Many parental teaching resources can be found very inexpensively. Of course the internet offers plenty of free research and activities but consider the treasures waiting to be found at some of these other places. Second-hand shops offer puzzles, games and books. And yes, expect that pieces will be missing, pages torn and everything picked thru… but when you find something that works, Oh boy!  I have picked up English text books and history books at library sales. The deals you can get at yard-sales or flee-markets are also unbelievable. And let’s not forget about used books shops, where almost anything written is possible.

Now you might be concerned that the material you are finding is outdated or in poor condition. No sweat… as you build your lesson (weekend, evening or summer program) look through these older materials for information that is still relevant. Use these as supplements to other materials and only focus on parts that work for you or remain factually true. Pictures transcend time as well as artwork… so perhaps focus on those illustrations and leave the narratives, glossary-terms and facts for another resource.

Another option is to collect older material so use for crafts and collages, where you wouldn’t want to tear up a newer/more expensive book. Take for instance the American Heritage Series pictured here… found at a library sale. I only found 2 volumes (5 and 10) published last in 1971. The front and back covers as well as the inside covers offer many useful illustrations… even if I don’t crack open a single chapter. The inside cover of Volume 5 Young America shows the inside of a farmhouse, which I must note reminds me of the Salem County Historical Society’s The Keeping Room in their museum. This illustration is a great way for me to remind my child later of our visit to the museum. All in all, not bad for under $2.00!!

Resources found at library sale for under $1.

I can’t stress enough to keep your eyes and hears open for these kind of finds. Another 50 cent deal I struck is for the Solar System paperback book pictured below and again it is a great alternative for crafts if your kids prefer not to draw planets, etc.  Enjoy your treasure hunts and good luck!

Out-dated books can be used for crafts or illustrations.