Friday, February 5, 2010

Homeschool Library Builder

Homeschool Library Builder is a company run by a couple of homeschooling moms who value the use of excellent literature in education (something I can get excited about!).  They offer new and gently used books used by many of the literature based curricula.  You can search by categories (historical fiction, missionaries, science, etc.) or by curriculum provider (Ambleside, Tapestry of Grace, Veritas Press, etc.)

When asked to review their site, I immediately started searching by curriculum provider, for Sonlight books.  It seemed like such an obvious place for me to start.  And one thing I immediately loved was that when you click on Sonlight Curriculum, the next page is links for each of the core levels, from P3/4 to 530.

Clicking on P3/4 (as I have been using that with my youngest two, and we don't own all the books, and I have a couple birthdays coming up), I want to purchase the very first book... the Robert McCloskey Collection.  This title was a part of Core P3/4 (it has since been replaced by Make Way for McCloskey, apparently... I did not know that until I started writing this review).  
  • So point #1:  This site will include books that used to be part of various programs, which can be a very, very good thing for filling in gaps, or for finding additional reading materials.  
The next couple of titles are both Make Way for Ducklings, which are not precisely included in P3/4.
  • Point #2: They don't limit themselves to the exact title or version that is suggested by the curriculum.  If you don't like having to figure out different page numbers, this may not be a good idea for you.  If you are fairly flexible, it opens up some great options.  In this case, it is the same story, same author, just an individual book instead of part of a collection.
The next title is Nana Upstairs, Nana Downstairs.  This appears to be exactly what Sonlight sells.  I wouldn't know, this is one we've checked out from the library instead of purchasing.

Then comes The Ugly Duckling, which is one of the stories in one of the fairy tale books in.
  • Point #2a: in some cases, the book that appears on the list is a completely different version of something, but could still be a very nice addition to your program. 
The final book for P3/4 is Winnie the Pooh.  This would be like in point #2 above, a stand-alone book instead of part of a collection. But that brings up:
  • Point #3: there are a couple dozen book titles included in P3/4, only a few of those are presently available at Homeschool Library Builder.  So this is not likely to be a one stop shopping experience.  However, you never know what you might find.
Overall, I like the website.  It is easy to navigate, easy to understand, and I love the idea of supporting fellow homeschooling moms.

They also have a Frequent Buyer program, which gives you points for not only buying books, but for referring your friends too (so if you join, and you want to, put Debra Brinkman in the blank for how you heard about the site, and you could help me get some new books!)

In February, they are offering 20% off all month.  And if you act quickly, they are also doing a promotion for the Superbowl.  If you donate to Heartline Ministries by Saturday night, and email HSLB to tell them you donated (you don't have to say how much), you will get an additional 15% off on Super Bowl Sunday (35% total).  (The former CPA in me has to point out that if you itemize deductions, there was a law passed recently that will allow Haiti donations to be included on your 2009 tax return too... so if you need an additional deduction, well, you can get one and a discount on books too!  This is not tax advice... please do your own research!!)  Details about these promotions are on the Homeschool Library Builder home page.  

And you can check out what my fellow crewmates have to say about Homeschool Library Builder at:

Disclaimer:  As part of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I was asked to review this free membership, but I did not receive any compensation.  The only way I may receive any compensation is if someone chooses to join and gives my name as a referrer.  All opinions are my own.  For more about my take on reviews, visit my blog post here.

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