I’m a big fan of unshopping, and most of our resources come free from the library, the Internet, or from friends who are done with them. But sometimes, you fall in love with something the people in your homeschool groups are talking about, and you really, really want it. Where the heck do you buy it? Ya’ can’t find it at Chapters! Well, you’ll probably find it here:
Bricks and Mortar:
• Canadian Home Education Resources – The veterans will tell you to get it at CHER. This is what they mean, a store in the heart of the Blackfoot industrial district (108 1289 Highfield Cr SE), that clearly uses Time Lord technology. (For non-Dr. Who fans: looks tiny from the outside… so full of stuff inside!)
• Kid Source – All those posters and borders teachers put up in the classrooms–this is where they get them. And craft supplies, math game supplies, and mega-boxes of Lego. Fun. Don’t go to Chinook Centre; detour here (Bay 9, 6229 Centre Street S).
• Scholar’s Choice – Another teachers’ store, with a great selection of “educational” games and two Calgary locations to serve you (North: 8060 Silver Springs Boulevard NW Unit 178; South: The Boulevard Shopping Centre Unit 319, 16061 MacLeod Trail SE).
Prefer shopping on-line? All of the above stores let you do that, and additional possibilities are pretty much limitless.
• Rainbow Resource – If there’s a homeschool resource Rainbow doesn’t sell, I haven’t come across it yet. Shipping to Canada is expensive, but Rainbow’s prices so much lower, it often makes sense to plump for the shipping instead of sourcing the material locally.
• Mastermind Toys – Best place for Christmas presents. Only place in Canada for Kapla blocks. You don’t know what Kapla blocks are? Google it.
• Book Depository – Out-of-print books, in print books, foreign publishers books. Good prices, free shipping.
• Book Depot – Remanded books for uber-cheap.
• Used Book Treasure Services – an on-line used book service for Calgary, Alberta. How awesome is that?
… and hundreds upon hundreds more.
But a word of caution from a seasoned homeschooling unshopper: just cause it’s available for sale… don’t mean you ought to rush out and buy it. The most common newbie homeschooler mistake? Buying lots of expensive curriculum and resources when what you really need is a library card and a good friend with slightly older children who’ll a) tell you which expensive book just isn’t worth it b) pass on that same, mint-condition-unused-because-the-kids-hated-it book to you for free.