Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thrifty Thursday: school supplies

Is it too early to be thinking back-to-school?  Some may think so, but if you want to find some neat school supplies and educational aids, NOW is the perfect time to hunt them down in thrift stores!  I usually find the best, most unique supplies and learning aids right after school ends, and right before the new school year begins. 

Typical finds (and usually pretty good buys) . . .

  • flash cards / learning aids
  • paper supplies
  • classroom visual aids / posters
  • craft supplies
  • dry erase / chalk boards
  • cork boards
  • classroom decoration
  • construction paper
  • binders

(And as for books -- that's a given.  Everyone knows you can find awesome books, workbooks and even text books at the thrift store!)

When I first started homeschooling our children about 10 years ago, I had a very limited budget, was overwhelmed, and didn't even know where to start.  So, I started at the thrift store, so my investment would be minimal, and could start out slow.  I was amazed at how many school supplies and educational materials I found!  I've been picking up supplies for our homeschool from there ever since.

Probably the most common find. . . .

Flash cards.  Math, ABCs, time, money, spanish.  You name it, we probably have (or had) it.

I'm loving the roll of handwriting stickers!

Some more common (and recent) finds. . .

. . . plus the cool storage basket to put them in! 

I'm always hunting for classroom aids, bulletin board borders and decorations, educational posters, and maps.  Always the maps. . . .

We seem to go through a lot of maps.
Perhaps because SOMEONE keeps renaming oceans and such.

School supplies I DON'T recommend buying from the thrift store:  
  • microscopes
  • telescopes
  • science kits
  • puzzles
  • math manipulatives
  • board games
  • electronic learning toys (such as Leap Pad systems)  
  • anything smelly or stained 
These items are usually missing key parts or just don't work.  I would use great caution, and closely inspect them first before purchasing.

If you're looking to supplement your homeschool curriculum, offer some enrichment activities for your child or round out your classroom, you might want to check out some thrift stores before school starts up!

Have you ever used (or would you use) educational materials from the thrift store with your child or in your classroom?

hey -- wouldn't YOU want to learn your numbers with an awesome vintage pirate??

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