Bear in mind that a Chromebook is not the same thing as a fully-functioned laptop. It is primarily for working online—surfing the web, using email, etc. But given that you can work on just about anything online these days (as a frequent editor, I have to say I love being able to collaborate over Google Drive rather than mailing documents back and forth), maybe a Chromebook is really all you (or your kids) need.
If so, check this out: Right now Best Buy has this 11.6″ HP Chromebook marked down to just $149 ($50 off). It has 4GB of memory of a 16GB flash drive, and it averages 4.3/5 stars with 70+ reviews. Is it fancy? No. Will it get the job done for working online without driving you insane with its slowness? Yes. (For reference: here it is at Amazon for $39 more.)