Building a homeschool library can be fun and exciting, even if you have a limited budget.
Get tips and ideas for affordable ways to build your library on a budget. Plus, discover great sites that will make this experience easier and better 🙂
Starting & Establishing a Homeschool Library
There are so many wonderful reasons to build a homeschool library you can use and enjoy.
Although I’m a huge advocate of using your local library’s resources, having a special collection of books at home is fantastic for encouraging your readers. It’s also extremely helpful when you can’t get to the library due to illness, emergency, or pandemic 😉
Books enable us to explore new ideas, cultures, and world views. You can visit faraway places (real or imagined) and feel like you’re right there!
You can fill your library with fiction and nonfiction resources that are not just informative but fun. You’ll find it helpful to have books on hand as resources for lessons, activities, fun days, and just because.
Stocking up on books for your homeschool library may sound awesome but expensive.
If you’re trying to follow a budget, don’t worry. There are so many affordable resources for building up your homeschool library both on and offline!
9 Amazing Ways to Build Your Homeschool Library
If you want to draw from a passionate English teacher’s own experience, look no further than the reading lists on teacher, author, and advocate Penny Kittle’s website.
She and her students have compiled hundreds of titles that have gained love in both middle school and high school classrooms. These lists are perfect to start building your own homeschool library.
You can find some amazing deals on Amazon for quality books. There’s a whole bargain books section that rocks!
When you have your list of books that you’d like to add to your homeschool library, go to Amazon, and do a search. Often, you’ll find the books on sale or you can buy used versions at a fraction of the price.
Another popular website is Goodreads. You can browse book lists and titles, compile your own customized reading lists, and check out hot new titles freshly off the press.
Create your own account here and help your children start building their reading wish lists!
One of my favorite features of Goodreads is the “Giveaway” option. Start by going to the Browse menu. Click on Giveaway, and you’ll find hundreds of print and ebooks authors are giving away. Some have a few books available while others have 100+.
You can sort by genre so you can request books that fit your children’s age-ranges and interests.
ThriftBooks or BetterWorld Books
When it comes to getting your hands on the physical books, you really don’t need to look any further than Thriftbooks. Thriftbooks has millions of titles, most of which you can get at a deeply discounted price. Pair that with free shipping over $10, and you can easily (and cheaply) begin stocking those bookcases you just scored from your neighbor’s garage sale.
Thrift Stores or Garage Sales
Local thrift stores, second-hand shops, and garage sales are also excellent sources for finding used books in good or even excellent condition.
Many people out there buy a book, read it once, and then don’t want to hold onto it. I’ve found dozens of high-interest titles at my local thrift store for under a dollar, so don’t overlook those hidden gems.
Public Library Book Sales
Check out your local library for book sales. Most have used books of every genre for any age.
Some libraries even have a time where you can fill a bag for a certain flat price.
Picking up books from the local library is a win-win! You donate some funds to a community organization while adding books to your homeschool library.
If you want to provide your children with a wide array of books they can access but don’t have a spare room you can convert into a library, fear not. Open Library allows you to create a free account to access thousands of digital ebooks and audiobooks for all ages.
If your book isn’t immediately available, you can join a waitlist. Once you have the book, you have the loan for two weeks before you must return or renew it.
Another well-stocked resource to build your digital library is Manybooks.net, with over 50,000 free titles. If you have middle school to high school-aged children, this is a valuable resource for helping them explore the classics, and you can also find short stories to enrich your existing homeschool curriculum.
A final gem of a resource in the digital world is related to audiobooks.
If your children enjoy listening to the book as well as reading it (as mine often do), check out Audible’s free listening library. Audible really has garnered tons of free, very high-interest titles from Pre-K through high school.
*I will disclose that this resource came about as a response to school closures due to the pandemic, and I don’t know how long it will be available. All the more reason to check it out while you have the chance!
Building your own personal home school library might seem intimidating at the beginning. The perceived cost of getting your hands on these titles can seem astronomical at first.
However, these 9 Ways to Build Your Homeschool Library can ease the anxiety and get you on your way to discovering countless new worlds in whatever form of reading you decide to pursue.