How to Host a Curriculum Swap

It’s almost that time of year again! I am proud to say that this is the first year, medicine in a very long time, patient that we are looking at the end of many of our books and curriculum. What a blessing! I am excited when I think of the brand new books that will be entering our home for the new year. If your  family is anything like ours then your  budget supports “new to me”, search and not “brand new from the store” purchases on most items. It’s hard to go through stores like Ebay and when the shipping prices are so high! So what’s the answer?

Host a curriculum swap!


There are many ways to do this. Depending on how big your homeschool group you will want to select a venue that supports the amount of people who wish to participate.

Ideas for venues:

  • Local church
  • Library
  • Local town hall or civic center

Next, let’s fill that venue:

  • Start asking for sign-ups from those who plan to attend
  • Allocate the space for each family participating

How many tables will you need?   Make sure you ask the family to give this estimation of how much space they will need. Is your space limited? Tell your members that and give clear instructions regarding the space available.

What time will you hold your swap? Oh dear one, if I’ve learned anything it’s that not announcing time limits can cause crazy problems. You will have people who show up too early and those who stay too late.

  • What time can your people set up? I suggest, “You may begin setting up no earlier than __  and we have to conclude the swap by  ___ in order to put the room back the way we found it. “ This is also a great place to ask for help with the set-up and tear-down.
  • Offer helpful hints for how to make this a smooth transition. You might consider asking the teens to help.

To bring little ones or not to bring little ones. In my experience there will never be a time that at least one person won’t bring any of their kids even if you ask politely. I have witnessed everything from quiet events where people have brought rowdy (and loud toddlers) to Mom’s nights out where the kids should not be witnessing some of the conversation. Having small children, who are not old enough to understand how to behave around other people’s property should have an area where they can have supervised play away from the browsing adults. One of the ways I have seen this beautifully accomplished is having teens available to watch the littles. Make sure they have activities and toys! A donation basket can be in place so that people can contribute to their teen helpers. It’s a win-win.. the teens have an opportunity to earn a little money, your little ones will be able to play with other little ones, and your mom’s will have peace of mind while the exchanging is taking place.

Something to consider.. will you allow any money to change hands on the more expensive items? If so, encourage everyone who wishes to participate to bring small bills and change  for the sale. If not, make sure you add that to your list of instructions!

Now that we’ve gone over the basics I hope your family finishes strong this year! I hope that if you decide to have a curriculum swap that it is very successful.

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