Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What to Do with Used Curriculum

You've finished the year, or are getting very close to wrapping up the year, either way, congratulations!

You've evaluated your year, are making changes, and are getting ready for next year, but what about all the books and resources you used this past year? What should you, or could you, do with them? No matter what homeschool resources you have, you always have a few options.

If you will use it again:

Keep It - If it is something you will use again, and you don't mind where it is, then keep it right there on that shelf or in that bin. {I personally love when this happens! No need to deliberate or decide.}
Pro - You know exactly where it is all the time.
Con - Items take up precious space on bookshelves.

Store It - If you think you will use it again, but not this year. Are you willing to store it? Find a tucked away shelf or closet, and put it there. Or, maybe box up all your first grade curriculum, label it, and store it in your attic or basement? {A thank you to Tristan for this great attic storage idea! She wrote it in a comment to this post.} If you are worried about moisture, plastic bins may be a great option.
Pro -  You will save money by not having to repurchase items.
Con - There will be space used.  If you are tight on storage space it may be difficult to find a spot.

Share It - You'll use it again in a few years, but a friend is looking for that exact resource for this upcoming school year. Then, lend it to her. Be sure to write your name somewhere inside/on the resource and write down who you lent what. Most planners have a list as part of the pre-made forms, but notebook paper works as well. Be sure to keep it in a safe place, a school year is a long time to remember who has what resources. {We've lent out curriculum and have been blessed to borrow from others as well.}
Pro - Helping out a friend is wonderful.
Con - The materials may not come back to you in pristine condition.

If you will never use it again:

Toss It - You don't need it, and will never use it. No one else can use it, because it is falling apart and missing pieces. Feel free to toss it into the nearest recycling bin.
Pro - Technically, it is being reused.
Con - You could have used it as kindling. {kidding, sort of}

Give It - Have a friend who is looking for a math book you have, you could give it to her. Don't know who needs it? Perhaps you could bring it to co-op, a homeschool support meeting, or play date. Chances are someone will take it off your hands. If not, maybe consider The Book Samaritan, a non profit organization which will take donated curriculum and give it to other homeschool families who need it.
Pro - Helping out a friend is always a blessing, and it far out weighs the following con!
Con - You could have gotten cash. {sounds crass, but it is true}

Sell It - Need some money to buy next year's curriculum? Perhaps you could sell this year's unwanted stuff. Ebay, used book sales, and online stores are a few markets to consider. There may even be a store nearby that does consignment for used curriculum.
Pro - You get cash that you can put toward next year's books.
Con - It can be a lot of work, and if your items don't sell you still have to figure out what to do with them.

Can't decide what resources and books 
you will use again and what you won't?
Perhaps this article by Tracy will help you decide.
Already decided what to get rid of,
but can't decide what you need for next year?
Perhaps this article by Jessica will help guide your decision process.

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