Summer Hours in effect till end of August. Tuesday/Wednesday and Friday/Saturday 11-4.
The Pennsylvania Curriculum Exchange, or PACE, is a homeschool bookstore located in York County, PA with over 38,000 42,000 books and educational manipulatives. We carry new and consigned items. Most books are discounted with used items at least 40% off of retail.
The store is open Tues/Wed 12-4 and other days by appointment with 24-hour notice. I don’t take appointments on store days.
Consignments can be brought in any open day. We accept current edition curriculum, classic books, educational games, science equipment, and manipulatives.
If you subscribe to this blog you will receive updates of interesting things brought in on consignment, sales in the store and articles on homeschooling.
For payment in the store we accept cash, checks, Credit/Debit Cards, or Paypal with your smartphone.
Location: 25 Ridge Road, Dillsburg PA 17019 (Click for Mapquesthere) Be sure your GPS takes you to 25 Ridge, not 25 East Ridge.
Contact: (717) 432-9947 or PACEbooks@live.com (preferred)
After several months of zoning meetings to get a ‘special exception’ to open a store in a rural/agricultural zone and 3 months of construction done by my husband and father-in-law, The Pennsylvania Curriculum Exchange opened for business on April 1, 2003. (No fooling!)
The history of the store with pictures is below, but first the part where you help us celebrate:
For the month of April 2023, everyone who comes by the store can enter into a drawing for one of five $20 gift certificates to be used on any purchase at PACE.
Details: Visit to the store is required, but no purchase necessary to enter. One entry per family. Drawing will be on May 2 during store hours, and winners will be announced on this blog that evening and have gift certificate mailed to them. Certificate is valid till the end of 2023.
This drawing isn’t just to celebrate 20 years in business but also to show our appreciation to our customers. The whole ‘exchange’ concept only works if people are not only willing to shop at the store, but also to entrust us to sell their consignments. We have had over 2,000 people open consignment accounts over the years, and for this we are very thankful!
Summer Hours will begin in May. We will add Fri/Sat to the T/W now. Hours TBD—I’ll send out another post on this.
The Story of PACE
The Pennsylvania Curriculum Exchange is actually the 4th store, I have opened. I have always loved books and, when I began homeschooling my oldest child in the fall of 1997 (she was 4), I discovered the joy of curriculum! I met the owner, Jenny Sockey, of the Titus 2 Woman’s Homeschool Potpourri in Washington State online, and she helped me set up my first store with 55 boxes of used curriculum she sold me which arrived in one day by UPS. But more importantly she gave me advice and information on how to start and run a store—I was a brand-new homeschooler and had never seen a curriculum store before.
Thus, the Northern Indiana Curriculum Exchange was begun. It opened in January 1998 in the basement of our home in Goshen, IN. After 2 1/2 years, my husband’s job moved us to South Carolina.
In a small rental on Main St, York, South Carolina, I opened my second store, The Curriculum Exchange. I only had it for one year before my husband’s job moved us again. I passed the store to a friend who successfully ran it for 14 years.
Then on to West Palm Beach, FL, where it was too bloomin’ expensive to rent a space and zoning regulations left zero room for in-home businesses. So curriculum withdrawal set in. BUT that hubby-job only lasted a year and then he decided to retire from the pharmaceutical industry. So we chose to go home to PA and figure out what to do.
We purchased our small farm in Dillsburg in Nov, 2002. There was a building on the property being used as a garage to repair semi-truck engines. All I could see was a PERFECT building for a curriculum store!
We started the zoning meeting process in Dec 2002, which we knew would take months to get approval….SO, I decided to start up a mini-store in Pottstown PA, while waiting. I had a friend with a huge commercial building on High St. I rented the kitchen (!) for a very good deal. In case you were wondering, kitchen cabinets with the doors removed make excellent book cases! So with all the cabinet doors removed and about 12 regular bookcases, the mini PA Curriculum Exchange opened for business in January 2003. I was open one day/week and the store did fairly well, but after 3 years of that 2-hour commute (plus I’m hauling my kids there and homeschooling them between customers), I was exhausted and wanted to just focus on the Dillsburg store at home.
At the same time the Pottstown store got going, my husband and father-in-law began the renovation/construction of the garage.
After meeting with the township lawyers and later the supervisors, we were given the permission to open a store in February 2003. March saw the finishing off of the inside…new ceiling, windows, paneling, lighting and carpet.
At this time, Ames (where the Cinema Center is now in Camp Hill) was going out of business and we bought some display cases to fill our new space. Along with about 20 standard bookcases and maybe 1500 books, we opened for business on April 1. We had 2 customers that first day.
So now, 20 years later, we have had to renovate twice over the years to accommodate the expanding inventory (About 25% of the original building was just walled off as storage). We now have 120+ bookcases and ~44,000 books.
I ran the store alone for the first four years. Then I hired Tina Rammel to help out. She was with me part-time for 6 years. Next, I was joined by Lisa (Kibler) Sibley. She started out part-time, but now is usually here whenever I’m open, and during the summer busy season, comes during closed hours to help keep up. She’s been with me for 10 years and I couldn’t do it without her!
Interesting random facts:
We bought the property without seeing it first. We were in FL and couldn’t make the trip up. My parents took a tour and reported to us about it. We got our first look at it the morning we signed papers for it. God was in control of the whole process from start to finish, and we learned a valuable lesson in trusting him! Turns out it has been the perfect home for our family, small farm, and business for 21 years!
We started renovations with no idea if we would get zoning approval for the business. But God said to do it, so we did.
My daughter, Sarah, who was the 4-year old when I started the Indiana store, is now 30 and a senior software engineer. Four years ago she wrote the software that now runs my store. Up ‘til then I did everything by hand on paper, with just a cash register to help. It would take me 3 months of working every day to make the annual payments to consignors. Now I click on a button on my computer and it’s done. 😁
Five months after we opened, PA was hit by Hurricane Isabel. It started off as a cat 5–biggest of the season. By the time it got to PA it had become a tropical storm, but was still scary-impressive. We had just gotten our first horse right before that. He had a run-in shed but no stall yet. We had no place safe to put him. So we cleared out the corner of the store that had been walled off for storage (and was still unfinished garage), slid open the huge sliding door still there at the time, and he rode out the storm in my store for 16 hours. So was he just a pony or a small horse?? No, he was half Percheron….a draft horse! And yep, that was fun to clean up afterwards…
Stats…during the first ten years of business, I averaged about 50 new consignment accounts/year. The last 3 years (since Covid), it’s been 180-200 new accounts/year. I started my first store in Indiana with 55 boxes of books. Now, during the summer busy season, I get in an average of 80 boxes per week, on consignment. The record for one person in one drop-off is 125 boxes.
Thanks for reading this far! Hope you can stop by and enter the contest this month. 🎈🎈🎈
Are you the parent of a middle schooler and having doubts as whether you can continue (or begin) homeschooling at the higher grades? Then this event is for you! This night will be full of information and encouragement. It will be an excellent opportunity for parents to learn about PA homeschool law (what is required anyway?), diplomas (are they necessary?), preparing for college (where do we even start?) and grading papers (grading papers seems so subjective, how do you make it fair?).
HAHA will host a panel of speakers and evaluators covering four main topics: PA Law For High School, Record Keeping, and Counting Credits (Laurie Houser, evaluator); Diploma Programs, GEDs and Other Options (Linda Blocker, evaluator); Dual Enrollment and Preparing For College (Shayna Mark & Matt Ritenour, Messiah U reps); and How To Create and Use Rubrics To Grade Writing (Karen Keitel, evaluator).
Come prepared to take notes – because there will be a TON of information you won’t want to miss. Record your questions as they come to mind and we will have a Q&A time at the end. Multiple handouts are included in the admission price.
Holiday Hours—The store will be open as usual this week: T/W 12-4. Keep us in mind for last minute Christmas shopping. We have lots of games, Knex sets, coloring books, science kits, classic books, etc.
Then we will be closed from Dec 22 until we re-open January 3, 2023. If you have a real urgency, email for an appointment, but we have a lot going on so would prefer for the most part to put off store visits till we re-open.
Kids for Sale—
We have 2 Nubian baby boys, Sam and Frodo, born December 6, that are for sale. They are bottle fed, and will be disbudded (dehorned) and neutered. They are as friendly as puppy dogs.
The boys are available together or separately, although goats are herd animals and must be kept with at least one other goat. They are being bottle fed because their mother rejected them from the moment of birth.
They are for sale now for $150 each, if you want to take over bottle feeding (raw cows milk, every 6 hours), or $200 each after Jan 1. They will be always-in-your-pocket friendly.
Their mother is also for sale, $50, if you just need a goat for clearing brush. She is skittish and should never be bred again as she was a horrible mother on every account. She is just under 2 years old. Her name is Wynkyn, one of triplets Wynkyn, Blynkyn, and Nod.
1. Hours for Thanksgiving week… No change. We will be open on Tuesday and Wednesday from 12 to 4 as usual.
2. Due to a significant influx of consignments over the past year or two, there are current edition items we will not be accepting for the time being. I have updated the Consignment Policy page with the list. Please read through this before bringing in your items. https://pacurriculumexchange.com/consignment-policy/
2.5 Bargain Section. I have said this before multiple times, and failed multiple times… I will be cutting back drastically on what I accept for the bargain section. I personally love that section of my store, I think it is very helpful to many people, but the pure volume of books coming through is defeating me. I operate that section of the store at a financial loss, which is fine within reason, but y’all just have too many books!! So if you are bringing books in for that area, I will be cherry-picking what I take. Most of what people bring in really should just be heading to the thrift store. It is hard for me to say no (because I LOVE books and feel they ALL have some educational value…and this is why I’m in this business to start with!) However, the amount of time and money going into the maintenance of this area of my store is extremely burdensome. So I will be more selective in what I accept.
The weather looks to be decent next week, so we’re going for it! The quarter sale will be Tuesday and Wednesday Nov 1 and 2. We’re going to try something different this time to help with any crowdedness…on Tuesday, we will open early at 10 am. So Tuesday 10-4 and Wednesday 12-4. The change in hours is just this week and just on Tuesday (and you are the only one I’m telling 😁)
We have a ton of stuff going in the sale, and in fact the whole store is packed to the gills if you need regular stuff. Coming in this time of year is also very helpful for Christmas gift ideas for the kids—games, videos, manipulatives, science kits….oh, and books!
For you newbies who have no idea what this is about, here is my usual blurb about the event:
Each item from the bargain area will be a quarter (25¢). Sets of books are 25¢ per item. This includes books from my bargain area from the topics of math, science, history/geography, language arts, Bible, homeschool helps, old edition BJU and Abeka, and lots and lots of readers/novels. We generally have 4,000-7,000 books in the sale. This year, I will also be including flashcards, binders, and movie DVDs.
This is a great opportunity to stock up on educational resources. For a quarter, it’s easy, for example, to buy a science book and cut it up to use the pictures for a lap book–no guilt involved.
I will be accepting consignments.
If possible, find alternative arrangements for little kiddos. It can get crowded.
I will be pulling as much as I can out of the bargain section to set up outside to help with crowding.
For your planning purposes, historically Tuesday is busier than Wednesday, and earlier is busier than later.
If you’ve got them, bring your cloth supermarket bags–they are ideal for hauling away all your goodies. And I take donations of plastic grocery bags if you’d like to recycle them with me.
For payment, I accept cash, check, Paypal, credit and debit.
Feel free to email with any questions PACEbooks@live.com.
These are done for the summer. Thanks to everyone who helped to keep my bulging hoard that is my bargain section under control! There will be a proper Quarter Sale in October-ish and I promise it will be bulging and out of control by then again. I have to watch the weather for this since it is held partly outside, so will send out a notice a few days ahead of time.
2. Scrapbook/Yearbook idea for 4-8 year olds
I have a new product in the store that is for young children to record what happens in a year, or store special projects.
Here is the description from the author:
Do you have kids? Do you have grandkids? Do you know someone with a kid? Do you like any of these kids? If the answer is yes to any of those questions, then this is the book for you. When I Was series books are activity books for your child to record their childhood. When I Was books will be fun for your child to fill out and complete now, and even more fun for you and them to look back on ten years from now. When I Was is an all-in-one book that has questions for your child to record their interests. It also has fun activities like having your child draw their family, a dinosaur, and other things to show their artistic abilities. When I Was also has pages in the book for your child to attach pictures to keep them safe. The book also has journal pages and pages for them to draw. Finally, at the end of the book, there are instructions on how to make a folder out of the last two pages to store mementos like report cards, school work, or anything else they want to preserve in a safe place. When I Was offers one convenient book to act as a time capsule for your child. Have your child complete them all to see how they changed and grew.
There is one for each year, 4 through 8. It comes in paperback or hardback.
3. Just a fun pronunciation guide
With the recent influx of new homeschoolers to the community, I have been hearing some very creative ways to pronounce certain curriculums. So I thought I would give a guide on how to pronounce these words, so you can look like an old pro. 🙂
Apologia….an awesome science publisher, the name really trips people up. It is like “apology” followed by “yuh”—-Apollo-GEE-uh. Frequently mispronounced Apple-LOH-gia
Saxon…a math publisher that has been around for decades. It is said exactly as written, though people often insert a “T” as in Saxton. There is no T. No T sound.
Usborne…again pronounced as written starting with “Us”, but frequently mispronounced as Osborne, like Ozzy Osborne.
Noeo…This science publisher had me stumped. But according to their materials, it is pronounced no-UH-oh.
Primer…this isn’t a publisher, but a type of book. And it isn’t just newbies that mispronounce this one. Examples are: Prairie Primer, Math-U-See Primer, McGuffey Primer. It is pronounced “Primmer.” The long-I sound frequently used is the word for a base-coat of paint.
IEW vs EIW…not a pronunciation issue at all, just thought I would use this moment to point out these are different curriculums. IEW is the Institute for Excellence in Writing, and EIW is Essentials in Writing.
Your lesson for today is now complete. 🙂
Summer hours continue for 2 more weeks, through August 31 (so last open weekend is Aug 26-27). The week of Labor Day we will be open as usual T/W 12-4–no change because of the holiday weekend.