Great question! The short answer is, “It’s expensive because it’s not cheap, and it’s not as expensive as you think.”
As veteran homeschooling moms watching every penny of one-income budgets, we’ve bought our share of cheap curriculum. But that’s the problem. You get a low-quality product. Or, you get consumable curriculum that ends up costing you more in the long run because you have to buy it every year for each student. Write by Number is non-consumable and designed for all grade levels, so we knew we had to create books that would last.
So what goes into making a book that’s durable, functional, and beautiful?
We had our books printed in the USA by a small, local business devoted to quality (and run by a homeschool dad). Most books are printed in China because it’s cheaper. Meanwhile, domestic print-on-demand companies often struggle to produce consistently good colored text.
We use color ink and thick, coated paper. The colors used in the curriculum are essential, so printing in black and white on plain paper was not an option. The paper had to be of the highest quality for vibrancy, and the heaviest weight for durability.
The binding is something special. Our books combine a lay-flat O-ring binding with a protective hardcover shell. This gives you the best of both worlds: the books stay open without force, and they sit properly on a shelf with legible spines. They hold up better than plain spiral-bound books when they are thrown in drawers and piled on desks.
Now let’s consider actual costs of use. If you have one student who takes ten years to get through the whole program, you’ll have spent about $28 a year, and your student will have a handy reference manual for years to come. If you have two kids who share one student book for only five years, you’ll still have spent $28 a year per student. If you use two student books over five years, you’ll have spent about $5 a month per student for a nine-month school year. We think that’s a very good value.
We know Write by Number is an up-front investment, which is why we make that investment worth your while. We offer a 14-day free digital trial so you can be confident that you’re making the right choice for the long haul. We also offer monthly and yearly digital subscriptions so you can use Write by Number as long as you want before (or without) investing in the print edition. When you’re ready to buy the print books, you can use PayPal’s “Pay Later” option to spread out the cost into four installments over six weeks.