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The Ultimate Garage Sale for Homeschoolers

This is a post that only intrepid (read: crazy) homeschoolers will enjoy. If you are not a homeschooler, and yet make it through to the end, without your eyes glazing over, I’ll have a little something special for you.

Right after our state homeschool convention, there is a used curriculum sale that is held annually in a larger city, here in Florida. It is about a 75 minute drive for me. This sale is no ordinary used curriculum sale. It is the mother of all sales. Other curriculum sales strive to be this kind of sale, but will fall short every single time.

I never miss it.

But, there’s a catch. It begins at 8:00 on a Saturday morning, and only is open until 10:30 am. And it is attended by nearly every homeschooler in the state. Or at least, it seems like it. In other words, you just pray that everyone remembered to shower first.

The books are all organized by grade/subject, and the room is the size of a gymnasium. It is the most well run and organized sale I’ve ever seen. In my life. And I’ve seen a lot of sales.

This year, I was accompanied by two of my SILs, Trish and Sue. This was Trish’s first year. She was skeptical. The plan was to hit the highway by o-five-forty-five. Because you have to be there early. To stand in line. Kind of like Disney World. But, without the fatalities.

Last year we braved torrential rains to get there. This year, it was a brush fire, causing serious smoke on the highway. Trish, a white knuckle passenger, said, “What will we do? We could just turn around, right?”

Insert maniacal laughter. (mine)


Fortunately, the smoke cleared.

When we arrived, the line was already substantial. Causing me to rethink our departure time. Trish became even more skeptical. These pictures will give you an idea of the line, when we arrived in record time at 6:45 am. The first picture is the view to the entrance. The second shot was the view around the corner. And the line kept going. By 8:00, I think it wrapped around the building. Prompting a new zip code to be issued.

I did an impromptu interview of the people in the front of the line. “So, what time did y’all get here?” They told me 3:15. AM. Awesome. Lots of folks bring chairs and snacks. Then, just before the doors open, someone from their group takes the chairs back to their cars. Some chairs are simply abandoned. In the hopes that they’ll still be there when the sale is over.

Since this is a Christian organization sponsoring the event, it’s a safe bet that a chair hasn’t been swiped yet. Homeschoolers are a pretty well behaved bunch, for the most part.

Oh, and this is fun. At 7:15, the organizers open a hallway of FREE STUFF. With some really great books. My theory is, this is the stuff that wasn’t claimed by the sellers last year. But, I could be wrong. That FREE business may be the reason I get up a whole lot earlier next year. Although, I may travel that lonely road by myself. We’ll see.

This was what I scored. And I only paid $43.00 for all of it. I go armed with a “wish list” and was able to mark a few things off. And a couple of things were from the “free room.”

Trish is now a believer. She was able to find a teachers manual for Konos, (an older version, but still basically the same thing, I think only the cover is different) that retails for $99.00.

She paid $4.00.

My very favorite find of the year, was at a sale that I was actually a seller a month ago. I found the Konos Volumes 1, 2, and 3, Konos Compass, and two extra books (Obedience and Orderliness) that I can resell because they’re included in the Volumes. All for $100.00. Unheard of. Volume 1 all be itself usually sells for $50.00 used. Each volume is two years worth of material for studying Science, Bible, History, Geography, etc.

I’ll be organizing a carnival for homeschoolers to post what curriculum they’ll be using for this next year. Because I know how to host a carnival now. Mr. Linky is my friend. And I love to know what everyone is using.

I’m just nosy like that.

I’ll make a little announcement about that soon. It will be around the first part of July.

And now, as promised, enjoy. Kind of makes me want to go shopping for new jeans right about now. I usually look my very best under fluorescent lighting.

11 Responses to The Ultimate Garage Sale for Homeschoolers

  • Wow! I wish they had a sale like that here/near/around/about/close to Pothole, Ohio. I would go.

    PS. I have 2 pair of mom jeans, a pair of mom capris, and 3 pair of mom shorts. Why didn’t they ask me to star in that clip? sigh…

  • That video was priceless!! And even though I don’t homeschool, I love a good bargain story! You go, girl!!

  • jealous. Do you mind if I send you a wish list for next year?

    homeschoolers are insane. I love it.


  • WOW! I sure wish I lived close enough to take advantage of this sale. 😉

    I do participate in the used homeschool sale online, but it isn’t the same as being there. 😉

  • OK- so is there a used online sale I am not aware of… more importantly, a sale where I can share used curriculum with the rest of the homeschool community…I confess- hard not to be jealous of the sale in FL…none that I know of here in Sweatpot IL…

  • In what city is this sale held? I like close to Jacksonville, Fl and am wondering if it’d be close enough to make next year…Thanks!

  • Heidie,
    The best online sale I know of is through vegsource.com. i’ve bought from that site before and it’s really great. You just need to check it fairly often to find what you’re looking for.

  • Wow! Have finished homeschooling my kids but love to see what the current crop of homeschoolers are doing. We loved KONOS and bought it before they had a teaching manual! Just the big book with lots of ideas of things to do with various topics. We moms had to put together a teaching curriculum to use it. We started a KONOS co-op and had so much fun!
    Back then we had to scrape and scrounge for material ’cause ABeka and Bob Jones wouldn’t even sell to homeschoolers and there just wasn’t much out there. (I bought my first curriculum “under the table” through a local Christian school.)
    By the time my youngest graduated from homeschool high school she’d been participating all through high school in a co-op for the subjects I was a little intimidated to try teaching (math, math and more math for starters). She and some others put together a REAL yearbook, had a prom, had seminars and things Just For Homeschoolers. So many wonderful opportunities these days!

  • Wow! Sounds like an awesome sale. I’ve got a pile of books on the table here to mark up for sale for our little sale here in Ohio; nothing like what you have though.

    As for curriculum, I’m a Sonlight believer all the way. We also use Daily Grams, and this year, we’re going to try NOEO science and Latina Christiana.

  • Sounds fun. I went to two used curriculum sales this year. I’m convinced lots of people around here use Abeka after those. I am not an Abeka fan. But, I did find some good books on the Library Builders table. Your sale looks like alot more fun.

  • I am a wish-I-could-say-I was-a-homeschool-mom. I’d love to be able to do that for my kids, but honestly God hasn’t granted me the grace to do that yet. The sale sounds great.

    The lines look like the ones we encounter at the (rubber)stamp conventions we have here in orange cone, Ohio.

    So much excitement, so many deals!