning out my homeschool shelves...

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Right Start is similar in price to when I first purchased it over a decade ago. All About Spelling is similar in price to when I bought it 7 or 8 years ago. Those were the two most expensive curricula I used in the primary grades.

Mr. Q life science is still free and the other Mr. Q. titles are similar in price to the old non-sale price. Not sure if they still have the 50% off sale they used to run periodically.

Memoria Press stuff looks similarly priced to when I bought them several years ago.

I can't speak to boxed curricula because we've never found them a good "fit".

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On 5/3/2019 at 12:45 PM, hollyhock2 said:

This thread is making me change my mind a little about ruthlessly cleaning out my homeschool shelves...

 

I know, right!  I'm starting to regret getting rid of stuff over the years.  

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On 5/3/2019 at 12:24 PM, Lang Syne Boardie said:

I think part of the price hike is because people want all-in-one, but I think another reason is that it's possible the homeschool curric. market has shrunk more than we realize. Again, agreeing with Zoo Keeper, there may be fewer new people wanting DIY materials at all. A lot of the newbies want to be homeschooling parents who do not teach - they want computer programs and drop-off co-ops. If that's the case, the publishers and suppliers will want to charge more for what they CAN sell.

 

So, this is what I was wondering, too.  The homeschool market has drastically changed in the last ten years and I'm wondering if the big price increases are because of it.  I know stuff like the Singapore math workbooks, etc, haven't really changed in price, but I was looking at specifically MUS, SL, MFW, Oak Meadow...and some of those doubled or tripled in price.  Also, there have been so many weird changes out there in the past year in the homeschooling world.  Currclick is closing...the Homeschool Reviews Forum closed...Landry Academy....Sonlight closed its forums...there was another online curriculum provider that closed recently, but I can't remember it's name.  

 

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On 5/3/2019 at 11:04 AM, Zoo Keeper said:

I guess that's why I've been hoarding school stuff for years.  I have my older versions of SL cores (that I bought used way back when...) and I don't have plans on getting the updated versions.  I might buy a new book or two, but if my now 17 year old did fine with it when he was was in K, my upcoming K student will be fine too.  I make adjustments, sub out things as needed to fit the level of the child in front of me, but for the most part, my younger ones use the same stuff my older ones did. 

 

And I think the older versions of SL are just fine, and probably better than the newer ones.  My youngest would do really well with SL, so it's kind of a bummer that their IGs have skyrocketed in price....well, and they closed their forum...and they seem to be only catering to new homeschoolers.

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3 hours ago, Evanthe said:

 

 I know stuff like the Singapore math workbooks, etc, haven't really changed in price, but I was looking at specifically MUS, SL, MFW, Oak Meadow...and some of those doubled or tripled in price. 

 

 

You made me go take a look.  I bought mfw kindy more than a decade ago.  So, yeah that is some serious sticker shock going on.  hmmm.  wow.  ok. I"m still in sticky shock.  but thinking out loud now. with the mfw price with their kindy program, they've included a lot more from a decade ago until now.  Used to be that users would go to the library to find whatever books on a topic in the kindy. But now, they produce their own "encyclopedia" ish kind of book for that year.  They've added in reading books (again we just went to library), and a music cd (which used to be part of deluxe). Added in the cuisenaire rods to basic package. and back in our day of original purchase, they did not include the textured letters because they used to say that most people already had something like that.  Now they don't. ok.    Sounds to me it that specific year, it was consumer driven.  People asked for all of that stuff  in one box.  But yeah, that's a lot of money.  oh and the changes in the teacher's manual too.     I can't speak to reasons for each year of sticker shock.  but they seemed to have added a lot more in the box for kindy and I'm guessing it's because people asked for library books.    oh my, I just saw price on ecc deluxe.  yikes.  I think I'm glad I beyond my time of buying new stuff.  I only have one child at home and she is on special ed occupational  path.   wow.  on that ecc deluxe price.  is that for real?   I have no observations to share to add insight on why that increased like that in the last decade.   but no, you're not imagining things.  

 

Edited by cbollin
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3 hours ago, Evanthe said:

 

So, this is what I was wondering, too.  The homeschool market has drastically changed in the last ten years and I'm wondering if the big price increases are because of it.  I know stuff like the Singapore math workbooks, etc, haven't really changed in price, but I was looking at specifically MUS, SL, MFW, Oak Meadow...and some of those doubled or tripled in price.  Also, there have been so many weird changes out there in the past year in the homeschooling world.  Currclick is closing...the Homeschool Reviews Forum closed...Landry Academy....Sonlight closed its forums...there was another online curriculum provider that closed recently, but I can't remember it's name.  

 

And, see, to me the SM workbooks *have* gone up in price.  It used to be $25 for the wb and IP together on RR, but the past few years each book has gone up a dollar or two each year - with three kids in SM, it's probably $30/yr more than it was when I started.  That was an increase of 20-25%, and I kind of grumbled each year to see the new higher price.  But that's still nothing like the 200-300% increase you're talking about <jawdrop>.

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1 hour ago, cbollin said:

 

You made me go take a look.  I bought mfw kindy more than a decade ago.  So, yeah that is some serious sticker shock going on.  hmmm.  wow.  ok. I"m still in sticky shock.  but thinking out loud now. with the mfw price with their kindy program, they've included a lot more from a decade ago until now.  Used to be that users would go to the library to find whatever books on a topic in the kindy. But now, they produce their own "encyclopedia" ish kind of book for that year.  They've added in reading books (again we just went to library), and a music cd (which used to be part of deluxe). Added in the cuisenaire rods to basic package. and back in our day of original purchase, they did not include the textured letters because they used to say that most people already had something like that.  Now they don't. ok.    Sounds to me it that specific year, it was consumer driven.  People asked for all of that stuff  in one box.  But yeah, that's a lot of money.  oh and the changes in the teacher's manual too.     I can't speak to reasons for each year of sticker shock.  but they seemed to have added a lot more in the box for kindy and I'm guessing it's because people asked for library books.    oh my, I just saw price on ecc deluxe.  yikes.  I think I'm glad I beyond my time of buying new stuff.  I only have one child at home and she is on special ed occupational  path.   wow.  on that ecc deluxe price.  is that for real?   I have no observations to share to add insight on why that increased like that in the last decade.   but no, you're not imagining things.  

 

Yeah, I think there would still be a market for curriculum where you have the option to use the library for readers, etc.  I mean, you don't want to buy every book your kid ever reads.  We would be swimming in books!  I understand having packages where you can buy everything - for people who don't have access to good libraries.

I ended up buying Wee Folk Art for Pre-K...it was $5 for the summer guide + I had to buy 3 books on Amazon.  Everything else was at the library.

MFW has such good sales the past couple of years.  I think they were around November/December, but they didn't have them this year.

I'm really baffled as to why curriculum prices have gone up so much! 

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9 minutes ago, forty-two said:

And, see, to me the SM workbooks *have* gone up in price.  It used to be $25 for the wb and IP together on RR, but the past few years each book has gone up a dollar or two each year - with three kids in SM, it's probably $30/yr more than it was when I started.  That was an increase of 20-25%, and I kind of grumbled each year to see the new higher price.  But that's still nothing like the 200-300% increase you're talking about <jawdrop>.

 

Hmmm...  I actually kept our Singapore textbooks/teacher's guides.  I'm glad.  I wonder if they're still even compatible with their new workbooks - if ds4 ends up using Singapore.

Which is another issue I notice lately.  Everything constantly changing/updating, so what you own is useless after a couple of years.  Ugh.  Like the Sonlight stuff - every year it seems like they make some huge changes.  (And I understand things like TWTM would need to be updated every once in a while, since books go out of print, etc.)

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22 hours ago, Evanthe said:

 

And I think the older versions of SL are just fine, and probably better than the newer ones.  My youngest would do really well with SL, so it's kind of a bummer that their IGs have skyrocketed in price....well, and they closed their forum...and they seem to be only catering to new homeschoolers.

I'm going to try to sell my old SL instructor's guides at a curriculum sale in a couple of weeks. It'll be interesting to see if there's a market for it.

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I've noticed this too.  I think one reason is a lot of things are much more professionally made though.  It's been a while since I ordered something and it looked like it had been put together in someone's basement.

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