It’s almost as if homeschool dad, Brett A. Walter, had an epiphany; if school districts get huge discounts on their curriculum, why not homeschoolers? The reason was simple: school districts have purchasing power and homeschoolers don't because we purchase as individuals.
In October of 2004, homeschool dad Brett A. Walter became a CEO, when he set out to level the playing field by creating the Homeschool Buyers Co-Op, “the world's largest buyers’ club for homeschoolers and a great source for award-winning, affordable homeschool curriculum and homeschool resources.” According to their website…
…the Homeschool Buyers Co-Op services over 190,000 families. Homeschool curriculum is affordable at Homeschool Buyers Co-op because they negotiate volume discounts for homeschooling curriculum and programs. “We use our purchasing power to get members the best deals anywhere for homeschool curriculum. Sure, you’ll find companies that sell tens of thousands of products to homeschoolers. But not at the Co-op. If you are looking for the right homeschool math curriculum for your 5th grader, you don’t want to be swamped with thousands of options. We think you want 3-5 proven choices that have been reviewed and approved by someone you can trust. That’s always been our mission, and one we take very seriously: to find the very best curricula for each subject, grade, teaching style, and learning style. We are interested in quality, not quantity.”
That sounded a little too good to be true to me so I had to check it out. First I went to the Better Business Bureau. Surely in their nearly thirteen years in business, there had to be some snags. Wrong! Not only were there no complaints, the Homeschool Buyers Co-Op has a BBB rating of A+.
I decided to compare their claim of discount pricing against my old faithful Amazon and Lakeshore Learning. I randomly selected Saxon Math 1 Homeschool Complete Kit. Lakeshore doesn’t carry it. Amazon priced it at $96.91 (prime) and Homeschool Buyers Co-Op came in at $95.40 plus this purchase would get the buyer 477 SmartPoints (also called SPs, more on that later).
I did a price comparison on a Rosetta Stone Homeschool version. While Lakeshore doesn’t carry it, neither Amazon nor Homeschool Co-Op gives discounts at $229, however, a Homeschool Co-Op buyer will also receive free shipping and 2,517 SmartPoints (I will get to SPs later).
Membership is free so I decided to join. With my membership came a Free Welcome Package which included the free ebook Why Homeschooling ROCKS, a free copy of the Quick Start Guide to Carschooling (50 pages of fun educational games and exercises you can do with your kids when driving), and a link to the free Homeschool ID card design page. I also got 100 SmartPoints!
Now let’s talk about the Homeschool Buyers Co-Op SmartPoints Program. It is pretty incredible. Points are accumulated by members for joining, for purchases, for taking surveys, and can be used to make purchases. You can also get points for listing a “qualified” field trip they don’t already have (in any state). It’s like getting credits to spend. There’s a tab on their website under SmartPoints; check out more ways to get them under “Get em!” and while there look at many ways to use them under “Spend ‘em!”
There are so many great choices for PreK thru adult and for special needs. It took me several days to get through their website. And it was well worth the time.
While I am happy with my 100 membership SmartPoints, I am delighted to tell you that CEO, homeschool dad, Brett Walter is offering Inspire families who join 500 SmartPoints! Use the referral code “INSPIRE” and you will automatically get 500 SmartPoints. Thank you, Brett!
To get started, go to https://www.homeschoolbuyersco-op.org/. Happy shopping.
A word of caution in joining; I would suggest setting up a separate email address just for Homeschool Buyers Co-Op because once you become a member, your inbox is going to start filling up with literally tons of resources and services and all kinds of goodies.
Janet Jackson is an Inspire Family Liaison serving the Los Angeles Area.
Check out this video for more info on the Homeschool Buyers Co-Op!