"Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend" (Proverbs 27:17).

Stretching a dollar is more difficult with today's economy, especially if you're a single homeschooling parent. In this month's "What's on Your Mind," Alpha Omega Publications® offers single parent families helpful ideas on how to purchase curriculum that's not only affordable, but also self-directed for independent learning.

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Q: I am a single mom who can't afford a single curriculum that would make homeschooling much easier and simple to do. I use an eclectic approach with resources I've found from the library, Internet, and garage sale books. However, this makes it very hard for my kids to work on their own. Any suggestions?
-Cherie O., Michigan

A: Single parents face many financial hardships that limit their ability to purchase a complete homeschool curriculum. One great place to find inexpensive curriculum is within a local homeschool group or co-op. Whether your group hosts an annual book swap or you personally contact individual homeschooling families to buy their used curriculum, a single parent can save big on the cost of a complete curriculum.

Some families will even sell curriculum they just bought because it doesn't meet their child's learning style. Of course, you'll still want to examine the program because it might not be the right one for your child either. Internet auction sites and homeschooling forums also provide used curriculum listings that might help you save.

In addition, consider using the award-winning, print-based LIFEPAC® curriculum from Alpha Omega Publications. At the current price of $4.50 per worktext, this affordable, student-directed curriculum is exactly what you need. Each core subject of Bible, history and geography, language arts, math, and science is divided into ten easy-to-understand worktexts that can be purchased individually to spread expenses throughout the year. Not only will this save you valuable time searching for homeschool resources online, but you'll also get a proven, time-tested curriculum specifically designed to help your child become an independent learner.