Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Strategies for Success in College

Sometimes it is hard to believe that I've been homeschooling for 22 years!  My daily life has changed a lot during those years!!  While I remember a time when I was stretched to my max attempting to teach children in six different grades plus keep up with a pre-schooler and a nursing infant, I am now in a totally different season of life.  I only have two children younger than 13; I have four awesome teens; and four of my kids are in their twenties!!  I'm still very Busy -- but in a totally different way.

My oldest two daughters graduated a few years ago -- one from a 4-year college and the other from a 2-year Bible school, and I currently have three sons attending college!!  (Joe is doing dual-enrollment -- so he is taking two high school classes and two college classes this semester.)  Fortunately, the skills they all acquired as homeschoolers -- such as, learning to work independently and learning to think for themselves -- have helped them be successful as they have pursued higher education.

Another skill that is necessary for success in college is learning how to manage your money and your time -- since there is never enough of either one to go around!  All of my kids have had to work while in college in order to help pay for their education (and their car insurance!), so they have had to learn time and money management skills.

One of the often under-estimated expenses for college students is the unbelievably high cost of textbooks!  My kids have learned that the most expensive way to obtain the necessary books is to take the book lists from their professors and buy all the books listed at the school bookstore.  That will easily cost several hundred dollars or more!  They have learned to employ a few strategies to reduce the amount of money spent on books, such as finding out from other students which books they really need for that class and which ones they can do without, sharing a textbook with a sibling or a friend, and buying books on Ebay, Amazon, or Half-Price books.  Recently, we've become aware of a new option that allows a student to save even more money  -- renting textbooks!

My niece, Amber, recently rented a textbook from, where she saved a lot of money by not purchasing a book she doesn't care about keeping.  (And if she were to decide she wants to keep the book, all she has to do is pay the difference and the book is hers to keep!)

Renting textbooks is an excellent way for home educating families to reduce the high costs of a college education!

Renting from offers many benefits:

  • save 40-90% off of bookstore prices
  • free shipping both ways
  • can highlight in the textbooks
  • flexible renting periods
  • risk-free 30-day return period

In addition, every time you rent a book, donates a portion of the proceeds to Operation Smile, which is an organization that performs life-changing cleft lip surgeries on children whose families could not otherwise afford it.

Operation Smile

Here is a short video explaining how textbook rental works.

Have you rented a textbook from  Please share about your experience.

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