Monday, August 12, 2013

Boxes & Books

Written Aug 5, 2013

Today I'm a rockstar. My girls are thrilled and full of celebration because I brought home some oversized boxes I found at a FREE book giveaway organized by the Homeschooling Office for our county.

The event started at 8am, precisely twenty minutes after I'd hit the snooze that one last time, and ten minutes after I finally dragged myself by the collar from my bed and stepped over the kids who were camped out (and knocked out!) on a plush pallet on our floor.

By the time I dressed and drove there, it was about 8:30am, or the equivalent of eternity past the start of an event like that. Just as I'd suspected, everything was gone baby gone.

Wasted trip? Meh, a little. But to tell you the truth, I'm not very fond of most textbooks anyway, so no loss there. I had really gone to look for educational classroom decor & tools, manipulatives, binders, things of that sort. Well, none of that did I find, but I did knock out a few orders of business while I was there, one of which included filling out my Intent to Homeschool the Littles for the year.

About a year and a half ago, I just happened upon a message post on an area homeschool group's listserv that gave details about the existence of such giveaway events organized by my County's Public School System,. Now I know to keep my eyes peeled. I highly recommend checking into whether your county does the same thing, you might score some cool, free items there you can use in your classroom or homeschool.

My tips and suggestions:

  • Obviously, get there early, at least 5-10 min, but don't be rude by rushing the door EVER, especially before it's time. It's bad form and just plain annoying, especially that early in the morning.
  • Bring a rolling crate, some sturdy reusable bags, or make use of the empty boxes that are sure to accrue by patrons such as yourself taking supplies and books off the organizers' hands.
  • Find a way to tag your stuff. Everything looks exactly the same once everyone starts digging, and it won't be long before some other well-meaning homeschoolers wander over and start looking through your stuff you thought you'd set aside. If possible, try to take someone with you who can help you get it to the car and look over what you've claimed while you continue to search.
  • Don't be greedy. Only take what you can use and leave the rest for someone else. We're all pretty much in the same boat and there are people out there who might actually need the materials just as much or maybe even more than you do. Think of what an incredible waste it'd be for those 5 copies of The Cat in the Hat to just sit and collect dust on your shelf instead of being enjoyed by 4 other families teaching their child to read.
If all else fails and you miss out, don't fret, you just might find that one discarded box that'll turn you instantly into a rockstar. 

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There's tons of free stuff online available to homeschoolers, and I have a growing list on my Links page of all my tried and true favorites. Here are some additional links you can try:

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