Adventures in Unschooling

Thrifting my way to knowledge

Posted on: March 21, 2010

A while ago I was raving about our reuse centre and all of the great crafting supplies we have gotten from there. We have gotten everything from sewing patterns to plaster to paper plates to envelopes for my home made cards to zippers to plastic egg cartons (which I use for mixing paint).

And today I am wanting to rave about our thrift store. Aside from some wonderful resource books I have also found science kits and glasses for my kids. I wanted some glass cups (since I hate plastic so much) for my boys to use now that they are older and have gotten over the butter fingers part of childhood. But I wanted glasses that I wouldn’t mind if they got broken accidentally. They had a piles of glasses at $0.49 a piece. So I bought a matching set of eight and now I can store some of the plastic cups. Also, the plastic cups don’t clean well in my dishwasher and having my boys using glass cups will mean I can clean their cups in the dishwasher. And that saves me time!

One of the science kits we bought was a plant growing kit. Everything was still in the original packaging. It came with “hot house” tubes and peat moss pellets and even plaster for doing demonstrations about how seeds can crack through hard mediums like concrete. There was more to it than just that and it was worth every penny of that $2.99 I spent on it.

You can see a seed in peat above and the picture on the side is the pinto that we started many weeks ago and the other is one of the “hot house” seed things we have growing.

It’s hard to see as it’s in the background but it’ll be the same kind of idea as the time I grew seeds in a ziploc bag.

The other set I picked up was a large chemistry set for five bucks. It has many, many different experiments to try. Everything from basic chemical reactions to testing pH to creating reactions using electricity etc.

I also found three boxes of prepared slides for a microscope. The slides contain bits of plants and bugs. I don’t have a microscope yet but I didn’t want to pass on those slides.

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1 Response to "Thrifting my way to knowledge"

The title of this article caught my eye. The youngest of our two unschoolers is now almost 19 years old. I remember many a time we’d go to the dump and bring back more than we took. We became expert dumpster divers and brought home magazines, books, egg cartons, boxes, windows, doors, furniture, a bird house and much more, all for free. We haunted thrift stores on a weekly basis. By the time our children were grown we had so much stuff for our homeschool we started selling it on eBay to make money and pay for field trips to Disney! We’re still selling off homeschooling supplies to pay for college classes but we also gave away lots of ‘stuff’ over the years to other homeschoolers. It was great fun and together we learned so much. It may please you to know the birdhouse was a real find…we eventually sold it in a tag sale for $75.00!

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