Cheaper the $800 to teach?

So I’m looking at 1st grade curriculum and also kindergarten. Maybe I’m in the wrong spots but $800 for a complete for each grade is way out of our price range with 2 kids. What am I doing wrong?

Are you using a box curriculum (ie, all from one retailer)? There are TONS of free (or nearly free) resources online. Also don’t forget your local library!

Some websites to consider:

A huge list:

Article on options

More options

Broken down by subject/grade level

Links (some repeated from above) but still worth looking at

And a Facebook page for it:

Hope this helps!


Thank you for all these sites! Right now I’m doing kindergarten and just grabbed different books. Not a set or anything. I was tinkering with the idea and then just pulled him out one day. Next year he will be first grade and my other son kindergarten I want to have more of a game plan.

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I spent about $400 in my daughter’s first grade materials, child and teacher kits; and about $200 in kindergarten materials last year. We use the box kits from A Beka.

Other inexpensive curriculum I have looked into are Rod and Staff and Christian Liberty Press

Are you looking for a box curriculum? Or you plan to use different publishers for each subject? Buying from different publishers is a little more expensive in my opinion.
Hope you find what you are looking for!

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Have you looked at the subjects covered in the curriculum for each year?
For example, Rod and Staff, has a very simple First Grade year which consists of Reading, Math, Penmanship and Art - their box is $160.00 for the basic set and 279.70 for the complete set. The basic difference is in flash cards and black line masters along with printing tablets being included in the complete set. The Rod and Staff arithmetic teachers’ editions have the basic black line masters in the teachers’ editions and I just photocopy as needed. At our house,flash cards are index cards written on with black sharpie and kept in an envelope. Most of their text books after 1st grade are hard cover and can be used with multiple children.

The Basic First Grade box curriculum from covers more subjects and has teacher resources included as well: The subjects covered are: Reading, Phonics, Sight Words, Spelling, Penmanship, Arithmetic (Singapore), Science, History and Thinking Skills. These are mostly consumable workbooks at $300.00

You might want to look at what is covered in various curriculums for ideas and think about what you want to emphasize. Then pick your materials subject by subject (book by book) based on what you want to cover and what your state requires.


Once again it depends on where you look. CLE (Christian Light Education) is quite inexpensive. You can get almost all subjects for a very reasonable price. Now take into consideration that Kindergarten really doesn’t have to be expensive you only need a couple subjects (this is just my POV not a rule) for K you can simply do phonics, handwriting and math. I always think reading is the most important subject just because once they can read they can do most other subjects reading the instructions. I spent $100’s of dollars in my older children’s K year only to realize we didn’t need most of the stuff I spent $ on. We could have had a relaxed and informative year on less money with focusing on just a couple subjects. Hope this helps.


My K’er is only doing 3 real subjects. Math U See Primer, All About Reading 1 and A Reason For Handwriting - K. It was about $200 or less for all this. We also do lots of other games, manipulatives and fun free worksheets from Pinterest or Teachers Pay Teachers. And lots of READING! We have a lot of books but get stacks each week at the library for free.


This year for kindergarten I used different books from different publishers really was looking at box sets. Thanks for the site!

If you really want a box set, Abeka Kindergarten is less than $250 for parent and child kit. First grade is $400.

Those are prices for parent led, not academy.

And they get more expensive each year. But you can be looking for each curriculum used each year to save money.

I don’t really think a boxed set is necessary for K (IMO) To me K is about just developing that thirst for knowledge and building on the basics that they have already picked up the first 4 years (colors, shapes, letters and sounds, rhyming, beginning sounds, numbers etc) Like getting a good foundation to build on when they are older, and more ready developmentally for “book work” (this lack of learning through play and all the focus on academics and testing is the main reason we are homeschooling anyways…so I don’t want to recreate that environment at home) We count steps I print free games and activities by the pound. My 5 year old has recently started showing an interest in calendar concepts (how many days till…? what day of the week is it? ) Not something that we have “sat and studied” before she just has a reason as she is getting older to know this, so I am going to make her a calendar notebook (from free printables) to foster this curiosity. I think that is what learning is really about, foster their curiosities. By doing that they will indirectly learn most subjects (or they can be incorporated) I just printed a math game based on the book “16 runaway pumpkins” which we have read at least a dozens times this month…so there is a cheaper way to incorporate subjects, just takes a little more work and planning. I know that doesn’t work for everyone. But I am sure even if you want a box set you can probably come out cheaper than 800. Good luck.

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I tried Abeka kindergarten and was overwhelmed. I have 4 children and need easy open and go. I bot McRuffy kindergarten language arts. In Cathy Duffy top choices. I LOVE IT! It is total LA and ordered handwriting to go with it, help reinforce LA. (new $150) Math U See Primer($70) but need blocks but only 1 time expense. History God’s little pilgrims ($10) student book to read and Apologia ($30) or just get history and science books from library for FREE.check out ebay for sure!

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