The teacher's manual offers many options for additional reading on the lesson of the week. If I were to purchase these books, we would have to create a separate budget just for books. This is not a reasonable solution for most homeschooling families.
Our number one resource is our local library. We LOVE our library and the children's librarians!
When I begin planning for the upcoming week's lesson I begin by looking at the list of books that are suggested as optional reading. I have also gleaned from some moms the list of books that they have used for the same lessons.
Equipped with this list of books, I begin to search the online catalog of our local library system. I place all the books that I can find on request which allows me to pick up the books once the library has collected all the books for me. Letting them do the legwork frees up time for me to do other things as well as enjoy looking through the library with Dacia Grace for fun reading books.
Now everyone knows the frustration of not finding a particular book in our library system. Most will give up at this point.
There is another option that most libraries have. It is officially called.... World Cat. It is a catalog of all the books in the world of the participating libraries. These libraries agree to share books just like a regular library. While this is available online, I usually always go into the library to have help searching World Cat. While there is a limit on the amount of World Cat requests that I can put in at one time, I have never had any difficulty receiving a book, cd or dvd that I have been requested. All at no cost to me!
So go on in and armed with the list of books that you cannot find or that are out of print. You will be surprised what you will be able to find! Just know that with some books that are out of print, due to their scarcity and to their condition you might not be able to check the book out of the library. You might have to view the book at the library and not in the warmth of your own home.
At this point, I have never had to pay to receive any of the books through this service. They do ask when I place the request if I am willing to pay a nominal fee. I decline. They are fine with that. But with the changing economic times, this could change. The nominal fee however would still be cheaper than buying the book.