Where Do I Get Textbooks?

Sometimes (usually due to cost), new homeschoolers want to know if the public school will provide textbooks.

It depends on the district.  In general, no.  If you choose to educate your children at home, the public schools are not obligated to provide materials to you.  At least, that is the current situation in my state.  Districts have the option of giving access to textbooks; it is entirely up the the superintendent.

One of the advantages of homeschooling is the freedom to select materials based on your children’s individual learning styles, interests, and abilities.  It’s hard to customize a child’s education when you’re locked into using the public school’s books.  You’re probably better off using the library and/or buying your own materials.

If you feel strongly, however, that you want to use the same thing that your local public school is using, here are a few ideas:

  • The first option is to politely ask.  If they say, “yes,” then you have what you wanted. If they say, “no,” then you haven’t lost anything.
  • If the answer is negative, you could go directly to a teacher and bargain for a loan of books.  Some teachers would be happy to help you out with surplus materials, regardless of the district’s official policy.
  • As a last resort, you could try approaching one of your child’s friends who is a student at the school.  Tell your child’s friend that you would be happy to pay the replacement cost if he’d be willing to “lose” his book.

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